Data protection


in Geek stuff, Internet matters, Oxford, Writing

After another serious failure of a computer used by a friend or family member, I feel obliged to remind people that Oxford provides excellent free comprehensive data backups. If you are basing your entire M.Phil or D.Phil project on files in a (theft-vulnerable and breakable) laptop, this is something you really must do.

I already wrote about it here.

As a special bonus – prompted by passing the 40,000 visitor mark on the blog – I will personally configure the Oxford backup system for the first graduate student friend of mine who leaves a comment requesting it. Call that a special bonus for people who are reading the blog in syndication.

[Update: 22 January 2007] Bad news for people with Intel-based Macs: the TSM backup client for Mac OS does not yet support them. Supposedly, a new one is being released in February. Until then, keep making backups to external hard disks or optical discs.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben December 3, 2006 at 12:01 am

Cheers, I still need to get round to doing that (now it’s Christmas…)

Milan December 3, 2006 at 1:49 am


I can help you if you like, though it is actually pretty straightforward. You just sign up for an account, download the software, and run it.

The first time, it will take a long while. Subsequently, it will be much quicker. They will send reminders every week, and it is a huge help if something goes wrong with your computer.

Ben December 3, 2006 at 9:14 am

Thanks for the offer, though I guess I should probably look through all the stuff myself anyway – so I’ll get back to you if I get stuck.

I do save my work on my college server, which I access from my flat, so it should be backed up there anyway.

Lee December 3, 2006 at 4:34 pm

I need help setting this up. I followed the links when you wrote about this the first time, but it’s far too technical for me. I have books to read!

Milan December 3, 2006 at 4:49 pm


No problem. We can meet once I get back from Turkey.

Milan December 28, 2006 at 7:45 pm

Today, I managed to corrupt my main EndNote Library, while trying to convert it to the Mac version. Thankfully, I just grabbed a copy from last week from my TSM backup. Very useful indeed.

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