Learn your lesson

Giving support on IRC can be quite entertaining at times. It also displays why some of my – in other peoples’ opinion – “crazy setups” aren’t that crazy.

I’m referring to my statement that everyone needs a mirrored RAID setup instead of constant backups. Why do I dislike thee holy backups, he shall inquire. The reason’s pretty simple: Backups are a costy thing in the age of 1TB consumer harddrives. What do you want to do? Burn hundreds of DVDs? Build images of your system and compress them?

All of that is utter nonsense. Plug in another harddrive and your whole volume backup economy will go haywire from some point on. If a drive is full, it is full. Backups require about the same amount of space. The math is simple.

That’s why I advocate the “buy 2 identical harddisks and make it a softraid” method. Sure, it is more expensive. But losing your precious 500GB of documents, videos and music hurts so much more, and I’m not even talking about the time you spend making backups (which you won’t do on a weekly basis anyway), recovering the files (which isn’t guaranteed to work out) and complaining.

Sure, this doesn’t protect John Doe from virii, trojans, pranksters, malware and whatnot. I’m not talking about that, though. Yes, I said “backups are stupid” but I meant it in a whole, includes-all-the-porn-I-have way, not the only-my-important-system-files way. You can and should still make backups of those. At least before you start making big changes to the system.

I think the reason people hesitate using RAID is because it sounds so complicated; most people even think that they need some expensive controller for it to work. Heck, a majority probably never thinks about the possibility of a harddisk failure. And that’s somewhat fine. The only disk ever failing on me was 6 years old and under constant 24/7 usage. Still, vendors should begin to include some kind of backup strategy that goes beyond installing some 60 day trial of a useless and bloated piece of crap software (you know what vendors and what software I’m talking about, oh yes….). Let the computers be ~100€ more expensive. Doesn’t matter.

It is much more pleasant for a home-user to have a harddisk failure and a parity that can rebuild the failing disk instead of a total loss of data. Reduces whining on IRC aswell which makes my life much more pleasant. And that’s quite something you should desire 😉 .

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The fool's herald.

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