Back up your files

In case you didn’t see on twitter, my work machine’s main hard drive burst into flames today.

Treat every hard drive like it will literally die an hour from now.



What do you guys use for cloud backups? I’m debating between sticking with AWS or moving over to carbonite. I set my mom up with squarespace for her pictures. (not local storage either, I already have a NAS)

I was using Amazon Cloud Drive, but they are changing it up.

I’m going to start using this as soon as it comes out. I’ll just pay for the extra storage space.

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I have 6TB up on Amazon Cloud Drive. The new pricing puts that at around $300/year.

I’ve been using Carbonite for a couple of years. $60/year or so for unlimited storage isn’t a bad deal.

Yeah, Carbonite isn’t bad at all. They’ve been around for a long time as well, so that means you can trust them to continue to exist.

I’ve been going through and deleting a lot of stuff lately. I realize I’ve been keeping a lot files that I’ll literally never use again.

Please use one of these photos of the burned out drive as the image on your 500 Error page.


Here’s the summary of why SSDs are prone to this.

The barrier to entry on manufacturing a platter-based magnetic drive is really high. To make even a shit-tier platter disk, you need clean room manufacturing facilities with tight tolerances. That’s why while even the crappest traditional hard drive might fail early or be slow, it won’t catch fire. The lowest bar is still really high.

You can literally make an SSD by hand with purchased chips, a hand-soldered board, and commodity components. No clean room required. The barrier to entry is about the same as any other crappo electronics.

You won’t see a traditional hard drive with a garbage power circuit: it wouldn’t save them any money. But a low-tier SSD? That’s fodder for bigclive.


I actually got an email from one of Carbonite’s recruiters today asking if I wanted to work there. I’m happy where I am for the time being, however.

Just send a copy of yourself.


Email myself an attachment of my whole existence as backup, then once I die have it download to a new body and figure out the mystery of my death: a cyberpunk play in three acts.

I use Backblaze. $5 a month backs up my whole computer with no maximum on storage size.

I used Carbonite for many years but there was one annoying thing where they would not automatically back up videos. Had to individually right click files and force them to be added to the backup. So around 2 years ago I saw a great deal on a multi-year Crashplan subscription and jumped on it.

It’s here.


It’s not really much different from what Google does today. Just folder sync: not actual backups.

One less cloud backup solution:

One more local one:

“We will honor all of our existing agreements with consumers, but we will no longer renew any consumer subscriptions…”

I’d be pissed if my “existing agreement” with Crashplan ended in a few days.

I think the pattern has finally emerged.

It turns out that dealing with retail consumers for cloud backups is not worth the hassle. They’re both individually demanding and unwilling to pay a lot.

It’s probably moot anyway. Normal people primarily use their phone/tablet and whatever backups it automatically provides (e.g., photos) and otherwise don’t care. Only nerds, professionals, and old people back anything up on purpose.