I am about to start a busy fall travel season. I leave for Paris this weekend, then an long series of little trips until mid November. One of my great concerns when I'm on the road is that my laptop will crater. I'm not worried about the machine so much, laptops come and go for photographers, we are hard on them. My concern is that I'll be stuck without some way to recover my data if the macbook augers in.There are 2 things that I use to make my life -a little- more secure.
The free one is file sharing by Drop Box. This service gives me a few gigs of storage space on their server. Their ap makes the files show up in the finder just like any other folder and synchs the folders across all my computers. So when I put my Annenburg slideshow into my shared folder in my office, it shows up on my laptop. Changes I make on the laptop show up in the office. If the laptop dies on the way to LA no worries, I can log in to the Drop Box website and download the lecture.
The first few gigs are free. If you need more space for a reasonable fee they will give you as much as you need. Sign up here.
The second one is my new Mac Mini server. This is the full strength Mac Snow Leopard server running on a mac mini. It will run mail, shared calendars, shared address books, host websites, host chat, yes all those things that Google does for free. So why did I spend a thousand bucks on one? It runs Time Machine Backup over a network.
WIth a 6 Terabyte Drobo drive plugged into the server I can now back up the work stations in the office and my laptop over the network. In the office or on the road my laptop is backed up anytime I have an internet connection. It isn't a fast backup over the internet, but it is a backup. Now if the laptop dies, or goes missing I can import all my existing files from the Time Machine backup to a replacement laptop. Broken computers are part of life. It makes sense to plan for them going down.