03 March 2006


I often lecture my friends and family about the importance of backing up one's computer data... but I myself haven't backed up any of my computers for a while. Enough with not preaching what I teach!

Some time ago I backed up a major portion of my iMac using Apple Backup 1.x or 2.x. One big annoyance with backing up while logged in is that certain files cannot be accessed and the backup job pause with the error.

Yesterday, I booted up the iMac in target mode. That means holding down the letter T while booting up. The iMac became just a device on the FireWire link. Hook up the FireWire cable to the PowerBook Aluminum and I could see the iMac as just an external hard drive. Even my LaCie external hard drive was mounted on the PB Al desktop. Launched Apple Backup 3.1 and off went the backup job - 100+ CDs or 12 DVDs to hold all that data. I went the DVD route of course. Each disc took some time to burn and I had to leave the job running over night for disc #10 - it was just that it was already near 1 a.m. This morning I started disc #11 but had to go to work. When I came home, it was time for #12 to get started. How nice of computers, they just sat there and wait without any complaining.

Now I have a set of 12 backup discs. Should anything happen to the iMac, I have the whole computer on backup. There was some errors in Backup log but I suspect it is related to volatile files, such as temporary files in the var directory. I should learn more about Unix file system...

Next thing to do is to backup the PB Al the same way. I am even thinking about making a copy of the whole set for the PB and send it to my sister in St. Louis. Hey, no point of keeping a backup only in the same house.

Some day if I feel rich I may give those double-layered DVDs a shot. Wow, 8 GB of space to spare. But then again, they cost dang too much. Isn't it something like $5 a pop?

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