My laptop died about six months ago, now.
While I still mourn her, and I’ll never forget her, I had to begin the process of moving on. I got a new computer – a desktop bought from a friend who’d just upgraded, because it was cheap and available. He’s a solid machine and a sweetheart even if he is a little slow sometimes.
I am a digital packrat. I admitted this last night on the new forums for one of my favorite productivity sites, Zen Habits, and it made me think about how I think about keeping and storing information.
Inspired by that, I’d like to present my five ways to manage information for digital packrats.
Besides, do you really need to keep those old hacker text files or the emails from your first internet crush, the one you haven’t talked to since since he stalked you in 2001? Somehow I think you wouldn’t really miss them if they were gone. I don’t.
You may also want to check out Geek to Live: Carry Your Life on a Thumb Drive
My laptop died in January.
It was a long time coming, and I didn’t lose anything – the problem wasn’t the hard drive, and eventually I’ll probably take the time to crack that sucker open and put ‘er into an external drive case and retrieve my files.
In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about backups, offsite storage, and all the other assorted messy details of keeping files safe. Offsite backups are important in case the worst happens, after all, and also protect you from lesser evils like the day your cat manages to take out both your laptop and your external hard drive in one hunting expedition.
The problem with offsite backups for me has always been remembering to do them. I think I may have found a solution.
Amazon’s S3 offsite backup service is one of the cheapest around. To simplify its use and automate the backup of certain files, there’s JungleDisk, a $20 program that is written specifically to interface with Amazon’s storage and make it easier.
I’m still in the trial period for JungleDisk, so I’ll check back later and let you know what I decided to do with it.