Wednesday, December 8, 2010


"As a computer software developer for almost forty years, please let me say that the creators of Carbonite should be very proud of what they have produced.

The older I get, the more critical and jaded I get at all the crap that's out there (don't get me started on open source) which means it's doubly refreshing to see a product that does what it says it will do with no mess and no fuss, like Google Search, Google Mail... and Carbonite."

It's been exactly one year since I wrote those words and captured that screenshot, and I feel exactly the same way today. Carbonite doesn't answer all my backup requirements, not by a long shot, but it certainly does answer this one: a regular offsite backup of critical data files.

All I have to do is make sure to put the files I want copied in a folder under My Documents and Bam! ...they're copied into the cloud within minutes, sometimes seconds.

The Carbonite agent sits in the system tray and doesn't seem to consume resources, certainly not like some of the other [cough] stuff I put up with like Norton 360.
(yeah, yeah, I know using Norton Anything is stupid, I should use one of those low-overhead antivirus utilities written by some guy in his underwear in his mother's basement)

What are "Critical Data Files"?

Currently, Carbonite copies the SQLA website extracts... oops, that reminds me, gotta backup SQLA again, be right back...
Database export in progress. An email will be sent to when it is ready for download.
...back again. Carbonite also copies everything required to do the daily Foxhound build, and some personal stuff.

I really should give more work to Carbonite, and it's on my to do list. But it's already taking care of a big chunk of my "critical data files", the ones I want back even if every single piece of computer hardware I own is destroyed.

Carbonite encrypts, but that encryption is not secure from Carbonite itself (or, by extension, the Men In Black) so I encrypt some files myself before putting them in the hopper for Carbonite to pick up.

What about full backups?

That's what Norton Ghost 14 and 15 are for, plus a pair of 2 TB USB 3.0 external drives, and a 1 TB USB 2.0 portable drive.
(amazingly affordable these days, all brand names, less than $500 for everything including the software)
That, plus this every-day-ritual: Fire up a full-drive-backup-with-verification process just before the whistle sounds "Miller Time" at the code mines.

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