Alcides Fonseca

40.197958, -8.408312

Thank your family with Backups

It’s thanksgiving time in the US and we’re nearing Xmas time in many other places. I would recommend setting up backups for your loved ones as a wonderful and thoughtful gift.

Last month I had to deal with the loss of a relative’s entire photo library. She copied all the loose photos in ~/Pictures to Apple Photo’s (and therefore to ~/Pictures/Photos.photolibrary/) and, once she was done, she selected everything inside the Pictures folder, and deleted them. And to be sure, she also emptied her trashcan.

Because I hadn’t set up a backup for this particular machine, I had to spend two weekends recovering all deleted photos among many trash lost in the remains of the HDD. For this purpose, I recommend Disk Drill.

As for Backups, I really recommend Backblaze, as it automatically backups all files to their cloud. You have optional encryption (which I don’t use, so I can access the file explorer on their website, to do selective backups). It’s a solution for non-technical folks that happens in the background with no need for user action. They might need your help to do a restore, but that’s very acceptable in my opinion. It has saved me several times for my own laptop.

If you are using this for a more technical use, you should be aware that by default, it does not back up large files like virtual machines or disk images. You should change this in the settings. Having said this, I also keep one time machine in an external disk, and another one in my NAS.