Tuesday, 9 December 2014


It's time for some housekeeping again - well, housekeeping in regard to the computer. We have a lovely thing for keeping files safe and sound, since I have become an even bigger fan of secure backups when several hard disks died during my phd thesis writing. (I lost a bit of work each time, but not much, thanks to regular backing up.) So these days, we have a RAID 1, which is really cool, and with 2 TB, it's also quite roomy. For the non-computer geeks: RAID stands for Redundant Array of Individual (or Inexpensive) Disks. The 1 after that means you get two identical hard disk drives, and then you write all your data on both disks, so they should have identical content. The smart thing can check itself to make sure both disks are working and both have the same content - and in case one dies, you replace it and the thing mirrors the contents of the survivor to the empty replacement. It's not the securest thing there ever was, since there's no guarantee both won't die at once, but much better than just a single disk. (There's lots of more numbers for RAIDs that mean delightfully complicated arrangements of several disks to speed things up and make stuff extra-secure. But we stick with the 1, for now.)

Doing lots of backups, though, and with an inclination to rather copy a file once more than one time too few, duplicate files will inevitably accumulate. Which means that even roomy RAIDs will, at a certain point in time, not be so roomy anymore. So now and then, housekeeping is on the agenda. Which means that my computer has been running a duplicate search over night, and I just spent a little while checking what it has found, and generously deleting duplicates, triplicates and in some cases even quadriplicates. (That happens when you backup everything, then move a file to a different location, accidentally copy it again, and I have no clue where the fourth one came from.)

Just in case you are getting nervous now since your last backup has been ages ago: I use SyncBack as the backup tool, and AntiTwin to search and delete duplicate files. Both are free in their basic version. Go do a backup. It's the best way to make sure you might never need it - and if you do, well, then you have one!

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