Yesterday, after returning from a trip to Kenya, the hard drive on my old MacBook Air decided to die. Eventually I was able to recover most of it, but many files on my home directory were simply gone. But this isn't such a big problem, as everything of importance is anyway online, conforming with the Linus backup strategy:
Backups are for wimps. Real men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else mirror it.
So, where do I keep my stuff?
- Code: GitHub or various version control systems used by upstream projects
- Presentations: Ubuntu One for raw files, and SlideShare for the published ones
- Other documents: company's BaseCamp intranet
- Photos: Flickr for the good ones
- Music: who needs files for this when there is Spotify?
- Contacts, Emails and Calendaring: company's Google Apps account
- Browser settings: Firefox Sync
- Notes: Ubuntu One Tomboy sync
Privacy is the other obvious concern, making ownCloud an interesting prospect on the longer run. Update: Here is Paul Carr, who earlier moved most of his life into the cloud rethinking it because of recent US government privacy abuses:
Now, with everything in the cloud, the decision whether to hand over my personal information is almost entirely out of my hands. And unless, as happened with Twitter, the company storing my data decides to fight for openness on my behalf, there’s every possibility that I won’t even hear about the request until it’s too late. That’s just not how things should work in a free society.
Of course, it remains statistically unlikely that I’m going to be the subject of a subpoena any time soon. I’m hardly an enemy of the state. But then again, until recently, neither were many of the supporters of Wikileaks. Who’s to say that an innocuous organisation I give support to today won’t suddenly become highly controversial tomorrow?