Making backups and keeping them

The idea of making system backups is known to every one, but rarely do normal people really keep their systems secure and be able to restore data in case of hard drive failure. Just yesterday we were discussing about the issue with family guests, and heard once again a story about how hard drive failure destroyed thousands of photos that were not backed up properly anywhere. As an ironic twist the failure happened a day before someone was supposed to bring an external drive, sort all the data in new folders and make backups of everything.

Ever since I switched to OS X Leopard, I’ve not ceased to admire how well the TimeMachine behaves and how convenient it is for the enduser. Costs of external drives have gone down tremendously and these days you can get Lacie 500 gigabytes external USB drive for 99 euros. That makes a 20 cents for a gigabyte, which is a great bargain for the convenience and addded security.

There seems to be numerous backup tools also for Windows, but I haven’t had any experiences with them for years. Seems that most of them are about 50 dollars per machine or little more with well known brands like Norton Ghost. Any ideas on which ones are really worthwhile to try and to suggest to friends to be used? Open source tools like Clonezilla seem to be too complicated for non technies to use on their own, and don’t offer rolling backups as an option – but rather an ability to same and restore and image of the system.

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