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Coppola Loses All His Data

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the no-questions-asked dept.

Data Storage 266

Colin Smith writes in with an object lesson in backup methodology — once you have backed everything up, take it somewhere else. "Film director Francis Ford Coppola has appealed for the return of his computer backup device following a robbery at his house in Argentina on Wednesday. He told Argentine broadcaster Todo Noticias he had lost 15 years' worth of data, including writing and photographs of his family."

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don't worry, check emule (5, Funny)

randuev (1032770) | about 7 years ago | (#20799467)

Don't worry, mate, It will be backed up very solid quite soon :) You will never lose it again. It will be as safe as it could be. (Unless you'll decide to purchase it and keep it private, of course)

Developers, Developers, Developers! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799581)

I LOVE STEVE BALLMER! HE IS SO HOT!
I jerk off to sweaty Steve Ballmer running around screaming "Developers, Developers, Developers!"
This is while I am waiting for Visual Studio .NET to load.

I want Steve Ballmer to tie me up and throw chairs at me while fucking my gay ass.

Steve Ballmer, please fuck me while I scream Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers!

So does this mean ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799469)

He ain't got Jack?

Honestly (4, Funny)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | about 7 years ago | (#20799471)

Why is this news? Someone somewhere didn't back up their data and the hdd was stolen. Happens a lot people, next thing you know we're going to be hearing about how Paris Hilton bought an iPhone and an iGasm.

Re:Honestly (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20800009)

You're missing the point. Someone DID back up their data, but didn't keep it in a separate place from the original and it all got stolen at the same time. No big news, to be sure, but it's a useful cautionary tale.

Re:Honestly (1)

mbone (558574) | about 7 years ago | (#20800247)

I think it's worse than that. This was in Argentina, right ? I do not think that he is a permanent resident of Argentia. He is shooting a movie there.

So, if he really lost years worth of data, he has some sort of backup device that he carries around with him as he travels.

Given the issues with international travel and shipment of goods (unless this device goes handcuffed to an aid like the nuclear football) I frankly am astounded that it didn't occur to him that he needed offsite backups, or that it took so long to suffer a serious loss.

I suspect that there is more to the story... (5, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 7 years ago | (#20800397)

Slashdot story quality is often low; apparently Slasdot editors don't even Google the stories. This is the real story; it was an armed robbery: Coppola Says Robbery Cost Years of Data (AP) [google.com] . This poorly edited story has even more detail: Thieves Steal Francis Ford Coppola's Everything [cinematical.com] .

I suspect that there is more to the story than we know. I suspect that he is more worried about release of information than loss of information. The AP article says he had a backup copy of a screenplay on which he is working.

The moral of the story is: Have proprietary data? Use TrueCrypt [truecrypt.org] . Supports Windows and Linux. As all encryption software must be, it is open source, very mature, and supports both Windows and Linux. Supports encrypted devices and encrypted folders, including hidden folders.

To encrypt a file, use the free open source Gnu Privacy Guard [gnupg.org] .

use a safe & lock (4, Informative)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 7 years ago | (#20800185)

A safe would be a good investment, most are fire proof which is important too.

For a USB back-up unit, get one with a K-slot [wikipedia.org] on it and bolt it to your desk or wall. It will prevent theft in a robbery, a cable lock (the kind with the hoop that bonds permanently is the way to go, stronger than a K-slot). Using a lock on your home system is especially important if you use a laptop, all laptops have a K-slot.

I love my old Powermac, it has a loop for a cable lock and when the loop is in use it prevents the case from being opened too. Some PC cases have that as well, rarely as fancy, but sufficient.

Re:Honestly (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 7 years ago | (#20800275)

No, someone who's computer and backup disks were stolen, as they were stored in the same place.

Re:Honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20800287)

Why is this news? Someone somewhere didn't back up their data and the hdd was stolen. Happens a lot people, next thing you know we're going to be hearing about how Paris Hilton bought an iPhone and an iGasm.

I think someone did back up her amateur porn videos...

Godfather (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799475)

The backup device was taken and in its place was a severed horse's head....

tags: it's not a backup (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799479)

I didn't RTFA, but it's not a "backup". If you lose the backup, you have the original. If you lose the original, you have the backup.

If he's lost the backup, he should still have his original data set.

Re:tags: it's not a backup (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | about 7 years ago | (#20799507)

Unless he was yet to copy it to a new device? He may have trashed his old HD, and bought a new one with the intent to restore the backup contents onto it. Then again, he's an old codger. His 'backup device' may be an old pickup truck, because he only drives in reverse at his age. The data was in the glove compartment.

Re:tags: it's not a backup (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 7 years ago | (#20799569)

I didn't either, but what if BOTH the original and backup are stolen?

Then you suck at backing up. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799987)

Off-site is an important part of any backup plan.

Unless some fanatical group is hunting down your data backups, you should be able to lose a house (fire), lose a building (9/11), lose an entire city (Hurricane Katrina) and your data should be fine. There's practically no excuse for it in 2007, with storage as cheap as it is, and with that new-fangled Interweb technology everyone's talking about.

Re:tags: it's not a backup (2, Informative)

zahl2 (821572) | about 7 years ago | (#20799685)

I read it elsewhere: it was armed robbery, and it sounds like they took the originals too.

Re:tags: it's not a backup (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 7 years ago | (#20800049)

. If you lose the backup, you have the original.

TFA says "computers" were stolen, as well as the "backup device", unspecified.

More than one physical location (2, Informative)

Frans Faase (648933) | about 7 years ago | (#20799487)

Another person who learn the hard way that making backups is not enough, but that you have to store the backups in more than one physical location. I wonder if the thieves will even hear his request, let alone consider to listen to it. Nowadays you can get a 2.5 inch 80 Gbyte harddisk for less than 100 USD. You can easily store this at a location that won't be found by thieves looking for computers. Thieves almost never search children bedrooms or kitchens for these kind of items.

Re:More than one physical location (4, Insightful)

gregbaker (22648) | about 7 years ago | (#20799543)

This still doesn't help in the event of catastrophe: fire, flood, etc. The backup has to go off-site. Some suggestions: parents' house, the office, a friend's.

I keep an up-to-date backup in my office, and drop a DVD or two in a drawer at my parents' every year or so.

Re:More than one physical location (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 7 years ago | (#20799613)

The backup has to go off-site

Yes, every place I have worked this has been standard operating procedure. People like Coppola should be getting advice on that from the people who do their IT. I suspect those IT people spend most of their time advising on what virus scanner to use and how to cut down on spam.

I make a backup to take to work from my home system once a month. My wife doesn't like it. She is afraid of people accessing her stuff, and less worried about the house burning down or the server being stolen. Encyryption doesn't impress her and she is probably right. Its just DRM: the key is stored with the cyphertext or close enough, anyway.

Re:More than one physical location (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 7 years ago | (#20799745)

People like Coppola should be getting advice

Likely a person who knows everything better, can handle everything better and heavily engages in micromanagement — just my bias.

CC.

Re:More than one physical location (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 years ago | (#20800253)

If you use Truecrypt or similar to encrypt the data, then you are quite safe. The key isn't stored anywhere. At least that's my understanding. Use a strong passphrase, and there is probably no way anybody will break the encryption in your lifetime, or even the planet's lifetime.

Re:More than one physical location (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | about 7 years ago | (#20799789)

The backup has to go off-site. Some suggestions: parents' house, the office, a friend's.

That would usually still be in the same city or state, what if the entire city floods (new orleans anyone?) or an entire province like in my country in '53.

For additional paranoia-proof protection the offsite backup needs to be on the opposite side of the planet. If you got family really far away, send them a flashdrive once in a while.

Re:More than one physical location (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 7 years ago | (#20800115)

If you want it to be safe, you should probably take it to them personally or similair.

Re:More than one physical location (4, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | about 7 years ago | (#20800065)

I make video DVDs for friends sometimes. Usually there's a few hundred MB free space, so I stash a backup set -- my email, and other documents mostly -- in a data folder, ignored by players (though of course visible on a PC). I use encrypted RAR archives, their encryption is quite strong and uncracked as far as I know. Also of course on my own DVDs, the latter most likely useful in case of computer failure.

Re:More than one physical location (2, Insightful)

the_doctor_23 (945852) | about 7 years ago | (#20800223)

I use encrypted RAR archives, their encryption is quite strong and uncracked as far as I know.
RAR uses AES-128 in recent (V3.0+) versions, so it is quite strong indeed if the password is complex enough.

Re:More than one physical location (2, Funny)

Esion Modnar (632431) | about 7 years ago | (#20800251)

and drop a DVD or two in a drawer at my parents' every year or so.

Considering what my Mom did with all my porn the last time it was under her control... no.

Re:More than one physical location (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20800307)

Online backup. Brilliant.

Re:More than one physical location (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | about 7 years ago | (#20800373)

The backup has to go off-site. Some suggestions: parents' house, the office, a friend's.
Or his nephew's [wikipedia.org] .

- RG>

Re:More than one physical location (1)

ExploHD (888637) | about 7 years ago | (#20799551)

Thieves almost never search children bedrooms or kitchens for these kind of items.

Those are good places but there are the pitfalls. There are crumbs, oils, soaps and water in the kitchen. In the kids bedroom, I would be horrified if my child showed me how strong his magnets are with the HDD.

Please ignore above poster... (1)

msimm (580077) | about 7 years ago | (#20799565)

For the love of god. When we recommend off-site backups we mean off-site. Thieves are just one issue. Then there are fires, tornadoes, earthquakes and the whole gambit of other natural and man-made disasters. Unfortunately you don't get to choose which one.

Re:More than one physical location (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 7 years ago | (#20799665)

The funny thing is that it appears he brought the backups with him from the his primary residence in the US to his tax^Wsecondary residence in Argentina.

Yes, thieves do (1)

the grace of R'hllor (530051) | about 7 years ago | (#20799673)

In Holland there was a nice program where people could get their house robbed by a formerly professional thief (convicted, sentenced, done his time). It looked fairly realistically done (he didn't loiter, he rushed through the house). Children's bedrooms and kitchens are prime targets, precisely because of your reasoning.

If you want to store something securely, do an off-site backup.

So he got busted? (3, Funny)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | about 7 years ago | (#20799799)

In Holland there was a nice program where people could get their house robbed by a formerly professional thief (convicted, sentenced, done his time).

Not very professional.

Re:So he got busted? (1)

Ed Random (27877) | about 7 years ago | (#20800097)

Not very professional.
You're working under the false assumption that professional == "good at their job" ;-)

Re:More than one physical location (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 7 years ago | (#20799701)

WRONG! Theives take everything!

They know people hide money in childeren's rooms, in toys, under beds, etc. They'll completely trash your room and your children's rooms stealing their toys and everything else they can find.

Store OUTSIDE the same location. (1)

antdude (79039) | about 7 years ago | (#20799933)

Don't store it in the same home/building/area. What if a disaster strike like a fire? Take the backup somewhere else far away. Internet would be good if you can secure the datas. A bank, that you visit, should be safe too.

Re:More than one physical location (1)

quantic_oscillation7 (973678) | about 7 years ago | (#20800337)

lollllllllll...... know they will....at least if they read /.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799489)

This is why having *multiple* backups is a good thing.

Haiku (2, Funny)

fmarkham (1091529) | about 7 years ago | (#20799509)

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

Re:Haiku (1)

Threni (635302) | about 7 years ago | (#20800041)

Four things, actually - bad journalism, especially on Slashdot.

He's not lost all his data - he's lost a copy of all his data. It's like EMI claiming that they've lost all their recordings because someone managed to download them all from their computers.

Theft prevention ideas? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | about 7 years ago | (#20799513)

Anyone have any theft prevention ideas? If someone lives in a high crime area, is there anything that can be done to prevent the easy theft of just picking up and taking a desktop computer?

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | about 7 years ago | (#20799533)

Bolt it to the floor and lock the case panels?

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | about 7 years ago | (#20799585)

That isn't an option for those living in rented areas.

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | about 7 years ago | (#20799607)

You can bolt or chain it to the wall as long as you fill in the holes before you move out. Just make sure that the anchors whatever flavor they may be are sunk into wall studs or they're trivial to rip out.

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | about 7 years ago | (#20799631)

Still, what if that isn't a feasible option?

Would chaining/locking it to a desk work?

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | about 7 years ago | (#20799653)

That's a really good idea, that makes it very cumbersome to move around unless you have the keys to remove said locks.

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | about 7 years ago | (#20799693)

I didn't know they made laptop locks with alarms built onto them. Since my desktop has a metal thing with hole where the case slides, this means if I stick something in it, it would be very difficult to steal. So I could just lock it to my computer desk. It isn't so much about backing up my data, which I do, but preventing data from being stolen.

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 7 years ago | (#20800085)

So I could just lock it to my computer desk. It isn't so much about backing up my data, which I do, but preventing data from being stolen.

Would probably deter a random burglar, desktop PCs have a low resale value anyway. They like laptops. But someone after your data will just use a prybar and crack your lock &/or case. Disk encryption is the only workable option.

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | about 7 years ago | (#20800137)

I guess if I wanted to go the extra mile, if I could rig a way to have a dozen or so airhorns go off if someone tries moving my tower, enough said.

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 7 years ago | (#20800421)

dozen or so airhorns go off if someone tries moving my tower

After you, or you kids/dog, etc had accidentally set that off a half dozen times, you might not think it was such a great idea.

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799571)

Put a Vista sticker on it.

Make it so it's no big deal.... (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 years ago | (#20799597)

The data is a zillion times more valuable than the PC. Figure out the most painless way to backup the data and hide the backup disk somewhere.

And... look! We're back on topic!

I've been thinking of getting one of those hard disks with the network connector on the back. If you combine this with one of those "network across power lines" adapters you could put the hard disk anywhere in the house (attic, basement...) and still access it from your main PC.

For a "high crime area" this seems ideal.

PS: Yes, the chances of him getting his data back is zero. It's a pity he had to learn the hard way....

I go around telling all my friends to back up their data, how important this is, how they could lose 100% their baby/wedding photos in a millisecond, etc. but I know none of them ever do.

Re:Make it so it's no big deal.... (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | about 7 years ago | (#20799621)

Unless you're renting a place, then it becomes more difficult. Plus, the data is back-up. The problem is preventing the theft of the data. Well, making it incredibly difficult to steal the computer itself.

Family photos aren't valuable to a thief... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 years ago | (#20799909)

I don't think theft prevention is the issue for 99.99% of the population.

I think it's more about losing a lifetime of your email/photos/writings/etc., none of which has any value to a thief who's just looking for something to hock.

PS: What difference does renting/not make to my suggestion of hiding a network disk somewhere inaccessible and accessing via the mains wiring?

Re:Family photos aren't valuable to a thief... (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | about 7 years ago | (#20800127)

Sorry. I meant to say, "Unless you're happen to be renting the place." Your idea isn't feasible for renters. I can easily clone my drive over now and then to a spare hard drive, and put that hard drive in another location, or another city. However, I want something to secure my computer tower so no one can steal it and access my data. It isn't so much the data not being replaced, but preventing people from getting ahold of my data. It is a privacy invasion sort of thing.

Re:Make it so it's no big deal.... (2, Insightful)

Ed Random (27877) | about 7 years ago | (#20800121)

I've been thinking of getting one of those hard disks with the network connector on the back. If you combine this with one of those "network across power lines" adapters you could put the hard disk anywhere in the house (attic, basement...) and still access it from your main PC.
This does not protect you from disasters like fire - the data plus backups should not be in the same building. I've got a "garden shed" on my property. Chances are, that it would survive if my house burnt down. Network-over-powerline would be a nice way to get a network connection in there.

However, that scenario still does not protect against things like lightning strikes... Unless you use decent surge protectors etc.

Data protection is not for the faint of heart, and unfortunately not for the average user either.

I've seen good results with Acronis TrueImage, in automatic mode. For "home user" backups, not disaster recovery that is.

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (2, Funny)

Pax00 (266436) | about 7 years ago | (#20799667)

tesla coils and an rfid system to deactive them for friendly people

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799903)

Know Canada's army? That's right. You don't. Because they're at my house. Both of them. Protecting my data. Highly recommended. They go well with vodka.

Re:Theft prevention ideas? (0, Redundant)

Panoptes (1041206) | about 7 years ago | (#20799999)

Sticking a 'Windows Vista' label on it should do the trick.

Step 3 in The Tao of Backup (5, Insightful)

Vainglorious Coward (267452) | about 7 years ago | (#20799531)

Oops. Someone missed the 3rd step in the Tao of Backup : separation [taobackup.com]

That list again in full:

Backup all your data

Backup frequently

Take some backups off-site

Keep some old backups

Test your backups

Secure your backups

Perform integrity checking

And note that it's not necessary to purchase [taobackup.com] anything to achieve backup enlightenment.

Re:Step 3 in The Tao of Backup (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | about 7 years ago | (#20799641)

I do most of my work on Windows. If you use windows, get SyncToy from MS or SyncBack from 2brightsparks.

Both tools are free and work pretty well.

I have a "hidden" PC stashed in a panel behind the entertainment center. I replicate nightly from my desktop to the media center. Weekly, I replicate from the media center to a portable USB drive. On Mondays, the USB drive goes to the office with me and stays there till Friday.

Backups are not hard. Just set up a good, automatic tool and do occasional checks for integrity.

I've looked into RSYNC to an off-site server. Places like UnixShell provide virtual root machines for pretty cheap. However, the pain of making RSYNC work in WinXP steers me away. I did a "screencast" for using SyncBack and a portable USB drive for my family. It's so simple that mom can do it.

The *really* hard part of backups is getting people to organize their data. Mom, keeping everything on the Desktop is not an acceptable solution...

Re:Step 3 in The Tao of Backup (1)

renoX (11677) | about 7 years ago | (#20799739)

>The *really* hard part of backups is getting people to organize their data. Mom, keeping everything on the Desktop is not an acceptable solution...

Well, why don't you backup the desktop?

Re:Step 3 in The Tao of Backup (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | about 7 years ago | (#20799813)

Well, the main problem is that Windows has trouble backing up files in use. If a user is logged-in, a backup of "Documents and Settings" will usually fail.

At the very least, a Windows user should use the desktop for working files and My Documents for storage.

If it's a multi-user system, it's better to keep a separate folder for stuff you want to keep.

Re:Step 3 in The Tao of Backup (1)

DangerousDriver (752795) | about 7 years ago | (#20799901)

Hmm... ntbackup / volume shadow copy service ? > If a user is logged-in, a backup of "Documents and Settings" will usually fail

Re:Step 3 in The Tao of Backup (1)

rvw (755107) | about 7 years ago | (#20800083)

Weekly, I replicate from the media center to a portable USB drive. On Mondays, the USB drive goes to the office with me and stays there till Friday.
That still leaves two days of the week that your backup is not offsite. I recommend that you buy a second USB drive. Every Monday you bring a new backup to the office, and every Friday you bring the oldest backup home. That way you have during the week two backups offsite, and during the weekends the most recent. The investment is low, and there is no extra work involved in the backup scheme.

Thanks for the handy mnemonic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799765)

That list again in full:

Backup all your data

Backup frequently

Take some backups off-site

Keep some old backups

Test your backups

Secure your backups

Perform integrity checking

Otherwise known as the easy-to-remember "BBTKTSP" list...

Re:Thanks for the handy mnemonic... (1)

Vainglorious Coward (267452) | about 7 years ago | (#20799823)

Hmmm. Better might be :

backup All your data ; backup Frequently ; take some backups Off-site ; Keep some old backups ; Test your backups ; Secure your backups ; perform Integrity checking

I'm struggling to make AFOKTSI memorable. A-fockt-si? Sounds east-European for something I'd rather not hear more about.

HAND. HIBT?

Re:Step 3 in The Tao of Backup (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 7 years ago | (#20800133)

If people really understood these things, they would use documented document formats.

Not MS Office.

Backup to slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799549)

If you post all your data to slashdot then it will be safely archived.
If you somehow do not get modded offtopic and you'll also be google cached for extra security.

Safe deposit box (2, Insightful)

KC1P (907742) | about 7 years ago | (#20799555)

Safe deposit boxes are a really good deal. Mine costs something like $20 per year, and every time I'm going to the bank anyway I just bring an optical disk with all my vital stuff and swap it with the one that's there. Now the trick is not losing the key to the deposit box in the fire/flood/etc. that presumably destroyed all my other backups at home.

Re:Safe deposit box (1)

Fizzl (209397) | about 7 years ago | (#20799889)

Yup same here. All my data in a deposit box in a bank vault. Costs couple of euros per month. Less than a pint of beer.
I haven't yet filled my box. I don't regularly deposit my backups as accessing the box requires procedures to which I don't have time every day.
Anyway, whenever I feel like visiting the box I burn DVD's of all my personal data from my laptops/desktops, and finally one from my server with public data, database and configuration. I just toss this DVD set on top of the pile at the box.
If I ever run out of space at the box, I think I'll just trash them all, keeping the oldest set and depositing the oldest one to my "precious memories" box.

Obligatory Penny Arcade link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799573)

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/08/10 [penny-arcade.com]

That said, it's really sad when someone loses data, even if it's their own fault for not making backups.

Re:Obligatory Penny Arcade link (2, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | about 7 years ago | (#20800161)

agreed, yet some bastard still tagged it as haha. seriously, what the hell is wrong with some jerks?

Personal data? (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | about 7 years ago | (#20799587)

Encrypt and store all software (OS and encryption program) with it so you can recover it as well :) Hell even keep a computer that can run this OS 15 years later too :)

Hard lesson (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | about 7 years ago | (#20799657)

I'm just a poor working stiff but I have easily 500+ CD and DVD backups going back 8+ years and some of those have data going going back to old 5 1/4" back ups. These days I also have multiple hard drive back up so there's a lot of redundancy. I'm planning to start a process of regularly archiving hard drives in a bank safety deposit box. With his kind of money hire some one to come in at least once a month to do back ups if you can't be bothered. Better yet set up a home network with the server in a safe. A home level server can be quite small and it'd be easy enough to make it tough for your average thief to get your data. It could also give you some fire protection as well. Also since he has a California home why on earth didn't he have a computer there with duplicate files? Did he have his life on a notebook computer? Blow a couple of hundred and hire a consultant and they'll make recommendations if you really are this clueless about computers. The guy's an editor and knows cameras so it's not like he's completely none tech.

Re:Hard lesson (1)

mbone (558574) | about 7 years ago | (#20800363)

I hope you have a process to regularly rewrite those CDs and DVDs, otherwise you probably will find you have a nice collection of coasters, should you ever need the data.

On the plus side... (1)

gowen (141411) | about 7 years ago | (#20799659)

The thief also took the master copies of "Godfather III" and that appalling schmaltzfest section of "New York Stories". Movie lovers are presently in negotiation for those not to be returned.

One should have at least THREE copies of data (2, Insightful)

Ron Bennett (14590) | about 7 years ago | (#20799755)

One should always have at least the bare minimum of three copies of their data whenever possible with at least one of the copies *always* located off-site ...

1. The HD in the computer

2. Backup device #1 that's intended for the next backup stored locally or off-site

3. Backup device #2 that's intended for the backup *after the next one* stored off-site

If one only has two copies, which is common, the problem is if the backup fails for whatever reason, then one can suddenly end up with messed up data on their HD *and* on the backup device too ... in essance leaving *no* valid backup at all.

The key to avoiding that problem is doing backups in rotation where at least one copy (ideally even more than one) is always off-site during the actual backup operation ... this shuld be obvious to folks in IT ... yet often this basic precaution is neglected, especially by laypeople, due to ignorance, economy, laziness, etc.

Ron

IT is cool in Hollywood (1)

robbiedo (553308) | about 7 years ago | (#20799763)

All over Hollywood, all the players are now rapidly adding IT guru to their Rolodex. IT geeks will be hotter than personal trainers, personal chefs, and handbag doggies.Backing up and securing your data will be the next trendy thing. Gucci diamond encrusted USB keychain drives will become the newest fashion statement.

nothing funny about it (5, Insightful)

CranberryKing (776846) | about 7 years ago | (#20799815)

I can't believe this was tagged with haha. Why is it funny when non-techsavvy people lose all their valuable data? It's not funny. It's terrible. As techies, we should be educating & empowering people, not isolating them.

Re:nothing funny about it (1)

Plutonite (999141) | about 7 years ago | (#20800345)

Well, it's pretty stupid to have 15 years of memories on a single medium of storage (or "thing" since we're being nice to non-techies). Don't put your whole life on a "thing". Things break, and get orange juice spilled over them, and stolen by mafia like the ones you make movies about. EVERYBODY knows that. I have many non-geek friends who have 2 or 3 copies of their photos..etc because they know the world of IT is pretty much in it's infancy, so a world-renown director should really know enough about life not to put so much in one place. I do feel sorry for his loss, but he should probably cheer up because I've already found it here I think:

www.thepiratebay.org

He then received a package... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20799817)

...which was a transistor wrapped up in a newspaper, along with a note that said, "Maxtor sleeps with the fishes".

There is not a good backup solution (5, Insightful)

LS (57954) | about 7 years ago | (#20799819)

When losing the sole copy of data, everyone always laughs and says you should have backed up. People, shut up please. That is a fair criticism to an IT or development professional, but not to an average computer user. While average users do know that data loss can occur and will often backup important files to a CD or DVD, there is no standard and easy way for users to backup ALL their important data, do it at regular intervals, test it, an distribute it geographically. Much of this process must be automated. Also, either the quality of media needs to go up, or specifically designed backup-grade hard drives and media need to be developed and released, because the current crop of equipment is pretty unreliable.

Are people expected to keep a second car around if their main one fails? Are people expected to perform regular scheduled maintenance on their cars themselves? No, because it is too complex and troublesome for the average users.

I've reviewed several backup applications and services, and none of them would pass the "mom" easy of use test. I believe there is a potential market for a robust comprehensive backup system...

LS

Re:There is not a good backup solution (2, Insightful)

ditoa (952847) | about 7 years ago | (#20800129)

If the user knows how to check their email then they should be able to master an application such as Mozy from http://mozy.com/ [mozy.com] . If they still can't get their head around such a simple app as Mozy they should do like they do with their car maintenance and out source it to a local IT company/person.

Re:There is not a good backup solution (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 7 years ago | (#20800163)

there is no standard and easy way for users to backup ALL their important data

TFA says Coppolla lost a "backup device" (portable hard disk?) as well as all his PCs. So he did probably have an automated backup, but failed to make the relatively (compared to setting up his backup, which he had already done) trivial final step of making a copy of that (in whatever medium) and getting it offsite.

Re:There is not a good backup solution (1)

pacman on prozac (448607) | about 7 years ago | (#20800365)

What are the options for home users to backup tens or hundreds of gigs of data offsite?

The only reasonably priced one I can see is buying two external hard disks, keep one offsite and fetch it home each time you make a backup.

Re:There is not a good backup solution (1)

kklein (900361) | about 7 years ago | (#20800289)

SyncBack for Windows, ChronoSync for Mac!

Got my mom using the former. You can automate it. It goes to a NAS in a storage room in another part of the house.

I'm not too concerned about thieves where they live, though.

Here at home, it gives me pause. Keeping all my personal data on a drive at the office, however, really doesn't sound prudent to me...

Re:There is not a good backup solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20800309)

Mozy [mozy.com] is potentially what you're looking for. Once you tell it what to backup it stays in the background and monitors the filesystem automatically, requiring no effort on the user's part. A free account gives you 2GB of storage.

Re:There is not a good backup solution (1)

Secrity (742221) | about 7 years ago | (#20800353)

I find it funny. The only reason it wouldn't have been his own fault would be if he had hired somebody to make sure that his important data was properly backed up and archived.

The guy obviously knew that his data was important to him and likely to be of monetary value, he also has the financial means to get competent IT assistance in setting up a backup strategy.

There is also the PHYSICAL security aspect -- which was obviously inadequate.

I guess it's 'Apocalypse Now' (1)

deniable (76198) | about 7 years ago | (#20799829)

He'll receive an offer from The Godfather he can't refuse.

In reality I expect some moron who doesn't know jack will end up selling it to get high.

use a memory stick (2, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | about 7 years ago | (#20799941)

Memory sticks have gotten to be large enough that I can keep a backup of my most important and changeable data in my pocket. They aren't large enough for audio and image files, but they hold a fantastic amount of compressed text. Burglars won't get it because it isn't at home, and it isn't very likely to be damaged in a natural disaster either.

Re:use a memory stick (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 7 years ago | (#20800221)

People do get caught in natural disasters.

You could too.

Cheap webhosting account = 1TB of remote backup (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | about 7 years ago | (#20799977)

The last time I checked Dreamhost's prices, it was $20/month for 1 TB of disk space. At this point, I believe you are primarily limited by the upload speed of your Internet connection as far as how much data you're able to actually backup off-site to your webhosting account. I left an external USB hard drive (with my backups) at work over the weekend, uploading to the webhosting account. Cheap and easy backup solution.

Re:Cheap webhosting account = 1TB of remote backup (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | about 7 years ago | (#20800039)

The problem with web hosting for backups is two-fold. First is you are trusting your web host with your data - are they going to look after it, protect the files you don't want private, etc. Who is to say that they won't suddenly remove .htaccess support (for example) and all of your private data that was once protected by a mere password is now available to all who stumble along.

Like most of us I keep a lot of things that I don't want to lose and a lot of things that I don't want to share; nothing really risque or illegal but I don't fancy sharing the family photos or anything along that line with the world.

I keep an 80G usb hard disk in my laptop computer bag. I plug it in every few days and rsync a subset of important things to it. The plus is that it's "hot" so I can recover from stupid mistakes like deleting the wrong file. Its not ideal but it keeps my data with me at all times - I'm never more than a meter from my laptop bag.

I don't generally like USB hard disks. Many have flaky chipsets in them and seem to crash if you copy too much data in one session to them, leaving you with a borked backup and possibly requring a reboot to get the USB stack back to operational.

I'm currently looking at 40 or 80G tapes so I can back up all of my data rather than the subset I currently back up. The cost of tape drives is prohibitive though.

Re:Cheap webhosting account = 1TB of remote backup (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 7 years ago | (#20800201)

you are primarily limited by the upload speed

Coppolla is a movie producer; and he was in Argentina. Thus massive amounts of data, and probabz\ly an expensive and/or unreliable connection.

What if a computer store loses your data? (1)

netbuzz (955038) | about 7 years ago | (#20800025)

This case changes the Coppola scenario somewhat in that instead of a thief the data is lost to a careless computer store employee who discards a customer's old drive instead of copying it to the PC the customer just bought. Customer had no backup. Debate at Network World has found little (although some) support/sympathy for the customer; most say it's his fault and absolve the store of responsibility. Harsh? http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/19742 [networkworld.com]

It's not a backup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20800131)

It's not a backup if it's the only copy of your data.

The lesson is, make a backup!

The First Rule (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 7 years ago | (#20800257)

Back up or fuck up.

spend a Coppola $$$ on external drives.... (1)

Qwrk (760868) | about 7 years ago | (#20800367)

With all these film makers going digital it can't be too costly to invest in some external drives, no can it? There's 500gig drives to be had for a wee $100 so what's the caper here? Backup onto a smart little box, several times over, have some off site as well and the problem is solved. These are high tech industries so am I mistaken when I may expect a director of this stature to have some people in his inner circle taht'd be able to advise him on this?
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