This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Backing Up

In the 30 some years since I purchased my first computer I have experienced catastrophic data loss numerous times without always having backups. I could never form the habit of backing up my files on a regular schedule. I've used external hard drives, CDs, DVDs, and even floppy disks in the "old" days.  Of course, this was not much of a problem before we had hard drives. 

My first computer was not much more than a toy. It was a Timex CPU that utilized a cassette tape recorder for program and data storage along with a standard television set as a video monitor. 

My first "real" computer was an Osborne One (there never was a "Two") portable computer that was about the size and weight of a portable sewing machine (23.5 lbs.).  

The front cover, when removed, revealed a keyboard on the inside of the cover and on the exposed front of the computer was a 5" green video monitor and two floppy drives. One drive was for the program disk and the second was for the data disk.  It cost $1,795 in 1981 and came with Wordstar word processor, SuperCalc spreadsheet, CBASIC and MBASIC (whatever that was), and dBase II database.  It was not a DOS machine. It's operating system was CP/M and the processor was a Z80 with a speed of 4.0 MHz (my 2-year old MacBook is 550 times as fast).  The 5" floppy disks stored 64 kB, which forced programmers to write complete applications in no more than 64 kB!  This forced programmers to become very efficient in their coding!

I learned to code in CBASIC and even wrote an application for calculations necessary when compounding sterile TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition, or IV hyperalimentarion) at work.  I still have this computer and the last time I checked, it still worked!  Perhaps someday I could donate it to a museum.

Before getting sidetracked I was talking about computer backups and was going to say that I recently purchased a 3 Terabyte (equals more than 50 million 64 kB floppies!) WD My Book Live external network drive and connected it to my WiFi router today so that I can backup my MacBook, iPad, iPhone, and even Carol Ann's Windows laptop over our wireless LAN.  When it was all setup and working, I started a full backup of my almost full 750 Gigabyte hard drive.  Once the backup began a small window that displays the backup's progress opened. It said that the backup would take "About 2 days"!!  Of course, subsequent backups will include only files that have changed since he previous backup, which will be much, much faster.  Now, if I can just remember to run the subsequent backups!

1 comment :

Croft Randle said...

I guess we have all been caught without a backup a few times. I have a 1.5 TB drive that I use to backup four Windows computers and it is almost full. I guess I will have to invest in a bigger one.