Scott Penrose


Scott is an expert software developer with over 30 years experience, specialising in education, automation and remote data.

We all backup right ? Here is my strategies...

TODO - Update with 2011 information. See Also Cloud Backup


Use an IMAP server. Keep everything on that server. Get your mail program ( or Thunderbird etc) to cache a local copy of the emails for searching.

Code & Documents

Use a version control system such as Subversion. Distributed version control is very popular now, as it should be, but one thing about distributed version control - your copy still needs to be stored somewhere. Use Subversion ! (As of about 2011 I use GIT).

I have a "home" folder in my home directory which is then structured into client, project and other folders with a nice logical and backed up structure. Put in as much as you can.


I use [[Aperture?]] to store and manage my photos on my main Apple workstation. This applies to folder structures and other methods:

  • Import photos into your management system
  • Keep a copy on another drive
  • When the copy folder gets to 4GB (or 8GB or what ever medium of the day) burn to DVD
  • Store those DVDs well marked and in a fire proof safe
  • RSYNC whole directory to another location - external drive
  • Keep two separate copies, one regularly backed up (each major change like import) and one less often when you know things are stable.


Personal from a camera.

  • Import into some management system
  • Currently I use iMovie (new one on Leopard is pretty cool and non-destructive of originals)
  • RSYNC whole volume to another drive
    • This can be difficult. I currently have 300GB
    • Some people may have many many TB !

This one needs further thought.


  • rsync to another server
    • Great for immediate recovery
    • If you want high reliability do it twice - once online, again offline to same location (for Database syncs etc)
  • Tape backup
    • I am currently in a no-tape situation - I need a new drive

Workstations & Laptops

Any way you can. Rsync is good. Apple Time Machine if you have that.

See Also

  • Setup
  • Storage
  • Photography