Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lots of Blank Discs!

I have lots of blank media. CDs, ZIP disks, floppies... they are now hardly ever used to store the masses of data I have on my sizable home network.

But let's fact it... using CDs and DVDs, ZIP disks and floppies to back up data is just painfully slow and involves me sitting in front of the computers just swapping media around periodically, and that straps me to my desk more often than I would like. So to save myself from the trauma of backing up, I have bought a few external hard drives, and either got .Mac Backup 3 or Time Machine on Mac OS X Leopard to do the backing up for me (or, for Windows Vista, I just the standard Windows Backup and Restore tools that come with Windows Vista Business). So far so good!

Before the arrival of Mac OS X Leopard, Backup 3 was all the tool that I had to back up my data. The good thing about Backup 3 is that it can span backups across multiple CDs or DVDs, for which no other Apple-provided backup solution offered.

I still use Backup 3 for that very reason... to copy items from my systems onto [multiple] CDs. It has become a way to actually offload my data so as to conserve hard drive space for the stuff I no longer want lying around.

Time Machine has now taken over most of the backup chores. But for the moment, it only serves to back up one of a number of machines on my home network, because none of the external disks I have are Time Capsules, and Time Machine does not support backing up to other kinds of remote disks; the other machines network to my machine that is backed up by Time Machine in order to do what they have to do on a daily basis.

Which has introduced a new problem... I have managed to collect a stash of blank rewritable CDs and DVDs, ZIP disks and floppies! What do I do with all these discs?!

The ZIP and floppy disks are not so much of a problem, because I still have an old-enough machine that can use these disks for when I want to back up or offload data to them. The veteran Power Macintosh 7500 running Mac OS 9 is not a machine that sees daily use, so regularly backing up is of no concern.

But as for the CDs and DVDs, the hard disks I bought for my workhorse computer system have taken over the role of backup repository, making these blank discs more worthless than I ever anticipated.

The only thing I can think of as a reason to keep these discs is as a backup scenario for when a hard drive dies. But more likely, these discs will end up becoming unusable before such time comes, since optical discs don't keep forever in storage.


—tonza

Labels: , ,