Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Burn It and Dream of Me.

Since the Great Computer Cleansing, as I've taken to calling it, on Friday I've come to the conclusion that I need to back up all my PDFs on discs so that I don't have to worry about it all getting dumped when I do this again next year. Now if I only had two or three PDFs I wouldn't worry about it but I have quite a bit more. In fact, I have over 70 gigs worth of just PDFs on my computer.

I know what you're saying, "You have a problem, dude. Seriously, why do you have that many? And do you really expect to read all of them?"

First, shut up. I don't have a problem. You have the damned problem.  

Second I have so many because the Internet Archive is the single greatest collection of scanned, downloadable books I've ever run across. I disappear in there about once a month looking for a book on some esoteric topic and come back with twenty or so related books that I can read. Like when I was working on the Cartographer's Toolkit I went in there looking for the Royal Geographer's Society's handbook. I came out with twenty PDFs of their meeting notes, tips, and correspondences.

Look I know it's a . . . thing. But there's something incredibly satisfying about having these books at hand. I mean, let's face it, I may never be able to travel to the Cambridge University to actually look at a real copy of some of these books but I can have a scanned copy on my hard drive. For me that's the next best thing. 

12 comments:

  1. For some reason based on the title alone I thought we would be in for some Silent Hill-like post.

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    1. Actually working on one of those for Halloween right now.

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  2. Maybe instead of discs, an external hard drive? My wife just bought one so she could salvage files from a dying computer, and I want to say she got 200+ gigs of space for like $50. Might be worth looking into as it would allow you to organize your PDFs, get rid of ones you don't want anymore, etc. And it takes up less space than a stack of CD-ROMS.

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    1. Yeah, but I already have the DVD Rs and I don't have to pay out any more money this way! Fine. it isn't like I liked not paying more money anyway. Here Amazon; take my money!

      *goes to order smart guy's good idea of external hard drive while complaining about not being as smart as smart guy*

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  3. I've been using an external hard drive as well (1 TB for everything, pdfs, photos, all kinds of crap I've saved over the year)... and some cloud storage for what I consider "critical" files.

    Even with a DVD-R, 70 gigs is painful to back up 4 GB at a time. Are you using a Blu-Ray burner? Another consideration is flash drives. A 128 GB flash stick is about $50 and fairly durable considering it would not be used to heavy read/write activity.

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    1. Honestly I think that I'm just trying to get a single back up available right now. My wife has everything backed up on her laptop so this is just another case of me being safe. Also, external hard drive is totally on the to purchase list since I read Tom's comment up above. I just didn't think about it at all when I started working on all this.

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  4. I have this problem. I have like 64 GB of PDFs I carry in my pocket on a sturdy thumb drive. I have nearly half a TB of PDFs and music files on my home PC. It's a lovely sickness. I keep all my PDFs backed up on that external drive, my portable thumb drive, my Surface and an Micro-SD card on my Samsung.....it's hard to lose data in my house.

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  5. Remember two is one and one is none.

    Also, there are two kinds of hard drives. Ones that have failed, and ones that are going to fail.

    An expansion of the first sentence, if you only have one copy of something, you have no redundancy if that storage medium fails. And thumb drives can fail as well. I've had it happen. So having multiple copies of important data is better than having only one copy. Multiple storage mediums is nice, as well.

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    1. "Remember two is one and one is none."

      I love that! Totally brilliant!

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  6. I suggest Dropbox or a similar cloud storage system to back up your physical back up. There are several free options out there and most offer a tier 1 plan for less than 10 dollars a month. I migrate my data completely to a new deck every 3 or so years and Dropbox is essential. It is accessible across all of my devices and from any browser. I use it on my tablet, phone and laptop. It also makes sharing files easy.

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    1. Once we move and I have better options available for internet I will totally be doing that!

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