A Plan for the Paranoid. And the Prepared.
In my unending quest for redundancy and the safety of both my data and ability to work while on the field, I’ve learned a few things. Recent conversations on the Travel Photographers Network have had me thinking about these things again. I thought I’d share my own system for surviving disaster on the road. The key is redundancy. I carry:
1 spec’d-out MacBook, in a Booq Vyper sleeve
2 AC Cables in case one dies
1 surge protector
2 Lexar Firewire card readers, 2 FW400 cables
2 bus-powered, FW400/USB2.0 harddrives
1 bus-powered, FW400 hardrive with a bootable copy of my laptop in case the hardrive in the laptop dies.
1 Hyperdrive, in case the laptop dies entirely. I still need to download my cards, so this allows me to do so.
50GB of Lexar 4 and 8GB Compact Flash Cards.
I recently discovered SuperDuper! – a utility that creates a bootable copy of your computer. It’s free if you’re happy with the basic functionality. You need to have a FW drive, as USB drives don’t seem to be bootable. If/When your laptop dies, plug the bootable harddrive in, restart the Mac while holding down the OPTION key, and you’re up and running again.
Before you travel, do an update to make sure the bootable copy is up to date. It never hurts to launch disk utility to verify your harddrives before you travel.
It’s OK to be paranoid, folks. If it means the difference between losing my files and keeping them, or getting – or not getting – my work done, I’ll do whatever it takes.