I’m sure everybody here has lost a hard drive or two. We’ve all experienced major crashes. I have lost all manner of half finished stories over the years. The only real protection you can have against this is to back up your work regularly.
My first solution
My first backup solution was a little thing called synctoy. Synctoy is available for free from Microsoft. Synctoy was neat, and did what I wanted, but was ridiculously slow, like 30 minutes slow. I haven’t tried it for a while, so maybe they’ve sped it up by now.
My next solution
I used to use Toucan, as it’s a part of the PortableApps.com suite and it’s really easy to use. The only problem: it is slow, slow, slow. It took like 20+ plus minutes to back up my open projects directory. Granted, there’s all sorts of stuff in there, including the testing web server I use for work and many file-intensive web scripts .
Speaking of PortableApps, I use a fork of that project called geek.menu. It automatically integrates with Truecrypt, so that when I plug in my backup drive, it prompts me for a password. If I type it in right, it mounts the encrypted portion of the drive (which is where I keep all my backups) and loads up the menu in the system tray. Form that menu, I can run a portable version of OpenOffice, firefox, Toucan, all sorts of stuff. It’s totally slick, and makes me feel like a worthy nerd.
Anyway, as I said Toucan took forever to run (albeit it ran a little faster than synctoy), but I was willing to take the time, because I did not want another data calamity in my life. It also had the benefit of being portable, which for no good reason makes things attractive to me.
Then I learned about rsync. It’s a super powerful (yet easy to use) backup tool. The problem is that it’s command line only. While I’m not such a graphical interface snob that I refuse to use command line tools, I do avoid it whenever possible. (I’m only a level 20 nerd I supposeâ€¦)
However, I located grsync, which is a rsync with a windows GUI frontend.
Grsync performs the exact same same operations asÂ synctoy and toucan, but in 1/20th the time. That’s right, it backs up my open projects directory in less than one minute.
Here’s the settings I use for grsync:
Did I mention it’s fast?
So anyway, that’s the tool I now use to backup my work. I backup onto a 128 mb Toshiba USB external hard drive. I haven’t tried to run it from the external drive yet, so I don’t know if it’s portable.
How do y’all protect your work?