Life in the Clouds

clouds When you lose a hard drive on your computer, it stinks. When you lose two in a few month’s time, it really stinks. When your computer makes a weird “grrrrrrrr” sound and goes black, and won’t boot up even the little tiny apple, well, that’s deadly. That’s how things started out for me in the morning.

By 10, I’d called my boss and asked for a new laptop. By 3PM, I had it in hand. Tonight, when I had a moment, I pulled out my external storage drive, plugged it into the shiny new Mac, and turned it on.

It took an hour to restore everything to the last good save (a week old, but not horrible).

Because of the way these last several weeks have gone, I’ve learned a few things that I want to share. This might prove useful to you in a few ways: one, if your computer dies. Two, because this is the way I think things will move in the future.

Life in the Clouds

SEVERAL of my most used applications exist as web applications that I can reach via a browser:

It turns out that most of the apps I use in a given day exist on the web. But here are some exceptions that I would need if I had to rebuild another computer from scratch. (Note: this is a Mac list).


  • TextWrangler – for complex text editing and text scripts
  • Cyberduck – for FTP
  • Adium – for IM client
  • Skitch – for screenshots
  • Keynote – for presentations
  • Firefox – web browser
  • Evernote – the desktop app side

The rest are all good to have, but I could live with just those and the built-in apps that come with a Mac.


Takeaways

What I’ve learned over the past month is that I can do lots of stuff on the web from any browser (have to remember that firefox bookmark sync addon – what’s it called?). I’ve learned that backups are important, and not to go more than a few days between them. I’ve learned that Time Machine for the Mac is a really powerful backup tool.

Further, I’ve learned that I need to get a file storage space on the web, too. The few things I lost access to involved files in progress in my documents area. I have most of them, but lost a few between backups. I’m going to check out a service like Mozy for storing some of that for me. That will complete that part.

How about you? What’s your experience been in this regard? Are you doing any of this differently?

Zemanta Pixie

ChrisBrogan.com runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Theme Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you're a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides you with the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

With automatic theme updates and world-class support included, Genesis is the smart choice for your WordPress website or blog.

Become a StudioPress Affiliate

  • http://www.thesandystudio.com Sandy Santra

    Thanks for a fascinating read, Chris and everyone else.

    I use 5 backup systems:

    1. TimeMachine

    2. SuperDuper (run nightly to clone my MBP to an external Lacie Rugged, and my photos drive to a separate external Lacie Rugged)–so that I’m never a day away from a full MBP HD restore (and full restore of my photos drive)

    3. Weekly offsite swap of the 2 Lacie Ruggeds in #2 above with a second set (so that I always have an offsite restore less than 2 weeks old)

    4. Daily backup via Backup 3 of settings, dock, dashboard widgets, etc.

    5. MobileMe (for 24/7 near-real-time syncing of email, iCal, bookmarks, address book)

    I’d like to remind households/people with more than 1 Mac: if you have a bootable clone backup available (from SuperDuper or another program) for a machine that went south, take the clone to the working Mac, plug it in, hold down the Option key, and turn on the machine. This is the “mountable drive boot” option. You’ll get a boot choice. Choose to boot from the external (the clone backup of the other, fried Mac), and boom, you’re seeing everything from your fried machine now on a working machine.

  • http://www.thesandystudio.com Sandy Santra

    Thanks for a fascinating read, Chris and everyone else.

    I use 5 backup systems:

    1. TimeMachine

    2. SuperDuper (run nightly to clone my MBP to an external Lacie Rugged, and my photos drive to a separate external Lacie Rugged)–so that I’m never a day away from a full MBP HD restore (and full restore of my photos drive)

    3. Weekly offsite swap of the 2 Lacie Ruggeds in #2 above with a second set (so that I always have an offsite restore less than 2 weeks old)

    4. Daily backup via Backup 3 of settings, dock, dashboard widgets, etc.

    5. MobileMe (for 24/7 near-real-time syncing of email, iCal, bookmarks, address book)

    I’d like to remind households/people with more than 1 Mac: if you have a bootable clone backup available (from SuperDuper or another program) for a machine that went south, take the clone to the working Mac, plug it in, hold down the Option key, and turn on the machine. This is the “mountable drive boot” option. You’ll get a boot choice. Choose to boot from the external (the clone backup of the other, fried Mac), and boom, you’re seeing everything from your fried machine now on a working machine.

  • http://blogs.open.collab.net/oncollabnet Jack Repenning

    Your last backup was a week old?

    There is only one critical app, and its name is Time Machine.

  • http://blogs.open.collab.net/oncollabnet Jack Repenning

    Your last backup was a week old?

    There is only one critical app, and its name is Time Machine.

  • http://www.scottleamon.com/ Scott Leamon

    Time Machine is brilliant, I agree! I went ahead and invested in Time Capsule. I prefer the incremental backups to be wireless, and transparent. I find myself using it more for those momentary lapses of reason when i delete a critical file in disguise from my desktop.

    Another upside – as i’m sure you know – it also serves as a router. Lessens clutter. And has that sexy Apple look we have all grown to love.

  • http://www.scottleamon.com/ Scott Leamon

    Time Machine is brilliant, I agree! I went ahead and invested in Time Capsule. I prefer the incremental backups to be wireless, and transparent. I find myself using it more for those momentary lapses of reason when i delete a critical file in disguise from my desktop.

    Another upside – as i’m sure you know – it also serves as a router. Lessens clutter. And has that sexy Apple look we have all grown to love.

  • Scott Leamon

    Time Machine is brilliant, I agree! I went ahead and invested in Time Capsule. I prefer the incremental backups to be wireless, and transparent. I find myself using it more for those momentary lapses of reason when i delete a critical file in disguise from my desktop.

    Another upside – as i’m sure you know – it also serves as a router. Lessens clutter. And has that sexy Apple look we have all grown to love.

  • http://www.adversityuniversityblog.com Stephen Hopson

    Hey Guys:

    Am I the only one with a PC these days? LOL.

    Is there anyone with a PC who can tell me what backup systems I could peruse online? I had one hard drive crash last year and didn’t back anything up. I had to hire someone to recover files from the bad drive.

    Anyone? Email me directly at stephen (at) sjhopson (dot)com with your suggestions – thanks! (no spaces in actual email)

  • http://www.adversityuniversityblog.com Stephen Hopson

    Hey Guys:

    Am I the only one with a PC these days? LOL.

    Is there anyone with a PC who can tell me what backup systems I could peruse online? I had one hard drive crash last year and didn’t back anything up. I had to hire someone to recover files from the bad drive.

    Anyone? Email me directly at stephen (at) sjhopson (dot)com with your suggestions – thanks! (no spaces in actual email)

  • http://www.adversityuniversityblog.com Stephen Hopson

    Hey Guys:

    Am I the only one with a PC these days? LOL.

    Is there anyone with a PC who can tell me what backup systems I could peruse online? I had one hard drive crash last year and didn’t back anything up. I had to hire someone to recover files from the bad drive.

    Anyone? Email me directly at stephen (at) sjhopson (dot)com with your suggestions – thanks! (no spaces in actual email)

  • http://www.divinepurposeunleashed.com Michelle Vandepas

    Hi Stephen, Nice to see you over here. I’ve got a PC and all my ideas above are for the PC as well. Are you on Firefox? I’ll email you directly.
    Michelle

  • http://www.divinepurposeunleashed.com Michelle Vandepas

    Hi Stephen, Nice to see you over here. I’ve got a PC and all my ideas above are for the PC as well. Are you on Firefox? I’ll email you directly.
    Michelle

  • http://www.divinepurposeunleashed.com Michelle Vandepas

    Hi Stephen, Nice to see you over here. I’ve got a PC and all my ideas above are for the PC as well. Are you on Firefox? I’ll email you directly.
    Michelle

  • http://gavinknight.com Gavin Knight

    stephen
    my comments are from a windows user
    for backup specifically check out jungle disk
    my review at http://www.gavinknight.com/2008/03/online-backup-services.html
    gavin

  • http://gavinknight.com Gavin Knight

    stephen
    my comments are from a windows user
    for backup specifically check out jungle disk
    my review at http://www.gavinknight.com/2008/03/online-backup-services.html
    gavin

  • http://gavinknight.com Gavin Knight

    stephen
    my comments are from a windows user
    for backup specifically check out jungle disk
    my review at http://www.gavinknight.com/2008/03/online-backup-services.html
    gavin

  • Pingback: Cloud computing - why you should move your work online. | sean808080 ohmbase

  • http://vsemvsem.net/ 22limit

    Time Machine is great for restoring your files and system. I also like to have a backup of my system only using a backup utility like Carbon Copy Cloner or the like just to have the ability to do a clean system restore in case I end up installing a new hard drive or just want to refresh my computer. The restore ends up being much faster than installing the OS from scratch and from there you can restore your files from your backup.

    Glad to hear that you didn’t lose months of work though.

  • http://vsemvsem.net/ 22limit

    Time Machine is great for restoring your files and system. I also like to have a backup of my system only using a backup utility like Carbon Copy Cloner or the like just to have the ability to do a clean system restore in case I end up installing a new hard drive or just want to refresh my computer. The restore ends up being much faster than installing the OS from scratch and from there you can restore your files from your backup.

    Glad to hear that you didn’t lose months of work though.

  • http://vsemvsem.net/ 22limit

    Time Machine is great for restoring your files and system. I also like to have a backup of my system only using a backup utility like Carbon Copy Cloner or the like just to have the ability to do a clean system restore in case I end up installing a new hard drive or just want to refresh my computer. The restore ends up being much faster than installing the OS from scratch and from there you can restore your files from your backup.

    Glad to hear that you didn’t lose months of work though.

  • Pingback: Living in the Clouds - Flickr | CloudAve

  • backupvault

    That's Great.Full of good options.

  • backupvault

    That's Great.Full of good options.

  • http://www.usaugg-shops.com UGG

    ancient flame totem
    it stops the mouth not to say suddenly. three monster fox in front of it, have stood slowly, the hand extends to the bosom, put out nightfall uggs discount ugg boots both sides to have the red silk guangzhou's magic weapon, was precisely the unreliable fire warning. in this hot flame steamings in the lava burrow, the unreliable fire warning is also short black ugg illuminated faintly blushes, but center it that ancient flame totem, ugg usa as if also will at this moment burn ultra short ugg general, several want to spurt thinly. three monster fox,

    open in the ugg uk small ordinary way of seeing things that gentle white clothing female, at this moment is staring in hand's unreliable fire warning, several, some drop of teardrops, have not dropped quietly suddenly in the unreliable fire warning, a moment later, changes to makes the white smoke, curls raises. the book arrives at here, what is really the tear falls the front piece, mourns in one's heart, if dies, compares the author to write about here also unavoidably to stop the pen not to be good, does not endure to continue, that falls quietly waterdrop, but also withers and falls between your mine heart

  • Ugg boots sale

    1.Ugg footwear is a great regard for your base like many reasons.cheap uggs for sale. Probably the most rocky landscape. Another equally important disputeugg uk is the ever-mounting medley of styles ugg boots saleand ensign that you are removable to buy ugg boots, actually form to the shape of the arch.。 UGG Bailey Button★UGG Argyle Knit★UGG Cardy★UGG Crochet★UGG Flower★UGG Leopard★UGG Mini★UGG Paisley★UGG Short★UGG Tall★UGG Elsey Wedge★UGG Infants Erin★UGG Langley★UGG Lo Pro★UGG Lo Pro Button★UGG Locarno★UGG Mayfaire★UGG Nightfall★UGG Rainier Eskimo★UGG Sundance II★UGG Ultimate Bind★UGG Ultra Short★UGG Ultra Tall★UGG Suede★UGG Upside★UGG Roxy★UGG Seline★UGG Corinth Wedge★UGG Liberty★UGG Highkoo★UGG Knightsbridge★UGG Bomber Jacket★UGG Adirondack★UGG Suburb Crochet★UGG Bailey Button Boots★UGG Classic Argyle Knit★UGG Classic Cardy Boots★UGG Classic Crochet Boots★UGG Classic Flower boots★UGG Classic Tall Boots 5684 Leopard★UGG Classic Mini Boots★UGG Classic Paisley Boots★UGG Classic Short Boots★UGG Classic Tall Boots★UGG Elsey wedge Boots★UGG Infant's Erin Baby★UGG Women's Langley Boots Black★UGG Lo Pro Button Boots★UGG Women's Locarno Boots★UGG Mayfaire boots★UGG Nightfall Boots★UGG Rainier Eskimo Boots★UGG Sundance II Boots★UGG Ultimate Bind Boots★UGG Ultra Short Boots★UGG Ultra Tall Boots★UGG Suede Boots★UGG upside Boots★UGG Roxy Tall Boots★UGG seline Boots★UGG Women's Corinth Boots in Cocoa★UGG Liberty Boots★UGG Highkoo Boots★UGG Knightsbridge Boots★UGG Bomber Jacket Boots★UGG Adirondack Tall Boot★UGG Suburb Crochet Boots★
    2.MBT Habari★MBT Karani★MBT Kaya★MBT Kisumu★MBT Lami★MBT M.Walk★MBT Moto GTX★MBT Sapatu★MBT Sport 2★MBT Tariki★air jordan shoes

  • http://www.savetubevideo.com youtube downloader

    These are really good tips – the more you can do via a browser, the better. With really important documents, I usually email them to myself via gmail just in case something happens