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It’s been a week when four of my contacts on Facebook have had close calls or actual loss of their image archives or parts thereof. I may have been triggered by this as, at the same time, I’ve been moving data around on my laptop in order to make space for both my film scanning work and also the Natural Landscape Awards entries. In typical Apple style, they charge an absolute fortune for their internal SSDs and don’t allow you to upgrade them yourself, so at some point, you end up pushed to the edge (of your limited internal hard drive space).
I’ve been using SanDisk Extreme SSDs for ‘working’ copies of files, and although a little inconvenient (an extra item dangling from your mobile computer isn’t great), they are at least as fast as the internal drives or as close as doesn’t matter.
Unfortunately worrying are the reports that the Extreme SSDs have been catastrophically failing for people. Although SanDisk appears to have tried to address this (see here) it still makes you worry about using them for backup purposes and hence I also use a Synology 5 drive raid system. This can cope with two hard drive failures at the same time. This might sound excessive, but the biggest strain on a disk system is when it’s rebuilding a failed drive - which would be catastrophic with no spare. However, having had a Synology array AND a Drobo array fail on me AND an online service expire without me noticing, I now run two separate Synology drives as well.
This latest issue with SanDisk also prompted me to test my backups - you wouldn’t believe the number of stories of people only finding out that their backups weren't working when they’re finally relying on them!
All of this is just a reminder to people to make sure their favourite images are backed up in multiple places! I also send a backup of my most important files (websites, etc) to my parents (automatically via SFTP).
Sorry for the little backup rant, but it’s been on my mind.
p.s. If you use film, get some scans of your most important work. I’d recommend using a good drum scanning service like Professional Drum Scanning. We may be biased, as it’s our business!
Click here to download issue 286 (high quality, 148Mb) Click here to download issue 286 (smaller download, 106Mb) more
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