1718: "Backups"

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1718: "Backups"

Postby thunk » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:32 pm UTC

Image

(alt-text) Maybe you should keep FEWER backups; it sounds like throwing away everything you've done and starting from scratch might not be the worst idea.

I think that's what I do. Sure, backup the super-important stuff, but give your computer a clean slate every now and again.
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:47 pm UTC

thunk wrote:
I think that's what I do. Sure, backup the super-important stuff, but give your computer a clean slate every now and again.


nooooo! If you delete the copies on your computer, then the "backups" are not backups. They're the only existing copy. If you want to wipe your PC (god knows why...) then you need to make two backups on separate media.
Sorry for introducing reality into an XKCD comments thread. :oops:


I actually just wanted to say the infinite loop depicted here reminds me of the hell that is Msoft Excel: "Error: there is a circular reference."
Gee, thanks, Msoft coders. Don't bother identifying any of the involved cells when you post that warning.
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:48 pm UTC

thunk wrote:...but give your computer a clean slate every now and again.
My computer seems to do that automatically.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Echo244 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:50 pm UTC

...which is a good thing, as it prevents this sort of horrific discovery... ;-P
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby HES » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:05 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:nooooo! If you delete the copies on your computer, then the "backups" are not backups.

Sure, but how important actually is that data? Do you need ten-year-old homework assignments? Four thousand photos from a trip seven holidays ago? Repair files for two operating systems ago? Music ripped from a CD that is now available on every streaming service anyway?

We don't need half the shit we keep.
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:22 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:I actually just wanted to say the infinite loop depicted here reminds me of the hell that is Msoft Excel: "Error: there is a circular reference."
Gee, thanks, Msoft coders. Don't bother identifying any of the involved cells when you post that warning.


Uh... Formulas -> Error Checking -> Circular References

Image
Last edited by Whizbang on Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:44 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Echo244 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:31 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Uh... Formulas -> Error Checking -> Circular References


Circular References needs a Formulas submenu.
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:39 pm UTC

HES wrote:We don't need half the shit we keep.
True, but we don't know which half that is.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby orthogon » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:43 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
cellocgw wrote:
thunk wrote:I actually just wanted to say the infinite loop depicted here reminds me of the hell that is Msoft Excel: "Error: there is a circular reference."
Gee, thanks, Msoft coders. Don't bother identifying any of the involved cells when you post that warning.


Uh... Formulas -> Error Checking -> Circular References

Image

I like how there's "Error checking..." under "Error checking". That's classic Microsoft. It would have been a better joke if you click on "circular references" and it opens another menu with an item "circular references" and so on...
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby HES » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:07 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
HES wrote:We don't need half the shit we keep.
True, but we don't know which half that is.

Jose

So get rid of both, just to be sure :wink:
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:47 pm UTC

HES wrote:
ucim wrote:
HES wrote:We don't need half the shit we keep.
True, but we don't know which half that is.

Jose

So get rid of both, just to be sure :wink:


Hey, it's all binary data. Delete the zeros and keep the ones.
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Bounty » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:51 pm UTC

HES wrote:Sure, but how important actually is that data? Music ripped from a CD that is now available on every streaming service anyway?


Last Christmas, at the request of Disney, Amazon went into the accounts of every user and REMOVED their purchased copies of Prep and Landing until after the 1st of the year. Because you don't *OWN* streaming content, you LEASE it under the DMCA, and the creator has the right to remove it from you at any time with or without notice and with or without compensation.

And even just having a ripped version isn't sufficient now. Apple's ToS includes permission to remove music from your PC which you ripped from a CD, and then refuse to give you access to it when you stop paying for their service.

Offline backups, hard copies. These are your only options if you don't wish to pledge your soul to the Zaibatsu.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Solra Bizna » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:08 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:nooooo! If you delete the copies on your computer, then the "backups" are not backups. They're the only existing copy. If you want to wipe your PC (god knows why...) then you need to make two backups on separate media.


About eight years ago, my backup disk failed. I had a replacement on-hand and immediately started a new backup process. During this under-an-hour window, one of the hard disks I was backing up failed. Among other important data, I lost the only complete copy of two months' programming. The project never recovered.

Moral of the story: Double failure is likelier than you think. Keep two backups. If you can afford it, keep three. Few people will ever say to themselves, "If only I'd kept fewer backups!"

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:23 pm UTC

I use data compression to make things easier. I keep a single 1 and a single 0, from which all data can be reconstructed. I have backed up my 1 in seven places. Zeros don't need to be backed up though, there are plenty of them in congress.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby speising » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:38 pm UTC

Solra Bizna wrote:
cellocgw wrote:nooooo! If you delete the copies on your computer, then the "backups" are not backups. They're the only existing copy. If you want to wipe your PC (god knows why...) then you need to make two backups on separate media.


About eight years ago, my backup disk failed. I had a replacement on-hand and immediately started a new backup process. During this under-an-hour window, one of the hard disks I was backing up failed. Among other important data, I lost the only complete copy of two months' programming. The project never recovered.

Moral of the story: Double failure is likelier than you think. Keep two backups. If you can afford it, keep three. Few people will ever say to themselves, "If only I'd kept fewer backups!"

You should have multiple generations of backup anyway, in case some corrupted files make it into the backups.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:57 pm UTC

There's data, there's data, then there data, and then there's data.

Some of it you clean out once a minute, some you back up once, and some you back up multiple times and keep forever.

Though I think finite copies are enough for any data.

And the thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems, so I would expect Cue-balls setup to blow up in new and exciting ways.
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:21 pm UTC

speising wrote:You should have multiple generations of backup anyway, in case some corrupted files make it into the backups.
I was going to say similar.

Does nobody know and/or use the phrase "Grandfather, Father, Son", any more, to encompass both roll-backs and the possibility of media loss? (And that was when media was expensive.)

The only problem with it, these days, is that without a lot of Data Discipline, it's easiest to maintain "Great-Grandfather, Grandfather, Father, Uncle, Son, Cousin, Nephew, Daughter-in-law, That Guy Who Sleeps On The Sofa" and just hope that when things go wrong with the 'active' copy, the rest of the household hasn't died in their sleep already.

(I really need to go through my own multitudinous data stores and rationalise what isn't irrecoverable. I don't trust CD-RWs to last more than a year on a (dark, thermally stable) shelf, yet I've still got loads of decade-old grandfathers on them still to check and thoroughly bytecompare... Never mind the floppies that I keep on finding, still.)

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Justin Lardinois » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:27 pm UTC

speising wrote:
Solra Bizna wrote:
cellocgw wrote:nooooo! If you delete the copies on your computer, then the "backups" are not backups. They're the only existing copy. If you want to wipe your PC (god knows why...) then you need to make two backups on separate media.


About eight years ago, my backup disk failed. I had a replacement on-hand and immediately started a new backup process. During this under-an-hour window, one of the hard disks I was backing up failed. Among other important data, I lost the only complete copy of two months' programming. The project never recovered.

Moral of the story: Double failure is likelier than you think. Keep two backups. If you can afford it, keep three. Few people will ever say to themselves, "If only I'd kept fewer backups!"

You should have multiple generations of backup anyway, in case some corrupted files make it into the backups.


Definitely. I manually copy all of my important files to two hard drives that are used only for that purpose, in folders named with the current date. I don't delete old folders until I need to clear space on the drive.

When I'm not creating or restoring from a backup, the drives are disconnected and kept in a drawer, so mechanical wear and malware are much less of a concern than they would be if the drives were live all the time.

Of course, I should probably keep a backup elsewhere in case my house burns down. Maybe an encrypted drive I keep in my desk at work, or in my car? Not perfect, but better than nothing.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:52 pm UTC

Justin Lardinois wrote:
speising wrote:
Solra Bizna wrote:
cellocgw wrote:nooooo! If you delete the copies on your computer, then the "backups" are not backups. They're the only existing copy. If you want to wipe your PC (god knows why...) then you need to make two backups on separate media.


About eight years ago, my backup disk failed. I had a replacement on-hand and immediately started a new backup process. During this under-an-hour window, one of the hard disks I was backing up failed. Among other important data, I lost the only complete copy of two months' programming. The project never recovered.

Moral of the story: Double failure is likelier than you think. Keep two backups. If you can afford it, keep three. Few people will ever say to themselves, "If only I'd kept fewer backups!"

You should have multiple generations of backup anyway, in case some corrupted files make it into the backups.


Definitely. I manually copy all of my important files to two hard drives that are used only for that purpose, in folders named with the current date. I don't delete old folders until I need to clear space on the drive.

When I'm not creating or restoring from a backup, the drives are disconnected and kept in a drawer, so mechanical wear and malware are much less of a concern than they would be if the drives were live all the time.

Of course, I should probably keep a backup elsewhere in case my house burns down. Maybe an encrypted drive I keep in my desk at work, or in my car? Not perfect, but better than nothing.


Actually, we should print out all our files and lay them out on a wooden desktop, photograph them, scan the results, and store that.
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby somitomi » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:16 pm UTC

Justin Lardinois wrote:Of course, I should probably keep a backup elsewhere in case my house burns down. Maybe an encrypted drive I keep in my desk at work, or in my car? Not perfect, but better than nothing.

But what if your house buns down while your car is in the garage?
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:48 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:
Justin Lardinois wrote:Of course, I should probably keep a backup elsewhere in case my house burns down. Maybe an encrypted drive I keep in my desk at work, or in my car? Not perfect, but better than nothing.

But what if your house buns down while your car is in the garage?

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:55 pm UTC

Justin Lardinois wrote:Of course, I should probably keep a backup elsewhere in case my house burns down. Maybe an encrypted drive I keep in my desk at work, or in my car? Not perfect, but better than nothing.

Safe deposit box at your bank.
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby chris857 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:25 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:
Justin Lardinois wrote:Of course, I should probably keep a backup elsewhere in case my house burns down. Maybe an encrypted drive I keep in my desk at work, or in my car? Not perfect, but better than nothing.

But what if your house buns down while your car is in the garage?


Fire resistant box?

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Reecer6 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:46 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Justin Lardinois wrote:Of course, I should probably keep a backup elsewhere in case my house burns down. Maybe an encrypted drive I keep in my desk at work, or in my car? Not perfect, but better than nothing.

Safe deposit box at your bank.

What if a robber breaks in, believes your drive has some actual monetary value, and mistakenly steals it? That's why I store my backups in five separate Swedish banks.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Heimhenge » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:21 pm UTC

chris857 wrote:
somitomi wrote:
Justin Lardinois wrote:Of course, I should probably keep a backup elsewhere in case my house burns down. Maybe an encrypted drive I keep in my desk at work, or in my car? Not perfect, but better than nothing.

But what if your house buns down while your car is in the garage?


Fire resistant box?


Exactly! I have a fireproof safe. That's where I keep my backup drive. The safe is cemented into the floor, the floor is firmly attached to the foundation, and the foundation is firmly attached to the Earth. Unfortunately, I leave that safe open most of the time. :)

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:42 pm UTC

For non-confidential material, cloud-backups seem like a solid option - most people's personal backup schemes will be less robust than a cloud data-center's scheme. Of course, there's always the risk of internet failure, but anything that makes it impossible to recover your cloud-stored data is probably going to make most of it redundant anyway...

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Solra Bizna » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:37 am UTC

I trust cloud services as far as I can throw them.

Which, since they are massless, should actually be quite far. (But isn't.)

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby RogueCynic » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:08 am UTC

Heimhenge wrote:
chris857 wrote:
somitomi wrote:
Justin Lardinois wrote:Of course, I should probably keep a backup elsewhere in case my house burns down. Maybe an encrypted drive I keep in my desk at work, or in my car? Not perfect, but better than nothing.

But what if your house buns down while your car is in the garage?


Fire resistant box?


Exactly! I have a fireproof safe. That's where I keep my backup drive. The safe is cemented into the floor, the floor is firmly attached to the foundation, and the foundation is firmly attached to the Earth. Unfortunately, I leave that safe open most of the time. :)


How does the safe handle the heat? Does it keep the contents safe?
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Eternal Density » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:12 am UTC

Bounty wrote:
HES wrote:Sure, but how important actually is that data? Music ripped from a CD that is now available on every streaming service anyway?


Last Christmas, at the request of Disney, Amazon went into the accounts of every user and REMOVED their purchased copies of Prep and Landing until after the 1st of the year. Because you don't *OWN* streaming content, you LEASE it under the DMCA, and the creator has the right to remove it from you at any time with or without notice and with or without compensation.

And even just having a ripped version isn't sufficient now. Apple's ToS includes permission to remove music from your PC which you ripped from a CD, and then refuse to give you access to it when you stop paying for their service.

Offline backups, hard copies. These are your only options if you don't wish to pledge your soul to the Zaibatsu.

What about music you ripped from vinyl? Asking for a family member.
cellocgw wrote:Actually, we should print out all our files and lay them out on a wooden desktop, photograph them, scan the results, and store that.
I understood that reference!
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby keldor » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:48 am UTC

cellocgw wrote:
Justin Lardinois wrote:
speising wrote:
Solra Bizna wrote:
cellocgw wrote:nooooo! If you delete the copies on your computer, then the "backups" are not backups. They're the only existing copy. If you want to wipe your PC (god knows why...) then you need to make two backups on separate media.


About eight years ago, my backup disk failed. I had a replacement on-hand and immediately started a new backup process. During this under-an-hour window, one of the hard disks I was backing up failed. Among other important data, I lost the only complete copy of two months' programming. The project never recovered.

Moral of the story: Double failure is likelier than you think. Keep two backups. If you can afford it, keep three. Few people will ever say to themselves, "If only I'd kept fewer backups!"

You should have multiple generations of backup anyway, in case some corrupted files make it into the backups.


Definitely. I manually copy all of my important files to two hard drives that are used only for that purpose, in folders named with the current date. I don't delete old folders until I need to clear space on the drive.

When I'm not creating or restoring from a backup, the drives are disconnected and kept in a drawer, so mechanical wear and malware are much less of a concern than they would be if the drives were live all the time.

Of course, I should probably keep a backup elsewhere in case my house burns down. Maybe an encrypted drive I keep in my desk at work, or in my car? Not perfect, but better than nothing.


Actually, we should print out all our files and lay them out on a wooden desktop, photograph them, scan the results, and store that.


I wouldn't be surprised if there was a government agency somewhere that does just this.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby CharonPDX » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:12 am UTC

I once supported log-aggregation software.

It was advised that you *NOT* have it ingest its own log files.

It was furthermore advised that you not leave it in "DEBUG" level logging for very long, because in debug mode, it wrote a log message to its own log file for each log message it collected.

Needless to say, my curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to have it ingest its own log files, while in DEBUG mode. I wasn't totally insane, I made sure this was on a VM test machine, not a hardware box. 100 GB virtual drive. It was full within 2 minutes. Yay exponential growth!

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby MWak » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:45 am UTC

I just commit my hard drive to memory (as in my brain) and carry it with me wherever I go

I'm a computery guy

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby orthogon » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:45 am UTC

Heimhenge wrote:Exactly! I have a fireproof safe. That's where I keep my backup drive. The safe is cemented into the floor, the floor is firmly attached to the foundation, and the foundation is firmly attached to the Earth. Unfortunately, I leave that safe open most of the time. :)

But anyway, the Earth is just floating in space where anybody could grab it.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby aplarsen » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:30 pm UTC

Moore's Law? What about Kryder's Law?

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Geekoid » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:54 pm UTC

aplarsen wrote:Moore's Law? What about Kryder's Law?



Kryder's law isn't really a thing. All it's predictions fail, and it's not based on scient or manufacturing, but marketing. It was a weak attempt for Kryder to get his own "Moore's Law" It's fallen well short of the 40% rate.

On a side note, When was the last time chip density doubled at the same cost? Hint: Longer than 2 years ago.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:50 pm UTC

Reecer6 wrote:What if a robber breaks in, believes your drive has some actual monetary value, and mistakenly steals it? That's why I store my backups in five separate Swedish banks.
...and you're sure you won't forget the bank account numbers because you have them on record on your hard drive.
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby ps.02 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:08 pm UTC

Bruce Schneier doesn't keep backups. Every night he just invents a stream cipher that, when fed endless nulls as ciphertext and his own name as the key, spits out all of his important data.

Occasionally he screws it up and what comes out instead is the complete works of Shakespeare.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:20 pm UTC

... so his name is he entirety of his personal data?
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby somitomi » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:35 pm UTC

ps.02 wrote:Bruce Schneier doesn't keep backups. Every night he just invents a stream cipher that, when fed endless nulls as ciphertext and his own name as the key, spits out all of his important data.

Occasionally he screws it up and what comes out instead is the complete works of Shakespeare.

I have a backup of everything stored somewhere around the 1042th digit of pi, and also a backup of the exact index somewhere else in there.
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Wee Red Bird
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Re: 1718: "Backups"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:26 pm UTC

RogueCynic wrote:How does the safe handle the heat? Does it keep the contents safe?

Fire safes are usually rated at being able to survive heat for a number of hours. They are made of a material that slows down the propagation of heat from the outside to the inside.


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