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Data Storage IT Idle

It's World Backup Day 135

1sockchuck writes "Today is World Backup Day, an occasion to back up your personal data and financial information and check your restores. For those needing motivation — a group that apparently includes 15 percent of data centers — the Slashdot archives bear witness to date disasters at providers small (Ma.gnolia) and large (Microsoft). The World Backup Day initiative grew out of a thread at Reddit, and invites online backup services to observe the occasion by offering discounts."
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It's World Backup Day

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  • by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @05:22PM (#35682888)

    We can just restore the world from the backup.

  • by line-bundle ( 235965 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @05:23PM (#35682896) Homepage Journal

    To make sure the tire treads really stick?

  • It's gonna take me ~weeks~ to duplicate all those punch cards.

    • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

      It's gonna take me ~weeks~ to duplicate all those punch cards.

      Must be nice. Have you tried to find Paper Tape lately?

    • Stick them in the document feeder of an office copy machine.
      Push the green button.
      Porblem solved.

      Restoring the backup is an exercise left to the reader.

  • Also! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @05:25PM (#35682928) Journal

    It's also National Cleavage Day [adrants.com]. How are you celebrating?

  • I believe Slashdot itself lost a bunch of stories and posts from around 1998 or so, didn't it?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Security risk blocked for your protection

    This Websense category is filtered: Potentially Damaging Content. Sites in this category may pose a security threat to network resources or private information, and are blocked by your organization.


  • by nlawalker ( 804108 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @05:26PM (#35682944)

    Today shouldn't be a day to back up your data, it should be a day to set up automated backups. This is where people need education - even laypeople understand the concept of a backup copy of something, they just don't know about modern tools that can be set up to do it for you automatically.

    There's no excuse anymore to not have an automated backup system in place.

    • There's no excuse anymore to not have an automated backup system in place.

      How about this one: My date is pretty worthless, even to me.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      There's no excuse anymore to not have an automated backup system in place.

      There are plenty of excuses.. you just don't like them.... automated backup systems cost money :-)

      • Just saw this tool over on Lifehacker: http://www.crashplan.com/ [crashplan.com]

        • I'm a satisfied Crashplan user. I subscribe to the Crashplan Central service (They're calling it Crashplan+ Family Unlimited now), which means I get unlimited (Which appears to be *actually* unlimited, not Comcast-unlimited) backups to their disk farm in a bank vault in Minnesota. I get to back up all my computers - laptops, desktops, and even my personal VPS - all automatically, with staged version retention, and no hassles of running out of disk or other typical backups shenanigans. Totally does what i

        • by heypete ( 60671 )

          I've been using their "residential" software/service for several months now on 11 computers in my family (the family plan is a good deal). When my laptop got stolen (it used full-disk encryption, so I'm not worried about the thieves getting to the data), I was able to restore the data from CrashPlan in a few hours without a problem. It saved my bacon.

          I have the software installed on Windows, Linux (Ubuntu and Red Hat), and Mac systems and it works quite well.

          We've been trialling their commercial software at

    • The thing about automated backups is, they work. For a while. And when they start to fail over and over again, you've already forgotten about them. I guess notifications are in order (for backup success, don't rely on notifications working only on failures), but in time you blank them out from your mind as well. And even if the system believes the backup to have succeeded, you never really know what exactly have you backed up, until you try a restore. So periodic restores. That's not something your average

    • Even if you don't set its tasks to run automatically, I've found DirSync Pro to be a very useful GUI tool for streamlining the process of copying/syncing stuff between local drives. (Local backups do serve some purpose, and you can of course use it with portable drives if you want.)

  • I just lost all of my un-backed-up data yesterday, you insensitive clods!
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      so should "." only be used in perl? the question mark only used for wild cards? or maybe, just maybe, there can be a duel use.

      You're a smart girl, You can figure it out~

      By the way, had you ended your sig with a ~ it would have been funny as hell.

      • No, the syntactical meaning of "." was claimed by Prolog, along with the file extension ".pl". The question mark I'd have to do some research aboutmulti(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)/users/samantha
  • I'll do it tomorrow.
    What could go wrong...

  • ...But things like this are typically pushed by company or "association" of companies with vested interests. I mean, let's be honest, who else besides backup software sales shills would benefit from promoting such a thing?

    Seriously, NOBODY has altruistic interests in people "backing up their data".
    • http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page [sysresccd.org]

      My backup and restore software is free, what are you talking about?

    • You obviously don't maintain a computer for your mom, dad, grandma, crazy aunt Judy, annoying cousin Steve, next door neighbor Bob, and clueless manager boss. If you did you'd realize that just because the interest is self serving doesn't mean that doesn't serve others too.

      • You obviously don't maintain a computer for your mom, dad, grandma, crazy aunt Judy, annoying cousin Steve, next door neighbor Bob...

        No, I certainly don't. Yes, I had to spend time in a 12-step program, but I'm better now. You too can get help for your problem. Some people care.

    • Yes indeed, why bother to read anything when you can assume that any cynical thing that pops into your head is correct.

      • Yes indeed, why bother to read anything when you can assume that any cynical thing that pops into your head is correct.

        And why post anything useful when you can without much actual thought post useless but snarky blather?

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Every computer person who has friends and family would benefit.

      And then there is promoting something simply because it's a good idea. People do not need an immediate and vested financial interest in something to promote it.

  • So that I can install FreeBSD over Debian.
  • will it take to back up the World? Well, that's what they said, but they didn't specify which world.

  • Yesterday was too productive then, I could have procrastinated backing up the server to an external HDD until today! How can I make up for the loss of slacking now? ...Oh, right, posting comments on the internet.

  • Perhaps someone caught up in the spirit of World Backup Day would be kind enough to offer me some advice?

    I've got a Mac, but it triple-boots OS X, Windows 7, and Ubuntu 10.04, through a combination of rEFI, grub, and an unhealthy GPT-MBR hybrid partition scheme. Is there any single tool that I can use to back up my whole disk? I'd like to not run individual backup solutions on each operating system, but at the same time, I'd like to backup on a per-file basis, instead of just cloning the whole disk every
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Boot linux, mount everything you want backed up and the backup drive
      SOURCE='/boot /home /music /sci-crypto-math /sourcetrees/programs /ian-sandra-sh
      time rsync -raC --progress --stats --delete-during $SOURCE $DEST

      Add stuff to script as you see fit

    • by dargaud ( 518470 )

      single tool that I can use to back up my whole disk?

      dd if=/dev/sda | gzip > sda.img.gz

      As for mounting that thing, I'll leave this as an exercise for the reader.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @05:39PM (#35683094)

    I constantly get calls from folks I don't know like this:

    Them: "Hi, you don't know me, but I'm a friend of your milkman's, newspaper boy's, dogsitter . . . they all told me that you are, like real smart with computers. Mine won't start . . . it seems to start, but then the disk screams, and nothing happens.

    Me: "Ok, when did you make your last backup?"

    Them: "What's a backup?"

    Me: "Ok, do you know your administrator password?"

    Them: "There is no one here named administrator."

    The sad fact, is that I cave in, and go over to help them out.

    • Next time, offer to do it in exchange for breakfast. :)

    • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @06:34PM (#35683606) Journal

      If you don't know them, you should be charging an hourly rate, even if it is a token one. If you don't need/want the work, or responsibility that goes with accepting money, or can't due to other employment arrangements, just plain refuse.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I am really for helping people with their computer probs but I over time I seem to have develped a set of rules for doing so.

      - I really don't like to take money for my help, it stresses me out if things start to go wrong. If you're doing it for the money that's fine, but I never am.
      - Generally people need to dropoff and pickup the computer, unless:
      * you really like them alot
      * you're sure you know what the problem is
      - I tell them it may take a week when it will *hopefully* only take a day (this way if somet

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        I will answer questions for free, via email and phone (don't abuse the privilege), I will give you discs with OSS recovery tools. I will not touch your computer for free, unless you are a select few, or I offer explicitly. I charge an hourly rate because I would rather be spending time with my children or working on my own projects.
    • by Osty ( 16825 )

      Them: "Hi, you don't know me, but I'm a friend of your milkman's, newspaper boy's, dogsitter . . . they all told me that you are, like real smart with computers. Mine won't start . . . it seems to start, but then the disk screams, and nothing happens

      You're doing it wrong. Right there, you should've hung up the phone. You can tell them they got the wrong number if you like, but fuck that. Personally, I'd tell them to go fuck themselves before hanging up the phone, so just hanging up is civil in my book.


  • ...so what is it this time: "your backup didn't really exist after all" ? Best April's Fool evar !
  • by TejWC ( 758299 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @05:41PM (#35683106)

    its called "Friday".

    • And what comes after Backup Day?
    • Most important systems backup automatically every day, less important systems once a week; other systems with no local documents about once a month; secure off-site media rotation once a month.

      National Backup Day? Yawn, whatever. What's next, National Tie Your Shoes Day?

  • Groundhog day would be a better(or funnier) day for Backup day.


  • by randizzle3000 ( 1276900 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @05:54PM (#35683224) Homepage Journal
    "the Slashdot archives bear witness to date disasters"
    Of course the they do. This is slashdot.
  • I remember making my first backup... I spent a full weeks worth of lunch money to buy two boxes of 5.25 inch floppy disks and used pkzip's span disk function to backup my entire hard disk... MSDos, Windows 3.1 and all my files...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Never used one. I've had 5 or 6 computers that could store data and I'll be honest, I don't recall anything on any of them I've felt a need to save or keep. Heck, I don't even want my own memories.

    Can I do the opposite of a backup? I'd like to flush delete everything instead.

    • by Remloc ( 1165839 )
      When I was sysadmin/programming manager/lead programmer for a mid-sized company in Glendale (suburb of L,A,), I implemented a backup plan with 3 level incrementals and multiple media. I even went in on Sundays to do the weekly full, non-incremental backup. Then, the Northridge quake happened and every disk in house survived without a hickup. What a waste!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tried to go there, my employer's web filter blocked it as "potentially damaging content."

  • Linus Torvalds said "Real men don't make backups, they just upload it to some FTP site and let everyone else mirror it"


  • I never used to back up. I had files scattered about, and anything truly important was either on a hard copy, or on a flash drive or my server or email. Any time I moved to a new computer, the old drive was imaged and copied over to the new one.

    In fact, I had a legitimately hard time justifying backups until about 2 years ago until I got both a Mac and a 1TB external drive. Before then, I didn't have enough space to "waste", and I couldn't justify buying more when it was so expensive. And backup software wa

    • I agree, timemachine has to be the only backup solution that even my grandmom could use. Kind of like rsnapshot with a proper gui easing recovery or system restore.
  • (Glances at Time Machine status)

    Done, I guess.

  • World Backup Day immediately precedes April Fools Day... Is someone going around deleting files in the office again? (That or maybe it's the large number of April 1st-activated virii/worms/whatnot, IE Conficker?)
  • I've said it once, and I'll say it again: the fundamental theorem of backups is:

    Backups != Archives

    When you create a backup (as opposed to an archive), do not rely on the backup to hold files you don't currently need. If you do, you'll amass several "backups" that you can't get rid of because they contain files you might need. Instead, put files you're tired of looking at in an *archive*.

    This definition of "backup" implies that it is almost completely safe to destroy an old backup to make room for

  • "Today is World Backup Day, an occasion to back up your PORN and check on your significant other (for the first time in six months) [while you wait all day for the backup to finish].

    There, fixed it for you.

  • ...why people don't take backups 364 out of 365 days of the year!
  • Leafycaust! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sp1nl0ck ( 241836 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:49PM (#35684874)

    A cautionary tale from Ars Technica [arstechnica.com]. It's a long thread, but the "fun" begins about 2/3 of the way through (page 60-something, IIRC).

  • I had a hard drive failure scare about 10 minutes after reading this article. I'm definitely backing up my data NOW.
  • Convenient. Day before the pranksters come out. Wonder what cmdrtaco has prepared.

  • Funny story from work (though not funny at the time). DFS accidentally deleted our IIS configuration, so we tried to restore from backups. The backups were there, but a firewall was misconfigured between the web server and the backup server. It allowed the backup server to take backups, but not send traffic the other way to restore backups. That ended up being a pretty frantic moment as we raced around trying to get some sneakernet going to get the config file back.

    So even if you see the backups out on you

  • World backup day should have been scheduled before Mecury went retrograde on March 30!

  • While everyone is concerned about their next iPad, no one seemed to notice that Japan is one of the only manufacturers of data tapes. Well, almost no one [dataspan.com].
  • Aprils 1st is the perfect day for World Backup Day, since nearly all backup solutions are something of a joke.

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.