by Ara T. Howard

I lunched a machine today.

Worked until nearly 2am, machine humming warmly, and got up to a slow unresponsive box.

Disk shattered into bits.

http://dojo4.com is under the gun on many projects this month so, of course, it makes sense that some machines would decide to quit the ghost today.... #feck.

Every time I recover a blown machine it gets easier, and today was no exception:

Since the last boxen meltdown I've worked hard to get most of my data into the cloud.

So I was happy to have very little to fret about after realizing the Apple Store was going to take a full 72 hours to order a disk for my end-of-life 17". Rather, I just dropped 4k on a blazing fast new 15" MBP and launched into recovery...

Here is a brief outline of my current backup strategy, mixed with some thoughts about how managing data is changing fast:

  • apps are managing your data more than ever. use this to your advantage.

  • full-on backups are stupid. you need to be selective to restore fast. this takes brain power. what is faster to restore after a crash vs re-install? what's simpler to re-install vs. re-configure? hint: data not code and configuration.

  • operating systems move faster than your backup software: you should only be backing up data and not configuration or, worse, binary information. dot files are an exception of course!

  • google is king for email, contacts, and cal. drop any other solutions.

  • use git for you codez. don't back it up. move on.

  • use things.app or something cloud based for your productivy. non-syncing todo lists are dead.

  • owning music is an old fashioned idea. use rdio, sspotify, or as a last resort iCloud. but definitely make sure that you have no reason to backup your music.

  • pictures are a bitch. this is an RFP for suggestions.

  • movies. movies shouldn't be on a devleopers box. there, i said it.

  • dropbox. use this for everything else and eschew your operating system's silly built-in mechanisms.


1) use clould based applications

2) owning music and movies is a silly concept. leave it.

3) put everything else into dropbox