« over-caffeinated, or, the hazards of being friendly with java juice employees | Main | a free day for coding! »

so that's where my disk space is going: insidious backups

Yesterday, I downloaded Xcode 2.2. This is a 933 mb download, and installs to even bigger than that. I let it install overnight, and I woke up to a message that my startup disk is almost full. Drat!. This is still my three-year-old titanium ibook, with a 30 gb hard drive. I went looking for stuff to cleanup, but I'd cleaned my desktop a few days ago, pruned unused source trees, deleted unused applications... so where is all my disk space going? I found a directory named Backups on the root dir of my drive. Looking inside, it contains "Home Folder Full Backup" from September 22, 2005, and 11.6 gigs of incremental backups for every day since then. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! I'm using a third of my disk space backing up files to the same disk that contains them... so when my hard drive fails, these 11 gigs of backups are going to be useless.
I'm not stupid, and I've been burnt before, so hell yes I have backups. I backup to cd once a month; my source code and mail are backed up by my employer and gmail, and I periodically drop a snapshot on a remote server. My powerbook has had so many hardware problems in the last year that I don't rely on anything being there tomorrow that was there today. These incremental backups are quite possibly the least useful data I've ever stored on any media anywhere.
I'm a paying member of .mac and I use Backup 3, which comes with .mac, and comes configured with a sensible backup plan. When I was setting up with Backup 3, I think I made some decision like "I'm going to be very cautious and do lots of backups, more than the standard apple recommendations!" Apparently I didn't think that one through completely.
I implore each of my readers: backup to alternate, write-once media, with error checking, stored offsite. If not regularly, just do it now. Today.
I'm starting my work today backing up to cd, starting with purchased music and then going through the really crucial stuff, Quicken and email and pictures and notes. Want to take bets on how much longer my powerbook will last?

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>