MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2010

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 137 of 147

FEA TURE REVIEW DIGITAL STORAGE AND SECURITY WORDS BY BILL TROOP How to safeguard the life we put on disk We live in a digit-driven world now. Our life’s work, our life’s legacy, and our life’s fun, is created, transmitted, and stored digitally. So is our romantic life. Love letters should only be handwritten, but who under 30 knew? Digital wedding pictures and videos follow, not to mention baby pix, and so it goes. Our novels and art work compete for storage space with our entertainment and the unedited chronicles of our relationships and families. A vast, irreplaceable digital inventory becomes the cornerstone, and perhaps the millstone, of our lives. Unwittingly and unwillingly, we have become managers of this huge inventory. We only really ask one thing of these machines that have become so important in our lives: Don’t lose any of my data! For digital storage is “unimaginably powerful, but infinitely fragile” as publishing panjandrum Jason Epstein mirrors the first. Every time your computer writes to disk, it writes to both drives simultaneously. The genius of RAID 1 is that if one drive fails, the other takes over automatically. Then, the system warns you to replace the defective hard drive, and a good enclosure makes this so easy anyone can do it. And then the system “rebuilds the RAID array” in techno speak. It automatically copies all the data from the good hard drive onto the replacement hard drive, and you again have a writes in a lyrical though sometimes baffling piece in the New York Review of Booksthis March. . One tiny magnetic bit wrong, one scratch on a DVD, one lightning strike, one electric surge from the power company — and it can all be gone in one ghastly flash. So how do we protect it? The single most effective thing we can do is to back up daily onto a RAID 1 external hard drive. A RAID 1 external is not one, but two hard drives. The second drive system that is protecting your data on two hard drives simultaneously. Why not have RAID 1 on the computer you’re using, rather than on an external? You can do it this way, but it’s technically too involved for most users. Additionally, few laptops will gracefully accommodate a second hard drive. An external RAID 1 is not only the easiest way to go, but the soundest. The next thing to do is to choose your backup program. The simplest solution is 136 MacDirectory

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