The danger of any hardware malfunction always lurk behind the mind of a sysop, web-host or any computer owner who relies on his equipment for day-to-day operations.
In the ever fast-changing world of Mac/PC hardware, the kind of devices & media to back-up your data could be that so various and diverse already, that they could now fill-up a standard, two-car, American garage.
All sorts of tape drives (Bernoulli, Travan, etc), CD-ROMS, DVD-ROMS, microfilms, microfiche, ZIP drives, assorted variations/incarnations of the hard drive & diskette drive, DATs and other lesser-known media or brands that are now probably buried deep in selected “e-waste” landfills in the U.S. Or, more probably, choking the already-polluted streets & waterways of China, Africa, India & most Far East countries – – according to Greenpeace, these are where advanced countries, export (read as: dump) their obsolete electronics & medical equipments. Most of them, obviously, in the pretext of aid.
It’s good to know, however, that these electronic – now, marvels, tomorrow, junks – back-up units are getting smaller in sizes. The way they connect to computers played a big factor for their physical diminution.
Gone were the bulky, interface-standards of yesteryear: serial, parallel and SCSI, as well as various modifications of them that resulted in proprietary standards – e.g., MiniDIN, ADB, HP-IB, Sun-SCSI – that further confused an already-confused user base in the glory days of the personal computers.
Today, there are basically two standard formats to hook-up these small, external back-up units: the USB and FireWire. Their cables are much thinner & lighter without sacrificing data-transfer speed. In fact, they are way much faster than their predecessors.
From my early years of using an Apple II (where using a hard drive – aka: “Winchester” drive – was then a luxury) with its glorious, 140KB, 5-1/4 floppy disk drive backing up my Magic Window (a word-processing software) & VisiCalc (the very first spreadsheet software) files.
I had now come a long way – 26 years later – to using Western Digital’s external 500GB MyBook (with both FireWire & USB interface) and Shirt Pocket’s very popular back-up software called “SuperDuper!” – to mimic my entire PowerMac G5’s hard drive!
Is that progress? Or, is life, – like electronics – just a perpetual state of junk?
More of the same story…10 to 20 years later???