Backing up is something journalists rarely take seriously. But we produce magazines for clients so having back-ups for if – is that when? – things go wring is vital. Today I set up a remote back-up with our three main office Macs mirrored on a machine at my parents house.
When I say “I” it’s a bit like the Royal “we”. I pay a local firm of Mac experts – Logo Systems in Greenwich – for IT support Their Paul Richardson came up with the plan after I exhausted commercial data back-up schemes and found them too inflexible – they only back up your data, not systems.
So we have piece of software called PresSTORE. It is web-based, so we log in using Safari. It backs up all three machines – a server, Kate’s Macbook Black and my Macbook Pro – over night.
And it means that, in the event of a fire or being prevented from getting into our office by a bomb threat, gas leak or terrorism attack, we turn up at my folks’ and can log in as ourselves and just carry on.
The back-up unit has an exact replica of our machines, wallpaper, screen savers, email and web favourites all there, backed up as we were the previous night.
Waste of money?
It’s not cheap. I have not had the final bill but the software licence alone is about £2,500 plus VAT. The hardware is relatively cheap. We’re backing up to a Mac mini with a 2Tb external Mybook hard drive.
And of course I hope it is all a waste of money. In a perfect world I’ll never need to use it because there will never be a disaster. But my track record on avoiding disasters is not good.
In the office all the machines also back up using Time Machine to external hard drives on the server.
I use Logo Systems because when someone knocked a glass of water down the back of my Macbook a few years ago, Logo had the official Apple fix they could do in two days, and a walk-out-now solution that took 40 minutes and cost less than £100 more.
I have five Macs with them – most still on AppleCare – and I pay about £400 a year for support. Paul can log into each of our machines remotely and fix problems that we can’t. But mostly he emails advice and we sort it ourselves.
I’d recommend Logo Systems to anyone with Macs, especially if you live locally. I ‘d recommend thinking seriously about having some sort of back-up system to anyone and everyone.