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back up your stuff

There's a lot of internet history out there that's absolutely 100% gone. The internet is one of those mediums where nothing has any permanence to it whatsoever..

..unless you back it up.

In 2008 and continuing on into 2009 I've been making a very active effort to back up my crap. Being that the price of USB sticks has dropped enough now to where it's cheap, it's now easy (optical discs have always been a pain to work with).

My mail is a good example. I have it backed up 3 different ways. Once in the cloud, once on my local hard drive and once on USB stick (manual backup). This gives me a comforting feeling that if any wacky thing happens with my mail and it gets deleted, I have 3 ways to get it back. All of it.

I do the same thing for my photos and YouTube videos now too. Presently, everything is on a little 4GB USB stick, and I plan on buying more of them. I'll probably pick up a few 16GB sticks in the near future.

All of this crap is important to me and it represents a huge chunk of my life. It is in fact a chronicle of sorts because it's all dated properly (most of it, anyway).

There is some stuff I've lost over the years, but I'm happy with what I've got. I know as long as I have the physical copies I will always be able to retrieve them in way or another. And as technology changes I'll be updating my backup methods.

~ ~ ~

A web site called Archive Team has taken up the task of archiving what The Internet Archive can't - or won't. Those guys and gals have fired up their mirroring machines and are making sure that yes, something will be there to look back to in the future. Will it all be Shakespeare? No, of course not. A lot of it will be digital crap. But hey, that crap is important to a lot of folks.

Companies who run web sites do value the users that use the system, but truly couldn't give a crap about the data unless the site is making money. And if the site doesn't make money, it simply gets shut down. Buh-bye. Gone. Notice is given before shutdown, but rarely are the users given any means to retrieve their data for backup purposes.

Will LiveJournal, deviantART, Blogger and the like be eternal? Of course not, this is the internet we're talking about.

Back up your crap. If you don't, there's a chance Archive Team may have a copy, but if not, it's gone.

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