Re: This is for Jim re embroidery files

Jim Stutsman

While BackBlaze is reliable and reasonably priced, the restore function is not as user-friendly as it should be. When you go through the process of restoring one or more files, it first has to give you a listing of what's in the backup. Intuitively you would expect that everyone's backup is in a nice container on a shelf somewhere. When you want to restore, a little robot runs and gets the data and presents a list for you to pick from. That's how we, as humans, would do it, but that method won't work for a large database of data from many thousands of computers. The tricky bit is that they keep your backup data on a hard drive, much as you keep the original data. They have hard drive failures too, just like us, so they have to make their system so that a drive failure does not lose any data. This is a very complex process, but the core of it is that the individual backups are stored in multiple places all over their facility. So when you select the restore option they first have to go get all the pieces and build a list. That takes a while, and is one of their user-friendly failures. The only indication that this is happening is a little cloud icon that appears with things falling out of it. If you have a lot of data it make take a few minutes until they have it all collected to display.

There are lots of ways to back up externally. Apple, Microsoft, and Google all offer a form of "cloud" storage, as does the original Dropbox. Some backup software will even copy to those external clouds. You can also make your own external backup by just copying what's critical to an external hard drive, and then storing that drive in a safe-deposit box at your bank. I wouldn't use any "no name" cloud service though. Those I already mentioned are big enough to be around no matter what, but a super cheap "Joe's Amazing Backup Service" is subject to disappear when you need the data the most.

There's also another consideration, given the times we are now living in. Having all of your important information in your computer is a problem if there is no electricity. Most of us have taken for granted that when you plug something into the wall, it works, outside of the occasional thunderstorm short term outage. But we are now in a time when the fuel used to make electricity is ever more costly, and possibly scarce. Even the green dream of "renewable" power is not guaranteed, as those of us in Texas found out in the winter of 2020. Most of us have a safe, or a lockbox that contains things like birth certificates and other "legal" stuff. Consider putting critical account numbers, passwords, phone numbers, etc. in that safe place, printed on a piece of paper. In the event of a major emergency it might be helpful. The Internet is designed to route around any portion that is inaccessible for any reason, but there are myriad connections between you and whatever you're trying to get to. Critical failures can cause you to lose access, just as cell phones can quit working if towers are damaged. As the Boy Scouts say, "Be prepared".

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