Computer Project

I have been looking through files on the computer and have come to realize just how much we have on there: pictures, documents, Elise’s creative writing.  With this realization, I thought how awful it would be if I lost it.  We have over 300 gigabytes of pictures and videos alone.  That is a whole lot of pictures and videos.  I remember having to get film developed, that really cut back on how many pictures you saved.  With the digital age we are in, we don’t worry too much about it since they don’t take up hardly any physical space or cost money to develop.  I have been slowly upping my backup game as time goes on.  I finally decided it was time to do it right… or as right as I can at this time. I previously used a program called Nextcloud [].  It is a personal cloud server software I run on a Ubuntu box in my closet.  It is phenomenal and I have complete control over my files.  The downside is that I have control.  I am responsible for it.  I had a scare where I messed up the Nextcloud software and almost lost a large chunk of data.  Luckily I had it downloaded to my personal computer and was able to get everything back.  This brought me to incorporated a RAID 1 (two hard drives have the EXACT same data on them) into my setup.  I, like many, thought having a duplicate of the data was a good backup.  It isn’t a bad backup, but it is far from good.  If one has corrupted data then they both get it.  If I hard drive fails we are OK.  I went with this because I was using low quality hard drives and had them fail about every year.  I know use WD red drives and have never had a fail or even a fault error. Recently I set up a semi-remote backup server using an old Pi server.  It is on the same network, but it uses a program called rdiff that pulls the data from our file server to a separate hard drive every Sunday.  It stores version backups (I can restore a version of a file from a week ago if needed).  It only saves changes to a file, so backups are quick after the initial backup.  The initial backup took 3 days since it was writing 2.3 TB (or 2300 gigabytes) to a hard drive connected over legacy USB. I then remembered a story my Daddy told me where Jacque (my sister) deleted a document of his he had spent hours upon hours working on for school.  He couldn’t recover it and had to start from scratch.  I didn’t want something like this to happen to me so I pulled out a fresh 2TB hard drive and installed it into the server.  Then I set up a cron job (like a scheduled task) to make a backup of the files every 15 minutes.  At worst, I would loose 15 minutes of work, assuming I make saves periodically while working on a document. A look at my cron jobsTwo weeks ago I was working on a presentation over the thoracic cavity and got up to do something (FINE, I was getting my 8th HEB 20 cal coke of the day).  When I came back, Bevy was sitting at my computer, smiling and bashing on my keyboard and mouse.  I’m not sure how she did it, probably closed PowerPoint and then through mashing keyboard buttons hit delete on the highlighted PowerPoint file.  I was exacerbated (did I use that right, Elise) and a little upset.  I sternly told her no, swatted her bottom and in a futile attempt, explained to Bevy that they computer is not a toy.  Ironic since she sees her brothers playing Minecraft on them.  She cried because she hates even a soft spanking.  I cuddled with her and she was fine.  I then remembered I set up the 15 minutes backups.  So like any genius, I googled how to recover files using rdiff. 10 minutes later I had the file back with only minimal work lost.  It was nice to see that I wasn’t as paranoid as I thought about backups.  It paid off. I now feel comfortable that I won’t loose our family pictures now and I can be less stressed about that. Eventually I need to have a newer Pi pull the backups from an offsite location, when I have the money, in case there is a fire or something like that.  That way there would be a backup somewhere else.

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