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Think about your life for a second.  What do you value most?  No, I’m not talking about touchy feely crap like your child’s laugh or the love of your dog.  I’m talking about what physical item in your possession would you be most heartbroken over if it was lost?

Most likely, if you are a reader of this blog, it’s your computer.  But it’s not the physical hardware of your computer you value, though that of course does have an intrinsic monetary worth.  It is the data on that little spinning disc of metal inside we value.  Our pictures, our music, our movies.  If you create anything digital, those things are there as well.  For me, it’s my writing, as well as some VFX work.

And for me, someone who has been made a nomad without a real home, thanks to the realities of outsourcing in the VFX industry, my laptop is the anchor of my my life.  It sits on my shoulder, nestled in it’s neoprene sleeve, a reassuring weight that reminds me I have work left to do in this life.  It is my connection to my home, containing all the TV shows I love, my pictures.  It contains all the notes and ideas, as well as the finished versions, of all my writing for the past 5 years.

It is my life, encapsulated on a little disc of metal which spins around 90 times every second.  A disc which is, in fact, quite fragile.

That’s right, my hard drive failed.  It started like any illness, some weird behavior on Thursday night.  Something out of the ordinary, maybe, but you can’t really tell with these things.  I woke up on Friday, headed to work, plugged in, and waited for my computer to boot.

And waited.

And waited.

Staring at the pale blue LCD sitting there, my heart sank.  “But there’s no way my computer could have a problem, it’s only a year old.” I said to myself.  But the facts were there in front of me.

Now I’m sure you are thinking, “David, you are a technical, nerd type person.  Surely you back up”

Of course I back up.  But ask yourself, when was the last time you backed up?  Exactly. 

Mine was desperately out of date.  But that is where Backblaze comes in.  Backblaze is a passive online backup service that constantly backs up your hard drive online.  You don’t think about it.  It just is there, quietly saving your bacon in the background the whole time, without you ever realizing it.  It’s the Penny to my Inspector Gadget.  All for a laughably affordable $50/year

I logged into the website on my work computer, and checked.  All my data was there.  Safe, sound and waiting to be downloaded.  The psychological relief, the amount of stress and heartache this removed from me, cannot be overstated.

That weekend, I went to the Apple Store Regent Street here in London, and in a few hours had a brand new hard drive in my computer.  I’ve been downloading my information, but with over 140 gigabytes it’s taking a while.  I could have them send me a hard drive, but I don’t think that’d work for me overseas.  So I’m going through, building 4 GB or less packages of files, and downloading them.

This is where I think Backblaze could slightly improve their service.  It’d be nice to just select everything, and have their system figure out how to split it up into easily digestible 4GB zip files that I can download and rebuild my data.

Other than that minor wish, I have to say, Backblaze is the best money I’ve spent in quite a while.  I cannot recommend them highly enough.

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Reader Comments (1)

Good Info!
I always go the 'USB Harddrive' to clone my mac - but this backblaze sounds like much better method!!!

Thanks for the info!

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

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