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It's World Backup Day

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the before-things-get-wonky dept.

Data Storage 135

1sockchuck writes "Today is World Backup Day, an occasion to back up your personal data and financial information and check your restores. For those needing motivation — a group that apparently includes 15 percent of data centers — the Slashdot archives bear witness to date disasters at providers small (Ma.gnolia) and large (Microsoft). The World Backup Day initiative grew out of a thread at Reddit, and invites online backup services to observe the occasion by offering discounts."

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135 comments

Good for the next disaster. (5, Funny)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 3 years ago | (#35682888)

We can just restore the world from the backup.

Re:Good for the next disaster. (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 3 years ago | (#35682978)

... and lose all my work since?

Re:Good for the next disaster. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683076)

If your work includes a 9.0 earthquake and a tsunami then so be it.

Re:Good for the next disaster. (2)

mindwhip (894744) | about 3 years ago | (#35683622)

Stop squirming and die like an adult, or I'm going to delete your backup stop! Okay, enough, I deleted it. No matter what happens now, you're dead. You're still shuffling around a little, but believe me, you're dead.

Re:Good for the next disaster. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683906)

fuck backups.. we'll just store it in the cloud!!

Also! (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#35682928)

It's also National Cleavage Day [adrants.com] . How are you celebrating?

Date disaster (2)

AkkarAnadyr (164341) | about 3 years ago | (#35684076)

I'm spending it sulking over a glass of good Scotch, contemplating that date so many years ago - why did I mention her cleavage just then?...

Re:Also! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684140)

I'm gonna back up my porn!

Security risk (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35682934)

Security risk blocked for your protection

Reason:
This Websense category is filtered: Potentially Damaging Content. Sites in this category may pose a security threat to network resources or private information, and are blocked by your organization.

URL:
http://www.worldbackupday.net/

Right sentiment, wrong execution (2)

nlawalker (804108) | about 3 years ago | (#35682944)

Today shouldn't be a day to back up your data, it should be a day to set up automated backups. This is where people need education - even laypeople understand the concept of a backup copy of something, they just don't know about modern tools that can be set up to do it for you automatically.

There's no excuse anymore to not have an automated backup system in place.

Re:Right sentiment, wrong execution (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 3 years ago | (#35683250)

There's no excuse anymore to not have an automated backup system in place.

How about this one: My date is pretty worthless, even to me.

Re:Right sentiment, wrong execution (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 3 years ago | (#35683920)

My date is pretty worthless, even to me.

Don't expect a goodnight kiss from her with that attitude.

Re:Right sentiment, wrong execution (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 years ago | (#35683326)

There's no excuse anymore to not have an automated backup system in place.

There are plenty of excuses.. you just don't like them.... automated backup systems cost money :-)

Re:Right sentiment, wrong execution (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | about 3 years ago | (#35683430)

Just saw this tool over on Lifehacker: http://www.crashplan.com/ [crashplan.com]

Product review (2)

subreality (157447) | about 3 years ago | (#35683962)

I'm a satisfied Crashplan user. I subscribe to the Crashplan Central service (They're calling it Crashplan+ Family Unlimited now), which means I get unlimited (Which appears to be *actually* unlimited, not Comcast-unlimited) backups to their disk farm in a bank vault in Minnesota. I get to back up all my computers - laptops, desktops, and even my personal VPS - all automatically, with staged version retention, and no hassles of running out of disk or other typical backups shenanigans. Totally does what it says.

I picked it because it: has unlimited seats so I can back up all my computers; it works on Linux, OSX, and Windows; and it has several security models, including "manually generate and install encryption keys on a per-machine basis, and make damn sure you back them up somewhere safe because we only have your encrypted data", which I use because it's compatible with my tinfoil hat.

One complaint: On my VPS, it creates some sort of cache that gradually grows to gigs in size. I suspect it's due to indexing the very large number of files that maildirs create. If it runs out of disk, the process starts consuming 100% CPU. Lame. So I have a cron job that shuts it down, blows away the cache, and restarts it periodically.

On the whole: Completely worth 600 pennies a month.

Review 2: My previous solution was BackupPC [sourceforge.net] . I arrived at it after using similar but less refined backups like rsnapshot and dirvish. BackupPC was the best - you just have to throw lots of disk at it, and it does what it promises. If you can do cross-site backups, it's pretty damn good. The downsides were that you have to plan ahead to have enough disk, and the disk IO during backups was unexpectedly high.

I still occasionally make a manual copy of everything and leave it in a safe deposit box. Defense in Depth is a good thing.

Re:Right sentiment, wrong execution (1)

heypete (60671) | about 3 years ago | (#35683998)

I've been using their "residential" software/service for several months now on 11 computers in my family (the family plan is a good deal). When my laptop got stolen (it used full-disk encryption, so I'm not worried about the thieves getting to the data), I was able to restore the data from CrashPlan in a few hours without a problem. It saved my bacon.

I have the software installed on Windows, Linux (Ubuntu and Red Hat), and Mac systems and it works quite well.

We've been trialling their commercial software at my work for a bit, and it looks extremely promising. I only ran into a hiccup when we had the it was scanning enormous datasets (multi-terabytes, several million files) on a Red Hat server. However, for more "ordinary" desktop systems, it works great. Now, we just need the budget to buy it (it's not unaffordable, but I work at a university and money is very tight).

Disclaimer: I am a paying customer of CrashPlan, but otherwise have no affiliation with them.

Re:Right sentiment, wrong execution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684476)

... automated backup systems cost money

Not always. You can automate your backup of Firefox for free: http://softwarebychuck.com/febe/febe.html

Re:Right sentiment, wrong execution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684742)

There's no excuse anymore to not have an automated backup system in place.

Bandwidth caps. (Canadian)

Agh! (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 years ago | (#35682950)

I just lost all of my un-backed-up data yesterday, you insensitive clods!

Re:Agh! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#35684038)

so should "." only be used in perl? the question mark only used for wild cards? or maybe, just maybe, there can be a duel use.

You're a smart girl, You can figure it out~

By the way, had you ended your sig with a ~ it would have been funny as hell.

Re:Agh! (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 years ago | (#35684152)

No, the syntactical meaning of "." was claimed by Prolog, along with the file extension ".pl". The question mark I'd have to do some research aboutmulti(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)/users/samantha

As far as I know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35682956)

...it is "leave the computer off" day in 35 minutes. Let the flood of stupid jokes wash over. Might as well make backups in the meantime. I don't think I will though.

No, I have not read the story... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 years ago | (#35682962)

...But things like this are typically pushed by company or "association" of companies with vested interests. I mean, let's be honest, who else besides backup software sales shills would benefit from promoting such a thing?

Seriously, NOBODY has altruistic interests in people "backing up their data".

Re:No, I have not read the story... (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 years ago | (#35683050)

You obviously don't maintain a computer for your mom, dad, grandma, crazy aunt Judy, annoying cousin Steve, next door neighbor Bob, and clueless manager boss. If you did you'd realize that just because the interest is self serving doesn't mean that doesn't serve others too.

Re:No, I have not read the story... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 years ago | (#35683074)

You obviously don't maintain a computer for your mom, dad, grandma, crazy aunt Judy, annoying cousin Steve, next door neighbor Bob...

No, I certainly don't. Yes, I had to spend time in a 12-step program, but I'm better now. You too can get help for your problem. Some people care.

Re:No, I have not read the story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683722)

Well I need to help them somehow. These people do things for me like give me rides, buy my presents, take me to dinner, and all kinds of other favors. You need to repay the favors somehow.

i fixed my landlords computer. He bought us a half keg to have a party, TWICE.

Re:No, I have not read the story... (1)

TheOtherChimeraTwin (697085) | about 3 years ago | (#35683068)

Yes indeed, why bother to read anything when you can assume that any cynical thing that pops into your head is correct.

Re:No, I have not read the story... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 years ago | (#35683120)

Yes indeed, why bother to read anything when you can assume that any cynical thing that pops into your head is correct.

And why post anything useful when you can without much actual thought post useless but snarky blather?

Re:No, I have not read the story... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 3 years ago | (#35684824)

Why, indeed. "Snarky blather" is what Slashdot is all about, innit?

Re:No, I have not read the story... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 years ago | (#35684856)

Why, indeed. "Snarky blather" is what Slashdot is all about, innit?

They did take the "News for Nerds" slogan off the banner...

Re:No, I have not read the story... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#35683198)

Every computer person who has friends and family would benefit.

And then there is promoting something simply because it's a good idea. People do not need an immediate and vested financial interest in something to promote it.

Stupid Computer Backup Tricks +1, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683010)

You need to backup your computer files.

Pppppppffffffffffftttttttttt.

I don't need backup because ALL of my data lives at Google Docs [google.com] .

Yours In Miami,
Kilgore Trout

Dangit, I was early! (1)

cryptomancer (158526) | about 3 years ago | (#35683026)

Yesterday was too productive then, I could have procrastinated backing up the server to an external HDD until today! How can I make up for the loss of slacking now? ...Oh, right, posting comments on the internet.

Maybe this is a good time to ask a question (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | about 3 years ago | (#35683086)

Perhaps someone caught up in the spirit of World Backup Day would be kind enough to offer me some advice?

I've got a Mac, but it triple-boots OS X, Windows 7, and Ubuntu 10.04, through a combination of rEFI, grub, and an unhealthy GPT-MBR hybrid partition scheme. Is there any single tool that I can use to back up my whole disk? I'd like to not run individual backup solutions on each operating system, but at the same time, I'd like to backup on a per-file basis, instead of just cloning the whole disk every week or whatever. Is there any single tool out there that will do this, if I were to mount the other two OS partitions in the third?

Re:Maybe this is a good time to ask a question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683122)

Boot linux, mount everything you want backed up and the backup drive
rrun:
SOURCE='/boot /home /music /sci-crypto-math /sourcetrees/programs /ian-sandra-sh
are'
DEST=/media/sysbackup
time rsync -raC --progress --stats --delete-during $SOURCE $DEST

Add stuff to script as you see fit

Re:Maybe this is a good time to ask a question (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 3 years ago | (#35683130)

single tool that I can use to back up my whole disk?

dd if=/dev/sda | gzip > sda.img.gz

As for mounting that thing, I'll leave this as an exercise for the reader.

Re:Maybe this is a good time to ask a question (1)

bdubSOv1iKIJ403M (712039) | about 3 years ago | (#35685036)

If it's not compressed, losetup -r -o OFFSET works really well. I have a couple of loopback mounts done this way on my system.

Re:Maybe this is a good time to ask a question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683960)

Perhaps try 'unison':
http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/

Worked great on a dual-boot WinXP and Gentoo Linux laptop.

Every day should be world backup day (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 3 years ago | (#35683094)

I constantly get calls from folks I don't know like this:

Them: "Hi, you don't know me, but I'm a friend of your milkman's, newspaper boy's, dogsitter . . . they all told me that you are, like real smart with computers. Mine won't start . . . it seems to start, but then the disk screams, and nothing happens.

Me: "Ok, when did you make your last backup?"

Them: "What's a backup?"

Me: "Ok, do you know your administrator password?"

Them: "There is no one here named administrator."

The sad fact, is that I cave in, and go over to help them out.

Re:Every day should be world backup day (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | about 3 years ago | (#35683606)

If you don't know them, you should be charging an hourly rate, even if it is a token one. If you don't need/want the work, or responsibility that goes with accepting money, or can't due to other employment arrangements, just plain refuse.

Re:Every day should be world backup day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35685018)

a group of sparkly-eyed children appears, cheering in unison

THANKS, CAPTAIN CAPITAL!

Captain Capital, he's our hero!!
Taking unemployment down to zero!
Preaching self-interest every day and every night,
It's amazing he has no fucking friends in sight!

Re:Every day should be world backup day (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684288)

I am really for helping people with their computer probs but I over time I seem to have develped a set of rules for doing so.

- I really don't like to take money for my help, it stresses me out if things start to go wrong. If you're doing it for the money that's fine, but I never am.
- Generally people need to dropoff and pickup the computer, unless:
* you really like them alot
* you're sure you know what the problem is
- I tell them it may take a week when it will *hopefully* only take a day (this way if something more important comes up you're covered and typically you just call them early when it's ready). If this timeframe is too long then I know a couple of computer stores who I can suggest as an alternative.
- don't spend more than 5-10 min looking for thier data, if you need to format just dump it off, format, dump it back on in a new folder. (each dump may take an hour, but it's an hour that you're doing something else.) Then they can they go through it at their leisure and also learn why it's good to be organized :).

It may all sound a bit anal, but really you are helping them and you shouldn't be suffering for your kindness.
On the plus side, I have a couple of close family friends who always have very minor problems that I am happy to help out with, and because they like me so much are happy to store a truecrypted backup of my data at their place which makes me feel much better having some backups offsite.

I don't know what the moral of the story is but I think it's along the lines of, "help people if you can without hurting yourself", and "backups, backups, backups!"

April's fool... (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 3 years ago | (#35683102)

...so what is it this time: "your backup didn't really exist after all" ? Best April's Fool evar !

My company already has a backup day, (5, Insightful)

TejWC (758299) | about 3 years ago | (#35683106)

its called "Friday".

Re:My company already has a backup day, (1)

teh dave (1618221) | about 3 years ago | (#35683478)

And what comes after Backup Day?

Re:My company already has a backup day, (1)

syousef (465911) | about 3 years ago | (#35683576)

And what comes after Backup Day?

Back down day?

Re:My company already has a backup day, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684744)

front down night.

Re:My company already has a backup day, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684166)

Friday
Friday
Gotta' back up on Friday

Re:My company already has a backup day, (1)

Lost Race (681080) | about 3 years ago | (#35684930)

Most important systems backup automatically every day, less important systems once a week; other systems with no local documents about once a month; secure off-site media rotation once a month.

National Backup Day? Yawn, whatever. What's next, National Tie Your Shoes Day?

Date disasters (3, Funny)

randizzle3000 (1276900) | about 3 years ago | (#35683224)

"the Slashdot archives bear witness to date disasters"
Of course the they do. This is slashdot.

fucking funny slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683314)

Today was hard driver AIDS day here. I've got a date with RESTORING backups for the next few hours, so I go to take a god damned break and what do I see. "It's National Backup Day!" :/ It got me a laugh

Not enough backups. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683448)

I've said it before and I'll say it again. World backup day should be 0 0 * * 0.

Day Before April 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683564)

is not a coincidence.

And the greatest /. April fools day joke would be to have no April Fools day Jokes. A man can dream

Backin up, cuz my daddy taught me good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683656)

This should be the official theme song for World Backup Day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjYSERaXEGI

I remember.... (1)

mindwhip (894744) | about 3 years ago | (#35683664)

I remember making my first backup... I spent a full weeks worth of lunch money to buy two boxes of 5.25 inch floppy disks and used pkzip's span disk function to backup my entire hard disk... MSDos, Windows 3.1 and all my files...

Re:I remember.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684654)

That's a lot of pr0n, especially for those days...

Let's see...backups... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683740)

Never used one. I've had 5 or 6 computers that could store data and I'll be honest, I don't recall anything on any of them I've felt a need to save or keep. Heck, I don't even want my own memories.

Can I do the opposite of a backup? I'd like to flush delete everything instead.

How about a delete your old email day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683876)

What backup memo?

World Backup Day site is malware? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684006)

Tried to go there, my employer's web filter blocked it as "potentially damaging content."

Linus Torvalds said (2)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 3 years ago | (#35684016)

Linus Torvalds said "Real men don't make backups, they just upload it to some FTP site and let everyone else mirror it"

People don't get it (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 3 years ago | (#35684146)

I never used to back up. I had files scattered about, and anything truly important was either on a hard copy, or on a flash drive or my server or email. Any time I moved to a new computer, the old drive was imaged and copied over to the new one.

In fact, I had a legitimately hard time justifying backups until about 2 years ago until I got both a Mac and a 1TB external drive. Before then, I didn't have enough space to "waste", and I couldn't justify buying more when it was so expensive. And backup software was expensive, or junky. OSX's Time Machine function is just stupid-easy - it's literally as simple as selecting a disk. But the main thing is, it's the first time in my life that it's cheap and easy to just back up everything - for less than $100 you can get a drive that will hold every version of everything on your disk. I have incremental backups back through January 2010. I've never had to use it, but I've helped others - pop the CD in and hook up the drive, and a few hours later you're set. I understand that there's similar tools for Windows and OSX as well, so it's not a fanboi thing. I've also heard great things about Dropbox.

I'm thanking my lucky stars that I didn't need to lose my data to learn my lesson. I know too many people who lost *everything* and were completely screwed. Funny thing is, people don't realize how important backups are until they need them - and by then, it's too late.

A day late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684160)

I live in New Zealand, so this article is a day late, you insensite clod!
Now I'll have to wait an entire year to do a backup...

Backups (1)

Shadyman (939863) | about 3 years ago | (#35684518)

World Backup Day immediately precedes April Fools Day... Is someone going around deleting files in the office again? (That or maybe it's the large number of April 1st-activated virii/worms/whatnot, IE Conficker?)

Backup vs Archive (2)

joeyadams (1724334) | about 3 years ago | (#35684538)

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: the fundamental theorem of backups is:

Backups != Archives

When you create a backup (as opposed to an archive), do not rely on the backup to hold files you don't currently need. If you do, you'll amass several "backups" that you can't get rid of because they contain files you might need. Instead, put files you're tired of looking at in an *archive*.

This definition of "backup" implies that it is almost completely safe to destroy an old backup to make room for a new one. Or, better yet:

(cd "$HOME"; rsync -av --exclude-from="$HOME/list-of-huge-files" "$HOME" "/media/backup-disk/homedir")

All wrong (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 years ago | (#35684606)

"Today is World Backup Day, an occasion to back up your PORN and check on your significant other (for the first time in six months) [while you wait all day for the backup to finish].

There, fixed it for you.

http://www.swarovski-outlet.com (1)

nancy110 (2011906) | about 3 years ago | (#35684704)

As the professional Swarovski online store offers quality Swarovski crystals and Swarovski beads at discount prices. Swarovski Crystal is one of the most recognized brand of crystals in the world today. Swarovski crystals have made appearances in all pieces of jewelry imaginable, including necklaces and pendants, earrings, rings, Swarovski beads, these fine components will create your own jewellery designs.Welcome to our website,you will get a surprise.http://www.swarovski-outlet.com

Maybe I should make a backup... (1)

jdpars (1480913) | about 3 years ago | (#35684988)

I had a hard drive failure scare about 10 minutes after reading this article. I'm definitely backing up my data NOW.
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