One step forwards…

Wrote this up on the ‘Family Forum’ but figured it deserved to be out here as well. Nothing important really, just an update on the development of our technological setup here at home.

It’s all down to me having discovered a few weeks ago a small utility that allows me to backup all my data online. Ok it cost $100 a year but bearing in mind I lost 40 Gb of priceless photos a couple of years ago I think it’s worth it. What’s more, tho I repeatedly exhort everyone I talk to about computers to back up consistently and regularly… I’ve *never* done it myself! Until I signed up for the online backup service I don’t remember *ever* backing up any of my data. And remember I’ve been using computers since 1983!!

Actually I suppose I’m arguingagainst myself to a certain extent if in all that time I’ve not really lost that much essential data? But that’s besides the point. In the ‘old days’ we stored stuff on 1.5 Mb floppies (and of course much smaller!!) so losing one or two made little difference to the overall picture. However, modern hard drives are getting seriously *huge* and the amount of data one can potentially lose in the event of a catastrophic breakdown is immense so I’m still reccomending regular backups… but at least now I can say it without having my tongue in my cheek as I do so!! 🙂

Strangely it was paying for the online storage that made me realise the need for a more ‘physical’ storage system at home, so, after a little thought I went out and bought a ‘docking station’ for SATA HDD’s.

The SATA drives allow ‘hot-swapping’ which means I can (if I want) remove one drive and instert another without too much hassle, and being in a docking station means I can literally lift them out without the need to dismantle a ‘holding case’.

The dock I bought was more useful than most because it also does duty as a USB Hub and has an integrated card reader. The only fly in the ointment was that all my ‘spare’ HDD’s are IDE which obviously is a pain because SATA and IDE have diffferent connectors.

To help sort out the problem I went out and bought two new drives. One, a 500Gb Seagate, the other a 1Tb Western Digital. The 500Gb set me back $105.00, the 1Tb $195. I think I got a pretty good deal there!

Of course this didn’t solve the problem of how I was going to access the old IDE drives… so I searched around and sourced a IDE –> SATA or SATA –> IDE converter made by Skymaster. Lord knows if it’ll work but it was only $45 including delivery so I have my fingers crossed! I had an email telling me the order had been despatched so I’ll find out soon just how well it *does* work… and I’m keeping the fingers crossed! 🙂

One of the reasons for wanting the converter desperately is that a couple of years ago I was in the process of cleaning off my desktop computer ready to reformat and reinstall. I’d copied all the photos I’d collected over the past five years, and deleted them off the hard drive… when my daughter accidentally knocked the external HDD off the desk… effectively destroying the only photos we have of her first 5 years!! I’m hoping against hope that it was just the connection that was damaged… so when the converter arrives the first step will be to stick the old 44Gb drive into the docking station and see if perhaps it *might* work.

If not… well the last quote I had from a forensic data recovery firm was between $1000 – $3000 which ain’t cheap in anyone’s book!

Either way, after all these years I *finally* have a decent backup system in place for my data, photos etc, etc, etc. So far I’ve uploaded 35Gb to the online service and copied another 50 Gb to the new backup disc.

If I ever need the online service to *download* those files might cost a fortune… so I may even have to resort to having it all sent to me on DVD’s (whichever is cheapest)… but at least it’s safe… where ever it is!! Cheesy

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