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The unfortunate reality is very, very few people constantly back up their stuff, or even periodically. Even most of the technical people I know don't do it - heck, even the people I work with at a software house don't do it at home. (Obviously the company does at work :p).

I'm pretty technically minded and even I didn't do it fully until SkyDrive desktop syncing app came out, and only then because it was no additional hassle on my part, and because my files aren't that large. If I had hundreds of gigs of movies and pictures and documents, the additional time and expenditure and effort to get a good backup system working seems daunting, even if the reality isn't as much. And even that's not much of a backup becasue if the files get corrupted on my machine, they get synced backup to SkyDrive corrupted (though granted, there is a file history on SkyDrive thankfully).

I have to agree. Backups are unfortunately fairly uncommon, even among techies. I have had enough trouble getting most of my immediate family to perform regular backups, not to mention all of the professors I have helped with hard drive failure and no backups.

I backup my personal data almost religiously. I perform twice-daily full backups of all my machines to my server, which maintains daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly snapshots of all data on its mirrored backup drives. It also syncs to a remote server nightly that stores backups in a similar fashion. I have three copies of all my data and should lose no more than 1 day's worth of work if 2 of the 3 sources fail simultaneously. Apparently that's uncommon.

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"I have had enough trouble getting most of my immediate family to perform regular backups" - Making a backup, kills the backup. People don't want to do things they don't see a gain from. The key to successful backup is invisibility. Skydrive with junction folders, working on a network drive on the home server, windows backup (to the home server?) - all that good stuff.

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Use a Cloud service to backup data, easy sync. If you leave data only on your Hard-Drive, then that data is considered non valuable.

An Hard-Drive can brake or die, and it takes more than 1000$ to read the 0 and 1 of the plates.

So if you consider your laptop/phone Data Important, than you should have an alternative backup Everytime, its plain simple.

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Yeah -- very hard to understand why they would not have backed up something so important, six ways from Sunday.

Yeah, I too learned the hard way to backup. Especially if you have 5 years of work sitting on your computer and can't afford to lose it.

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I have to agree. Backups are unfortunately fairly uncommon, even among techies. I have had enough trouble getting most of my immediate family to perform regular backups, not to mention all of the professors I have helped with hard drive failure and no backups.

I backup my personal data almost religiously. I perform twice-daily full backups of all my machines to my server, which maintains daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly snapshots of all data on its mirrored backup drives. It also syncs to a remote server nightly that stores backups in a similar fashion. I have three copies of all my data and should lose no more than 1 day's worth of work if 2 of the 3 sources fail simultaneously. Apparently that's uncommon.

what do you use to automate all that? and what remote server setup are you using? consumer service or your own server?

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He definitely needs to hire Veronica Mars.

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what do you use to automate all that? and what remote server setup are you using? consumer service or your own server?

The system is of my design and is run on my hardware. I was inspired by similar systems I have read about, so I can't claim credit for all the ideas, although the implementation is my own. I have two servers with a nearly identical configuration. The primary is at my place and the other is a few states away at a relative's house.

The primary server runs Debian and hosts openvpn and rsync servers. I use openvpn on my laptop to create a secure connection to my server, then use rsync to perform the incremental backup. I have a cron job that fires once every twelve hours to automate the process, although I sometimes compulsively trigger manual backups if I feel like I just completed a monumental task, or changed something equally important.

When rsync accepts the connection on my server it creates a new directory for the current backup and hard links to the last backup directory. All changed files are stored only in the new directory and unchanged files remain hard links to the last copy (to save space). My server has cron jobs that ensure that I keep every backup from the last two days, one backup per day for the five days beyond that, the first backup of the week for five weeks in a row, the first backup of the month for twelve months, and the first backup of the year indefinitely. The backup drive uses EXT4, but it is mirrored to an identical drive in a RAID 1 configuration using mdadm.

The primary server runs a cron job at 4 am every day that opens an openvpn tunnel to the other server - which has an identical backup configuration but runs CentOS instead of Debian - and uses rsync to mirror the changes. The majority of the functionality of this system is implemented in the open-source software I described, and the remainder is hacked together with Perl and BASH scripts.

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always love PhD students... they are "smarter then you" or so they like to say..... yet they aren't smart enough to keep backups of something that is literally your life's work.....

and the excuse "I don't know how to" with them doesn't fly.... considering they are (masters in) RESEARCH students... so research it and do it!

The PhD students who have a "smarter than you" attitude are relatively rare, and are mostly the ones who will burn out and drop out within the first year.

A PhD is not about being smart, it's about being able to look at some in a objective manner, make measurements and comparisons, and document them. It's a 60+ hour per week job with terrible pay, and depending on what you're doing your PhD in, quite probably not worth it for either yourself or humanity.

yet if all these guys died tomorrow, we'd all be screwed. do you know how to generate electricity ? treat water so its drinkable?process foods? make toilet paper? know anything about medicine? if the average joe dies,the world continues to function the way it does.

Actually, the entire point of doing a PhD is that you document everything. Everything. You publish papers and you write a several-hundred page long thesis detailing the steps you took to get your PhD. If a PhD dies, then all of there research is documented - that's why they got their PhD in the first place.

I feel sorry for the guy, but if you're not at least backing up years of research (hell, you should be keeping it under version control too), you're just asking for trouble. He should at least have copies of some of the thesis in the form of research papers and publications, so it's not all lost.

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if were the thief, i would sold copy of the data to Pharma R&D, then ask for that $1,000 money.

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The system is of my design and is run on my hardware. I was inspired by similar systems I have read about, so I can't claim credit for all the ideas, although the implementation is my own. I have two servers with a nearly identical configuration. The primary is at my place and the other is a few states away at a relative's house.

The primary server runs Debian and hosts openvpn and rsync servers. I use openvpn on my laptop to create a secure connection to my server, then use rsync to perform the incremental backup. I have a cron job that fires once every twelve hours to automate the process, although I sometimes compulsively trigger manual backups if I feel like I just completed a monumental task, or changed something equally important.

When rsync accepts the connection on my server it creates a new directory for the current backup and hard links to the last backup directory. All changed files are stored only in the new directory and unchanged files remain hard links to the last copy (to save space). My server has cron jobs that ensure that I keep every backup from the last two days, one backup per day for the five days beyond that, the first backup of the week for five weeks in a row, the first backup of the month for twelve months, and the first backup of the year indefinitely. The backup drive uses EXT4, but it is mirrored to an identical drive in a RAID 1 configuration using mdadm.

The primary server runs a cron job at 4 am every day that opens an openvpn tunnel to the other server - which has an identical backup configuration but runs CentOS instead of Debian - and uses rsync to mirror the changes. The majority of the functionality of this system is implemented in the open-source software I described, and the remainder is hacked together with Perl and BASH scripts.

wow that sounds very nice. I keep thinking to improve my backup scheme but i'm not really in a position to setup any servers atm, so I'm limited to mirroring stuff on multiple devices =(

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Should have installed some anti theft software on it. I use prey on my setup, it's completely free.

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. If all of the PHDs died tomorrow, life would go on. Phds have 0 to do with intelligence and everything to do with being patient enough to go through 12 years of school for a piece of paper, Higher ed is pretty masturbatory now anyway.

However, if all of the "average joes" died tomorrow, civilization would collapse :) Mostly because the average joes comprise most of the population, but it's also because the average joes are the ones feeding us, getting oil out of the ground, constructing buildings and bridges, and have been doing that **** for centuries. Respect the average joe.

This is probably one of the most ignorant posts I've seen on this site.

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This is probably one of the most ignorant posts I've seen on this site.

He always makes sentences like that, mostly towards high degree students (he called me prick once... PhD here, admittedly, not the smartest of all :D)

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If I stole it, I'd scribble on the note left "you must have typo'd the dollar amount and missed at least one zero. Five years of labor is worth more than $1,000.00 dollars. If you seriously want the data, provide a serious amount to its value and I'll get back to you or sell it elsewhere."

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I couldn't tell you what a thesis is -- but I do back-up once in a while. :p

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This is probably one of the most ignorant posts I've seen on this site.

His statement contains some truth regarding PhD in general: that getting a PhD degree does not correlates to your intelligence nor your problem-solving skills. I've seen plenty of PhD candidates and wonder how they finished their program.

If you are not one of those PhD guys you should feel confident about yourself and stop with the name calling.

Well, if you are, then be my guest to feel upset.

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His statement contains some truth regarding PhD in general: that getting a PhD degree does not correlates to your intelligence nor your problem-solving skills. I've seen plenty of PhD candidates and wonder how they finished their program.

If you are not one of those PhD guys you should feel confident about yourself and stop with the name calling.

Well, if you are, then be my guest to feel upset.

No, his statement doesn't contain any truth "in general" and the idea that people with PhDs are generally unintelligent is just plain ridiculous. However, it's not uncommon for people to make disparaging comments about highly educated people. It's a myth routinely peddled by the uneducated.

By the way, just so you know, I don't have a PhD (although I'd love to have one) and I haven't resorted to name calling in any of my posts.

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always love PhD students... they are "smarter then you" or so they like to say..... yet they aren't smart enough to keep backups of something that is literally your life's work.....

always love when people generalize an entire section of people because of the mistake of one.

Oh and by the way, it's 'smarter than you'.

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always love when people generalize an entire section of people because of the mistake of one.

Oh and by the way, it's 'smarter than you'.

I had pointed that out earlier, but nobody caught it apparently. ;)

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No, his statement doesn't contain any truth "in general" and the idea that people with PhDs are generally unintelligent is just plain ridiculous. However, it's not uncommon for people to make disparaging comments about highly educated people. It's a myth routinely peddled by the uneducated.

By the way, just so you know, I don't have a PhD (although I'd love to have one) and I haven't resorted to name calling in any of my posts.

Nobody said that PhDs are generally unintelligent. His point and my point was "PhDs as a degree have no correlation to one's intelligence."

It is also absurd to label individual people's intelligence level based on the degree he obtained. Thus "PhDs as a degree have no correlation one's intelligence."

I've been through Doctorate program and I know how it works generally.

edit: I'm fine with you thinking PhDs are smart and intelligent, makes me feel special heh! Was just trying to tell you it's not a pretty picture from someone who's been through it.

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Nobody said that PhDs are generally unintelligent.

Ah, you did:

His statement contains some truth regarding PhD in general

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Most of them know about backups. There are a variety of reasons that they choose not to.

- There are few indications of impending data loss. It's something that can just happen suddenly, with no warnings. The expenses and efforts to plan against it never seem urgent or necessary until it happens. Think something like renter's or earthquake insurance - easy purchases to put off, because you can always imagine the disaster as happening in the distant future, if at all.

- Cost: They're students. A lot of PhD candidates are recent college graduates and are already saddled with a fair amount of debt. Dropping 100$ on a physical drive with no redundancy isn't appealing when they're already deep in the red.

- There is a lot of data. Online automated sync solutions are nice and convenient. Many of them also don't handle massive amounts of data. I do fluorescence imaging, and individual files that I generate can be several gigabytes. I've moved that data folder out of Skydrive because I can't buy enough storage from MS to accommodate those files. Mesh was better, with the direct sync/no cloud storage option, but it's gone now.

- The data could be TOP SEKRET. Yeah, psych students. Human research subjects. Personally identifiable information. In my experience, investigators with this data relied exclusively on local backup drives, and each backup had paperwork associated with it. Student's probably way up the creek with no paddle if they let a laptop with that data walk off.

Thing is, these are excuses. Each and every one can be bypassed - easily, for many of us. Still, that's how excuses work. Many of us don't go to the gym every day to get 30 minutes of cardio, and check our blood pressure and cholesterol levels. We don't buy earthquake insurance. We don't do a walkaround of our cars every time we start them up to check for broken lights or worn tires because we trust that everything will be OK, and that rare disasters are rare.

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Ah, you did:

Tell me who said "PhDs are unintelligent"

What he said is:

Phds have 0 to do with intelligence and everything to do with being patient enough to go through 12 years of school for a piece of paper, Higher ed is pretty masturbatory now anyway.

Let's look at the phrase "have 0 to do with intelligence", which, I believe, if you ask any average joe, it means "have no relationship with intelligence".

So please enlighten me, who said specifically "PhDs are unintelligent"?

For the whole post I wrote, this is what you want to reply? Well as I said, feel free to make me feel special. Thanks.

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always love when people generalize an entire section of people because of the mistake of one.

Oh and by the way, it's 'smarter than you'.

because of One? I can show you entire universities full of them..... Even the one I went to, the PhD's refused to associate with the "under class" because they weren't qualified to talk to them... I've met a LOT of full of themselves PhD students... I'd say about a third of them qualify as "I'm better then you"... heck I think the culture is encouraged by the processors / advisors in some schools... my sister went to a major university in Philadelphia, and on their orientation, they where told "you are better then everyone else here, make sure it's shown" as part of their orientation papers that they received... I mean seriously, that is ridiculous... sure they made it further in, doesn't mean you have to flaunt it...

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Tell me who said "PhDs are unintelligent"

What he said is:

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Let's look at the phrase "have 0 to do with intelligence", which, I believe, if you ask any average joe, it means "have no relationship with intelligence".

So please enlighten me, who said specifically "PhDs are unintelligent"?

For the whole post I wrote, this is what you want to reply? Well as I said, feel free to make me feel special. Thanks.

I feel like you're adopting too much of a self-depricating stance here. It's patently false that the correlation between graduate degrees and intelligence is zero. Considering that there is a strong correlation between IQ and academic achievement, and graduate programs take only the highest achieving at each level, there must be a non-negligible correlation between a phd and intelligence. Now of course, people who pretend that intelligence doesn't matter in school also tend to reject the validity of IQ as a measure of intelligence, but it's been shown time and again that IQ is one of the strongest predictors of academic and career success, it's foolish to deny that IQ is at least a very useful and good approximate - if not perfect - measure of intelligence. All that you can really say is that having a PHD doesn't necessitate high intelligence.

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