Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Can Haz Data Backup?

Farhad Manjoo makes the point that backing up personal data is easier and cheaper than ever, but I question whether he has reckoned with just how lazy people can be. I, for one, read the subtitle of his article ...

With lots of easy options, there's no excuse for not backing up your data. Here are the best ways to do it.
... and drew the sensible-to-me conclusion that the very act of reading the article would result in a free, effortless, and complete backup of all my hard drive's essential data. But I don't think that actually happened.

I would know if it had happened, right? I think I would, and I don't think it happened.

Sigh. Manjoo moves on to outline the laborious details of the task, succeeding mostly in inducing Macintosh envy:
People with newer Macs can pretty much stop there; Time Machine, the backup software that Apple built into the latest version of its OS, works silently in the background, and it's got an intuitive interface that makes restoring your files a snap. ... After connecting the drive, Windows users typically need to add one extra step: Download software to manage your backups. (Many drives come pre-installed with backup software though many of these default programs aren't very good.)
If I had a dime for every time I've read some variant of "Mac users can pretty much stop there," followed by a mention of some or other best-of-its-kind software that's built in to the Mac OS, joined with "PC users need to take sixteen or seventeen extra steps," well, I'd probably have more than enough money to buy some of this backup software Manjoo recommends. (I already have the external hard drive and the shitty, unusable backup software that shipped with it.)

On the other hand, lest I be accused of being a hopeless fan-boy of Macs and Apple, The Simpsons has already done my thinking for me, as it has done in so many areas of life:


Zennalathas said...

Went on a bit of Slate reading spree, hey?

But Manjoo is definitely not a person to take technology advise from... he's probably the least tech-capable tech columnist I've ever seen. During his Ubuntu review, he complained that the operating system was inferior to Mac OSX because HE had a problem burning a free DVD...

Dale said...

Zen, yes, a small bit of a Slate spree.

I thought this column might actually have something beyond the blindingly obvious to say about data backups, but I was wrong. Bad Manjoo. Bad.