Backup


I must confess I’ve only recently read the details about Cyberlocker. How cunning it is in terms of detecting your country and choosing to encrypt your files or not. What I’ve only just realised is that should it enter your PC by what ever means , it will encrypt not only your main C: drive or equivalent but any attached USB drives. I’ve historically used a USB drive as a simple backup system for the main data on my PC. I leave it powered and connected all of the time my PC is powered on.

Well I’ve now changed my mind about this. In fact the best way to protect one self of course is to back up and then disconnect your USB drive. Friends have been suggesting this for years but it’s just too dam impractical for me. So I’ve bought one of these remote controlled mains sockets. See image below. I can simply now only turn the drive on when I wish to make a backup then quickly turn it off without almost lifting a finger (well apart from pressing the button). These are readily available in the UK for <£7 on the likes of ebay etc. I reckon this is £7 well spent. Of course there are other brands that I’m sure work just as well. If you want to understand more about Cyberlocker there are plenty of good links to explain more about it for example https://goo.gl/oPChrm

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My backup theme continues. Thanks to a generous relative I’ve inherited a modern (but not so green) AMD dual core PC. A lot of watts for normal running (120+) but it has 500G of disk space.  So how about turning into a remote (read out of site) controllable backup drive?

i) The pre-requisites are turning on the PC remotely using Wake up on LAN. A good introduction here:

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/tips/2008/01/25/access_your_computer_anytime_and_save_energy_with_wakeonlan-2.html

ii) Then you need a small application to wake it up, I’ve found this to be neat:

http://www.fusion-online.com.ar/en/products/wol/

iii) I’ve elected to install http://www.tightvnc.com/ as a service in order that I can shutdown the PC when I’ve finished uploading my files using Synback http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html

That’s it really, sound more complex that it really is.

The final part for me is to install in a suitable location? Might need to invoke some networking over mains technology. Best I look back at some of my earlier posts 😉

When shut down the PC draws about 9W , not perfect I admit but better than running all day at 15-20W with the addition of noise and heat.

Thanks to a colleague at Pure Digital for the initial project stimulus.

** Update 17/12/2008

Well it’s installed and running! What’s a little disappointing is that the mains networking (Solwise 85Mbs home plugs runs at only about 16M b/s.  perhaps better than a marginal wifi signal I know but still not as fast as I might of liked.)  In spec I’m assured by the manufacturer  considering the distance covered. But of course these means an average data rate of approx. 2 Mbytes/second. So be careful if you’ve lots of large files to support.