Tip: Back up your Mac

Shawn Blanc:

With very little effort and cost you can set up an automated and trustworthy backup system. I can only assume most people don’t back up their data because they are either lazy, unsure where to start, don’t see a need, or all of the above.

I maintain several backup systems for my iMac.

  1. Time Machine to a FireWire hard drive.
  2. Carbon Copy Cloner every week to an external USB drive.
  3. Online backup of my photos folder via Arq every night.
  4. Carbon Copy Cloner to another USB drive which I swap out at my parent’s house in another state each time I visit, which is about twice a year.
  5. Store in Dropbox every document I’ve ever written.

My advice is to certainly employ Time Machine. It’s built in, restoring an entire Mac is easy as pie, and recovering one specific file is a breeze. Also set up an off-site backup (item 3 or 4 from my list). Setting this stuff up is easier than you think, especially item 4.

Items 2 and 5 can serve other purposes than just backup. Every geek needs a bootable hard drive, and Dropbox is… well, it’s Dropbox.

For more tips on how to devise your own backup strategy, read through Shawn’s piece. And if you live in Birmingham, I might know a guy who can help you out.

Rick Stawarz

Minneapolis, MN

I am an Apple Certified Support Professional with over a decade of experience supporting families, schools, and businesses. Tech has always captured my imagination, but it's not my only passion. I'm an ordained Anglican minister;  Aeropress is a daily ritual of mine; I've driven across Mongolia; and I'm the father of three girls. I hope to provide for you a balanced and realistic perspective into the practicality of technology.