JoNova

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A nice software surprise (better than SyncToy), and an update from David

How often do you hear a story of an easy software solution to a widespread problem? If you leave your computer running (with sleeps) for days like I do, the back up program might never back up the most important files which are open. A skeptic developed a quick inexpensive answer, and we’re impressed. I hardly ever hear David enthused about software. He said,  “I was building backup software I’d do it like this!” – Jo

Backing up Joanne’s inbox

Guest post by David Evans

Joanne’s old computer developed a very flaky main hard drive (HDD) last year, and died after a few fits and splutters. With donations from this blog (thank you!) she bought a new Windows computer, which works wonderfully, and seems much quicker mainly due to the solid state drive (SSD).

We’d been using Microsoft’s SyncToy to do daily backups, like a lot of technical trendies from around 2007. SyncToy just synchronizes your data with a backup folder, thereby making a backup in the usual file format, without needing a special back up program to recover backed up files. Last year it turned out Joanne’s old HDD was cajoled into running a bit longer so we got everything off it without resorting to backups, but it was good to know the backups were there.

At the time, reader Ashleigh popped up and offered copies of his backup program for Windows, QuickShadow. I was extremely busy at the time (just discovered the notch-delay solar theory, see the update below*), so I made a note of this backup program and promised to have a look when I wasn’t so rushed.

A few days ago I’d finished a paper for submission, and felt it was time (time for a change of topic, anyway). I installed QuickShadow, and had that rare moment of surprise (shock even!) because for once everything went better, and worked better, than I expected, so I thought I’d write this note.

Quickshadow is pretty much the program I’ve thought about building for myself. I develop software, and have been frustrated at backup software that is too complex, has a geeky interface with arcane terms or far too many options, doesn’t schedule backups automatically, doesn’t tell you what it is doing, use some weird file format, or otherwise needlessly sucks your time. So, thank you
Ashleigh!

The shortcomings with SyncToy

SyncToy’s main weaknesses are that (a) if you delete a file accidentally then it will delete it from its copy, and (b) it does not copy files that are open – in use by say Word or Excel. More critically, Joanne’s mail client is open all the time, and it keeps its files open when in use, so SyncToy rarely got to back up its data files. Joanne uses it to run the blog, it acts as her to do list, and it is of course her main communication tool. The Inbox perennially has 20,000 items (she laments she hasn’t figured out a good way to manage the volume).

QuickShadow — if I was building backup software I’d do it like this!

Quickshadow makes a backup copy of the selected bits of your hard drive on another drive, either locally or on a network drive. It does it automatically, continually, and efficiently in the background. It simply reproduces the file structure in the usual formats, very simple. By default it does not delete files when you do, keeping all the old stuff, so it is proof against accidental deletions. And crucially, it copies open (in use) files—yep, it really does (it’s a slightly difficult technical trick, but did it flawlessly in my testing).

Joanne’s computer and mine (they are identical, except mine is 6 months older) both have an SDD with all the programs and data, and an HDD that is just for backup and odd big stuff like photos and movies. By backing up daily all of the data on the SDD to the HDD, we are good against SDD or machine failure—just pull out the HDD and move it to a new machine. For theft or fire we have occasional offsite backups—but in 20+ years of computer use, the failures I’ve personally known about have all been failures of disks or computers.

Finally, Joanne’s Inbox is getting backup daily! Three days now. All automatic (or we’d forget, or put it off).

QuickShadow will even monitor your disk and backup every time you make a change. Simple to set up; the defaults are all about right IMHO. Select a file, and on the mouse menu (right click for most of you) there is an option to open a Windows Explorer window showing the backups of that file—very cool! And it keeps up to 10 old versions of the files that change, so it is easy to go back a few iterations, which is nice. It’s a mature commercial product, US$25 for the full version, free for a fairly capable version which does not include copying open files or auto scheduling.

Haven’t tried the network backup, but will when I install a NAS (when I get time, next year). One limitation: QuickShadow is limited to one scheduled time to run all backups or synchronizations, so cannot schedule different backups for different times (hint Ashleigh). Of course, that would complicate it a wee bit more.

UPDATE on the Solar Model

As will become clearer soon, despite the silence, I have been working pretty non-stop on climate stuff, mostly writing up papers for submission. The ND theory is one of three developments. To recap, the Notch Delay (ND) theory is only the second quantified physical explanation for global warming, its use of a delay overcoming previous objections to all solar theories that TSI and so on peaked in 1986 but warming continued until the mid to late 90s. The notch in the step response initially suggested a delay of one solar cycle was mandatory, but with help from readers, this was corrected to being possible, but not guaranteed by the notch. It doesn’t make much difference, the evidence for the delay still comes from several papers studying solar cycle length, and lags in correlations with Northern Hemisphere temperatures and solar activity. Updating the step response is not hard and will, I believe, lead to similar conclusions. Getting to it real soon now. : )

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A nice software surprise (better than SyncToy), and an update from David, 8.8 out of 10 based on 57 ratings

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73 comments to A nice software surprise (better than SyncToy), and an update from David

  • #
    sillyfilly

    Good to see the update of computer hardware for Jo, it’s obviously been inadequate. Pity there’s no similar capability upgrade for inadequate scientific understanding.

    254

    • #
      the Griss

      “Pity there’s no similar capability upgrade for inadequate scientific understanding.”

      Yes, primary school for you must be very difficult.

      420

    • #
      Yonniestone

      SF don’t you use a form of social engineering for inadequate scientific understanding?

      I think it’s called Agenda 21 or something?…..maybe you can enlighten us?

      280

    • #
      Truthseeker

      “Pity there’s no similar capability upgrade for inadequate scientific understanding.”

      I guess that means we will be nothing but worthless comments from StupidHorse for the foreseeable future …

      210

    • #
      Heywood

      Looks like Stupid Horse is duty troll today. Good to see her first in with a useless flippant remark.

      170

    • #
      safetyguy66

      Nice bit of random trolling. I guess its pointless asking you to elaborate?

      100

      • #
        Mark D.

        I don’t think it is random trolling.

        40

        • #
          Heywood

          No. Certainly not random. Highly targeted and possibly even funded trolling.

          90

          • #
            sophocles

            or a genuine cretinoid hippocephalic … :-)

            80

            • #
              ROM

              sillyfilly
              October 1, 2014 at 9:34 am

              “Pity there’s no similar capability upgrade for inadequate scientific understanding.”

              ____________________

              You had me quite confused there guys.

              I really thought that SF was lamenting her inadequate lack of scientific understanding and was looking for some means of upgrading her own very obvious lack of any scientific understanding which she regularly exhibits here.

              A quite understandable objective for SF as the climate is turning out to be far more complex and in fact as time goes on even further from being understood than SF’s climate catastrophists believed only a couple of years ago.

              Something that the skeptics were consistently warning about, that the global climate is governed by a very complex set of natural factors, all interacting and which still is decades away from being understood.

              And that is now something that even the IPCC in it’s AR5 has admitted.

              So my reaction to SF’s little post was Good for you.It seems you might even have got to the point of admitting you don’t really know much at all about the science you like to quote here in the past and have now come around to admitting you would like to upgrade yourself in science knowledge.

              Ah well ! The alternative is the possibility of some porcine aviation eventuating.

              122

          • #
            Tim

            At last count, SF has led nine bloggers (oops – now ten),up her garden path and therefore derailed discussion. Could that be the modus operandi?

            20

    • #
      PhilJourdan

      Yes, sad there is no hope for you.

      20

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Computers are very good at doing a lot of work very fast. They’re also good information storage and retrieval systems. But the human must be the thinker in the mix. So Jo gets a lot of benefit from her computer. Unfortunately I can’t see how to say the same for Silly Filly.

      00

    • #
      Streetcred

      We have a term for people like you silly, “arschlag”.

      00

  • #
    Wayne Job

    Thankyou Dr Evans,
    Your work on the solar model is indeed interesting, my thoughts run to whether your model would tie in to what Miles Mathis has discovered using NASA data to forecast and hindcast the duration and size of solar cycles and the reason causing them. Together you may be able to accurately forecast the worlds trends for hundreds of years. Regards Wayne

    130

    • #
      Bobl

      I’d doubt that, because forecasting would depend on knowing what the sun and earth will do in the future, however it would be possible assuming some understanding of the mechanism of the notch, to produce scenarios for climate VS insolation.

      30

  • #
    safetyguy66

    Went full SSD’s on my PC some time ago, you never look back. No wind up delay, no noise, just instant data. I even put one in my PS4. (yes Im not too old to play games, just ask my employers).

    Looking forward to seeing the work David, but in the immortal words of Terry Gilliam.

    Its only a model;)

    40

  • #
    Peter S

    Quick Shadow sounds very much like Apple’s Time Machine – which has been around for yonks. Better still Time Machine enables you to recover previous versions of files if you want.

    Get a NAS drive with mirrored disks.

    30

    • #
      Truthseeker

      I had to replace my iMac recently with a new one and have now added a thunderbolt drive and am using Time Machine. Works seemlessly and without any fuss.

      30

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Another piece of advice: Hold no work-related data whatsoever on your system data storage. I always assume that I will have to totally reinstall a clean operating system in about five-seconds from now. So I hold all data on external storage, that is automatically mirrored to a physically separate external storage device, as others have recommended.

      We have serious NAS, but our current working files are on the desktop while they are being used. If we have a power supply problem with a desktop, we do not want it frying the data. We find that 64GB thumb drives (with mirroring to another thumb drive) solves that problem.

      50

      • #
        NielsZoo

        I do RAID 1 with hybrid drives on my “portable” workstations and NAS backup both local and remote. The lower cost of drives and controllers today allowed me to do my last two Dell M series laptop workstations with built in RAID capability for not a lot of money. The other nice thing about the laptop workstations is that you have built a in on-line UPS system. Doing high level 3D CAD in Central Florida (the lightning capitol of North America) the portable PC running on the charging adapter and wireless network is the only system I’ve every had that I have not lost to lightning at some point.

        10

    • #
      Ashleigh

      It’s a similar idea. There can be multiple old versions stored on the backup destination – which can be another drive, a NAS, etc. It just works in the background, but can also allow a manual or automatic synchronise to push changes over.

      Of course this all gets very difficult when trying to maintain backups of very large files (eg mailboxes) which can run to gigabytes in size. Keeping an up to date live backup of those kind of files is a challenge for any backup system. QuickShadow drops back the frequency of the copies-away for extremely large files.

      20

  • #
    Peter C

    To recap, the Notch Delay (ND) theory is only the second quantified physical explanation for global warming

    What is the first quantified physical explanation for global warming?

    31

  • #
    Louis Hissink

    Which is why I am on the Apple platform – TimeMachine beavers away in the background, needs little input apart to which remote drive to copy stuff to, and that’s it.

    But when I was working, I ran windows machines and yes backup for that platform is as how David describes it – mind-numbing at times.

    40

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Windows Vista turned me into a Microsoft sceptic.

      Early last year I had to use Windows 8, which I thought ghastly (and I gather I was no orphan. 2 of the local computer shops still advertise in their window that they can supply Windows 7).

      I now see Microsoft will replace Windows 8 with Windows 10. You see, they can’t count, let alone produce decent software.

      Good luck to Ashley, but if he looks like having a winner I think that Microsoft will give away a FREE look-a-like.

      30

      • #
        Andrew McRae

        Perhaps Microsoft has figured out that their operating systems are like Star Trek movies: every 2nd one was worse than the odd ones.
        Win98 good, 2000 bad, XP good, Vista bad, Win7 good, Win8 bizarre.
        Microsoft thinks they can buck the trend by skipping version numbers. Unfortunately if it works then 10 will be as bad as 8, but more likely it won’t work and 10 will be better. It’s not the name or the number that succeeds but whether they learned from their last project.

        MY best case scenario for Win10 would be an upgraded Win7. In the worst case, KHAAAANNNN!

        40

        • #
          Tim

          I think the 3rd world outsourcing might be a factor. “You got it wrong again, dammit. Next time we’ll use a better and even cheaper sub-contractor.”

          00

        • #
          cementafriend

          Andrew McRae agree with that luckily I went from 98 to XP which I still have on my old lap top and from 98 to Win7. Can not see any reason to go to Win8.

          A note for David E, I use “GoodSync” from Siber Systems Inc. It allows you to sync different partitions on your hard drive and in directions of your choice. I have it so if I delete something on my computer it is still there on the external drive until I delete it there. A good thing with the email is that it can be searched on the external drive similar to the drive on the computer. All the files in the backup are in their normal form but compressed. I do daily backups and it takes fractions of a second for 30 to 40 file changes.

          00

          • #
            PhilJourdan

            Can not see any reason to go to Win8.

            Sure! If you do not have enough aggravation and heart burn in your life, by all means go to it!

            I am advising clients to wait for 10. It means delaying computer upgrades 6 months to a year, but I have ENOUGH aggravation and heartburn in my life.

            00

      • #
        Another Ian

        Graeme No.3

        October 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm · Reply

        Windows Vista turned me into a Microsoft sceptic.

        Graeme I admire your persistence if it took that long!

        Just got to W7 and a slew of Windows Live “Unknown errors”

        00

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Another Ian:

          I used Corel Word Perfect at work before we got taken over by a large firm from the USA who decreed that we use Microsoft Word, Excel and Access. Word Perfect could import any Word file, but the reverse was far from true. I had about 2,000 Word Perfect files containing multiple tables to convert to Word, which was bloody useless. Each and every table had to be corrected individually. Then Excel turned out to have a bug?? above 8100 lines. I found this out after importing 8300+ different products into Access (not my choice) and having to correct every one of 46 columns because they were all out of alignment.

          And don’t get me started on Oracle Gems. I lost my temper at one stage and told the IT Manager that it was like something out of the early 1970′s. She corrected me to something out of the early 1960′s. Needless to say neither of us were there that much longer. To this day I doubt that they have managed to correct some of the errors resulting from their decisions, but it doesn’t matter as under “superior american knowhow” the Company is a shell of what it was. Their only superiority was financial “engineering” and snake oil.

          When I was made redundant (actually by mutual consent) I used Win 98.2 and Corel Office which suited me as I wasn’t on the internet. It was a new computer with Vista sent me over, I sold it very cheaply and switched to Apple and have never been tempted to go back. Windows 8 was for some other use, not personal. Whatever people say about Steve Jobs my opinion is that his insistence that programs all work together and consistently was his real claim to genius. And a rarity among american management.

          Please forgive this rant but you brought up memories.

          20

      • #
        Streetcred

        There’s to be no Vers. 9 because 7 … 8 … 9!

        00

  • #

    Just a quick FYI. The Windows file system contains a shadow copy service that runs in the background. It is not as full featured as the program you mention, but having gone through a similar issue with heat related drive failures, the shadow copy service helped me get most of my data off a dying drive. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Copy.

    10

    • #
      Ashleigh

      The Shadow Copy system takes a snap every now and again – perhaps daily if you are lucky, but could even be weekly.

      QuickShadow Backup copies files to the backup device within 2 minutes of a change, every time something is changed.

      :)

      10

    • #
      PhilJourdan

      Getting the stuff back without a system restore, however, is problematic.

      Unless you have Shadow Restore! It is freeware and enables you to browse the shadow copies and restore selected files! I know it saved a friends data when she accidentally got infected with Ransomeware!

      00

      • #
        Neville

        And yet … Apple’s Time Machine does all this and more, flawlessly, without a break, with automatic backups every hour, day and week, on the fly, totally invisible in the background, AND has been doing it for the five-odd years that I’ve had this particular iMac. Oh yes, and allowed me to seamlessly restore a few files that I’d accidentally deleted from time to time. General answer? – flick Windows, get a Mac! [grin]

        00

  • #
  • #

    If you are using Windows 8, it has a backup system called File History. It keeps older versions of changed files as well. You have to turn this feature on.
    I use SyncToy for my software development projects (in addition to File History) so I can use my different computers with the most up to date version of my projects.
    A backup system I will be using soon involves using RAID, where two hard drives are mirrored so backup is instantaneous. I have been waiting for hard-drive prices to drop before setting this up. They have finally become reasonably priced after they sky-rocketed in price from the floods where most of them were manufactured a few years ago. Note, RAID should always be used with two other backup methods as well, just in case.

    20

    • #
      Ashleigh

      Windows 8 file history system is the same as that in Vista – a copy taken periodically.

      I too used to use RAID, until I lost the mirror when a drive failed. These days, RAID lives in my NAS, the PC has an SSD in it, and QuickShadow copies everything from the SSD to the NAS many many times / day and within seconds of files being changed. An SSD dropping dead is then of little consequence (apart from inconvenient). The backups on the NAS are always timely.

      10

      • #

        The difference with File History is the backup goes to a separate hard drive, storage medium or computer across the network. It is also very easy to look through the backups and see the files.
        If a drive fails in a mirror, I assume that the drive that did not fail has all the files intact still. I once set up RAID in a configuration that striped 3 hard drives and when one fails, all data is lost. There is another version of RAID configuration that allows one drive to fail in a 3 or more disk array and all data is recoverable. This version though somewhat redundant, consumes more space than simple striping. However, hard drives are very large in capacity and cheap nowadays.
        I lost very important data once from a rare triple failure incident that partially used soft raid, and two hard drives failing at the same time. I never want to see that happen ever again

        00

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      That seems a bit redundant if you’re using a source revision control system, such as git or subversion. I found subversion easier to understand, but all the cool kids use git these days.

      One feature I wanted in a backup program was the ability to index an extant set of backup discs that were not burned by that program, then use that index to check which online files have already been backed up and optionally delete them to save space. When I looked around in 2003 I couldn’t find any programs that did that, so I wrote my own. Fairly easy to do. It has the small advantage that if a file has been renamed I can still check if I have a backup of it. Of course one can also search for a file by name and size and find out which of 35 CDs/DVDs has it. But that’s just an index, it doesn’t handle the task of burning data to optical media.

      The downside is I use Linux as my main desktop and there are very few backup programs for Linux. If anyone can recommend one I’d appreciate it.
      I’ve been surviving just dragging files into DVD burning tools manually like a savage.

      00

      • #
        Mike Smith

        A couple thoughts on backup and Solid State Drives.
        Solid State Drives are indeed very fast but they bring additional complexities in the form of wear leveling and an action called Trim. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trim_%28computing%29 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear_leveling. Each OS has tools to monitor and manage these things so I’d use them.

        As for backup on Linux, I like Crashplan very much. It runs on windows and mac too. Encryption, data deduplication, versioning, automatic bit rot protection, real-time backup etc. Loads of features. You can use it for personal computers and backup to the cloud for 50.00 U.S. a year unlimited, or you can backup to a folder or external drive, or network connected friend, for free.
        If you have an office environment they have an enterprise version that is fantastic and very affordable.

        00

      • #

        I had to give up on source control because I found it very frustrating to use, and for the sake of my health, I switched to SyncToy. I also use Microsoft’s OneDrive to store a copy on their cloud. All I have to do is have a copy on my OneDrive folder on my computer, and it automatically gets backup on the cloud, and replicates to all of my other machines that are online.

        00

  • #
    Spotted Reptile

    Jo, could you please correct the headline to Better THAN, not better Then. Just to save my sanity and help prevent the THENs from taking over the world.

    Thank you.

    [Done. Are you feeling better than?] ED

    40

  • #
    RogueElement451

    I have reached the conclusion that the World is just a great big onion and the Sun is a giant egg timer with an 11 year cycle.
    Glad I have that off my chest , it has been troubling me for a while.

    10

  • #
    mmxx

    As an occasional contributor (with five year tertiary science qualifications) to this blog, I acknowledge sillyfilly’s right to post an opinion.

    That doesn’t mean I agree with sillyfilly.

    Indeed, could sillyfilly explain why, to date, IPPC models and CAGW followers have projected such catastrophic forecasts for my/my children’s future on earth? Clinical analysis of measured data over the last 15 years suggests no dramatic threat to contemporary human existence in an ecological context.

    Climate Commission/Council alarms about societal dysfunction in Australians have not materialised over the many years to date, no significantly verifiable global sea level rises have occurred and hurricane/cyclonic events have not intensified recently on planet Earth as alarmists forecast.

    Geological volcanic activity on Earth and solar irradiance variation have continued with an unpredictability as would be expected in this age of knowledge.

    Carbon dioxide has been wrongly cast as the one Big Bad in this drama series of belief based on incomplete science.

    100

    • #
      Safetyguy66

      “CAGW followers have projected such catastrophic forecasts for my/my children’s future on earth?”

      Watching “Are you being served” the other day. The episode was about how the heating was turned of at Grace Brothers because of the oil shortage. Rumbold read an article from the paper that oil was rapidly running out and an energy crisis was imminent.

      http://econ.economicshelp.org/2010/02/economy-of-1970s.html

      For as long as mankind has had language we have been predicting the end of the world. It is the main theme of almost every religion on the planet, including the church of AGW. When in reality things have been improving for a long time(in the Western world at least). http://www.eh-resources.org/timeline/timeline_industrial.html

      We can only hope that despite the best efforts of over zealous environmentalists, the 3rd world will enjoy the same passage of development in years to come.

      20

  • #
    Mardler

    Does Quickshadow handle long path names? W7 copy and backup don’t thus are useless plus although long path name files are highlighted they aren’t identified!

    I run W7 OS on SSD using two HDDs that were in a RAID array the new security was to be an external 1Tb HD but I’m stuck with the above problem.

    Info would be helpful.

    00

    • #
      Ashleigh

      YES.

      Quickshadow Backup handles path names up to 32760 characters.

      Restoring such long paths using windows explorer (and in fact even navigating them) is a whole separate mess, which microsoft has never properly addressed.

      But the long paths can be copied off with no troubles at all.

      20

  • #
    • #
      RogueElement451

      Just read that and it is interesting , if I could only harness this phenomenon my career as a hop ,skip and jump champion could really take off.

      00

  • #
    Gary in Erko

    Second Copy is another backup worth checking out – http://www.secondcopy.com/

    00

  • #
    ROM

    When it comes to loss of information and stored knowledge, Joseph Stalin [ Josef Djugashvili born Dec 1st 1879 ] in a round about way and a different context probably put it best;

    One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic

    The loss of personal information and personal stored knowledge is a tragedy for the person [s ] involved. The loss is deeply felt.

    The loss of whole archives is a true tragedy but the real scale of what was lost and the loss of benefits to those involved might never be really known.

    And yet the loss of electronically archived knowledge is a horrendous possibility that could set human progress back decades or in the worst case possibly centuries as so many things will have to be re-invented and re-developed if and when needed at a later date.

    I think here of the possibility / probability of another great plague of some sort which may not have shown up for centuries or only did so in isolated pockets. But through circumstances or mutations the plague re-emerges with devastating effects .
    The answers on how to handle the plague are long known but the knowledge is no longer able to be electronically read leading to a situation where everything has to started again from scratch to learn about the plague characteristics and the handling and the types of controls needed.
    Meanwhile while that knowledge is re-assembled, millions die even though all that knowledge is right there in the no longer readable electronic archives

    NASA as just one example has run into this problem on a number of occassions as the data storing technologies and the translation machines and coding it used to store archived information in past decades was turfed out for later methods and archival technologies and languages.
    When some years later somebody somewhere in NASA or outside sources needed that information, the machines that were used to archive the information had been sent to the disposals and there was nobody left in NASA who understood either the methods used or the coding for the archiving or the languages used .

    In one case one of the retired engineers in that section figured that one day NASA would need that information again and took two of the only half dozen machines built, back to his garage where he stored them for many years until he was informally asked by NASA personnel if he, as somebody who had been involved in the original archiving could help at all. where upon he wheeled the two translating machines out from his garage.
    The machines still needed some modification as each machine had been built a little different to each other machine and therefore translated it’s input in different ways .
    But at least in this case NASA was able to retrieve some quite important data and information.

    The greatest NASA tragedy in it’s information storage was the deletion and overwriting of the Moon Landing and Armstrong’s first steps on a the Moon as recorded directly by NASA from the Lunar lander’s camera transmissions.

    A technician wanted another tape in a hurry to record something so headed down to the archives to get an old tape to use, figured that the tape he picked up wasn’t of much further use and so deleted and overwrote the only original pictorial record, taken directly from the Lander modules camera, of the Moon Landing and Armstrong’s first steps.

    The only record that Mankind and the World now has of this, one of the single most important events and milestone in our entire human history, the very first time man had left his home planet and land on another planetary body, the Moon, that we now have is that lousy and very poor quality video from the TV camera which was trained on a monitor which was relaying Armstrong’s steps as they appeared to the NASA personnel, a monitor picture which by today’s standards was a fair picture.

    The technology created problem of long term archiving is very, very significant for as coding, archival languages, electronic archiving technologies are all rapidly changing often within a decade, the immense amounts of information now being archived for the future will be lost completely for future generations as knowledge of those unused codes and languages is lost.
    That archival coding is also electronically archived as well and as it goes so does access to all that past information and data.

    [ SD cards with all your family photos stored on them for your descendants perusal last about a decade. So much for any records of your existence. The old black and white photos were a much more reliable storage medium even if severely limited in amounts of data stored but at least it is still there a century or more on.]

    However the problem of archiving ALL of the information and all of human knowledge and always having it as an accessible data source has been worked on by a number of people.
    And the answer is the oldest and very first form of data and information storage and still the densest, most reliable and most long lived as in centuries life data storage medium that has ever existed and that is DNA .

    Certainly by 1994 there were already suggestions that DNA could be used for data storage but the decoding of the DNA was a major stumbling block.
    However technology just keeps right on keeping on going ever faster and ever better with DNA translation becoming faster and cheaper by the month

    A couple of references which explain the DNA storage of data better than I can and for those geeks interested in following up this DNA data storage technology progress;
    _____________________

    [ quoted from;

    From Harvard Uni 2012;

    Harvard cracks DNA storage, crams 700 terabytes of data into a single gram

    A bioengineer and geneticist at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have successfully stored 5.5 petabits of data — around 700 terabytes — in a single gram of DNA, smashing the previous DNA data density record by a thousand times.

    The work, carried out by George Church and Sri Kosuri, basically treats DNA as just another digital storage device. Instead of binary data being encoded as magnetic regions on a hard drive platter, strands of DNA that store 96 bits are synthesized, with each of the bases (TGAC) representing a binary value (T and G = 1, A and C = 0).

    To read the data stored in DNA, you simply sequence it — just as if you were sequencing the human genome — and convert each of the TGAC bases back into binary. To aid with sequencing, each strand of DNA has a 19-bit address block at the start (the red bits in the image below) — so a whole vat of DNA can be sequenced out of order, and then sorted into usable data using the addresses.
    &
    Just think about it for a moment: One gram of DNA can store 700 terabytes of data. That’s 14,000 50-gigabyte Blu-ray discs… in a droplet of DNA that would fit on the tip of your pinky. To store the same kind of data on hard drives — the densest storage medium in use today — you’d need 233 3TB drives, weighing a total of 151 kilos. In Church and Kosuri’s case, they have successfully stored around 700 kilobytes of data in DNA — Church’s latest book, in fact — and proceeded to make 70 billion copies (which they claim, jokingly, makes it the best-selling book of all time!) totaling 44 petabytes of data stored.

    [ more ]
    _____________________________

    And ; Can We Apocalypse-Proof the World’s Knowledge with DNA?

    In terms of information density, DNA outclasses anything we’ve been able to invent. A single gram can contain as much data as 3 million CDs. All of the world’s data would fit in the back of a minivan.

    And once encoded into DNA, information is a doddle to copy. To transfer the contents of one hard disk into another, you need to hook both of them up to a computer and wait for minutes or hours. To transfer the contents of a tube of DNA, you dissolve it in water, suck up some of the liquid into a pipette, and squeeze it into another tube. It takes seconds. “I could copy a petabyte like this,” says Birney, who mimes depressing his thumb.

    [ more ]

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    PhilJourdan

    I am using Cobian, but may give this a try. As you found out the hard way, hard drives fail (even SSDs). I do not care if I blow a MB or monitor. But lose data? Yea that is a big deal.

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      Ashleigh

      I do also suggestion backup to a NAS that has at least 2 RAID drives in it.

      In general terms, more copies = better.

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    Greg Goodman

    I think the ND is a misreading of the evidence. I’m unconvinced that there is a notch rather than as simple low-pass in operation. It can be misinterpreted as a notch on the basis of the spectral content of SSN, which has strong peak ( well a triplet of peaks, to be more accurate ) around 11y period.

    Tropical feedbacks counter most of the changes in radiative input from all sources ( except for shortwave or UV frequencies which penetrate the surface layer ).

    The UV components have the same 11y periodicity but are damped by the thermal inertia of oceans. This as a first approximation can be seen as a low-pass filter but not a notch.

    There is some sub-1yy variability in both SSN and SST but I have not seen any evidence presented by David or anyone else of any correlation or causation in this frequency band. Until I do see that I see not justification whatsoever to suggest an improbable notch filter instead of a much more readily explainable low-pass filter.

    Now, I said low-pass was approximate because there is more to climate system than just damping. There are known feedbacks, predominantly the negative plank feedback. This is such that further the system is from a nominal equilibrium state, the strong the feedback and the stronger the return force to correct offset.

    This is a very common natural response that is found in wide variety to physical systems. It is probably the simplest kind of system response and is often called relaxation to equilibrium.

    In the context of the oceans, if the bulk of the water in the mixed layer gets warmed as described by deeper penetrating UV, plank feedback will result in greater radiation to the atmosphere and ultimately to space. This will produce an exponential relaxation mechanism.

    The result of this response can be found by convolution of the input forcing with a suitably time exponential decay function.

    This will produce both low-pass characteristics and a lag.

    This is similar to David’s N-D but is more readily explained physically. IMO the N-D idea is similar enough to look like it maybe along the right lines but is a misinterpretation of the evidence.

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      Greg Goodman

      BTW, a simple exponential of SSN producing the right lag does not remove enough of the 11y variability. In fact the circa decadal variability is not the remainder of the 11y SSN. SST drifts in and out of phase with the solar cycles and this has often attributed to solar forcing by those ready to close an eye to the periods where it does not work.

      I showed here that the decadal change is of lunar origin. not solar.
      http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=981

      The lag of the peak correlation is somewhere between 11 and 21y. 15 years would probably be a good estimation.
      https://climategrog.wordpress.com/wp-admin/upload.php?item=958

      Having identified the 8.85 year lunar cycle in SST, a better understanding of the longer term variation in the lunar forcing is required. Due to the complexity of the lunar orbit and the timing in relation to the solar tidal forces, it seem unlikely that it will be simply explained by a single cycle.

      It seems possible that low-pass filtering due to oceanic thermal inertia and relaxation response to the resulting SST anomalies could provide an inter-decadal variability that resembles the accepted global mean SST record.

      This could be attributed to variation in solar UV that gets past the surface feedbacks that counter changes in long wave radiative forcing, be it of solar or GHG origin.

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    janama

    Thank you David – excellent program – I’ve been using Freeagent but it creates new backups on a regular basis and you end up with various forms of the backup which you have to search through whereas Quickshadow retains one data base and updates when any changes are made. I added a test folder and it immediately appeared in the backup folder., excellent!

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    kcom

    I’ve been using Cobian Backup for years and it’s generally reliable (have had a problem on one system). You can make as many backup jobs as you want to run at different times and it backs up open files no problem. Up to now it’s been free but there’s an announcement that the developer has just sold it so that could change in the future.

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    Thanks Jo, Dr. Evans.
    I have published an article on Dr. David Evans – The Notch-Delay Solar Theory, 2014.
    The English version is at http://www.oarval.org/ClimateChangeBW.htm (Black on white) and http://www.oarval.org/ClimateChange.htm (Red on black).
    The Spanish version “Dr. David Evans – La Teoría Solar Ranuras-Retraso, 2014″ is at http://www.oarval.org/CambioClimaBW.htm and http://www.oarval.org/CambioClima.htm

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    handjive

    This might be an interesting corner to look in and compare:

    Is it volcano season? From Japan to Iceland, scientists probe the reasons why there are so many eruptions lately

    Eruptions caused by a shortened day

    “The four seasons are caused by the Earth’s axis of rotation tilting toward and away from the sun.
    But our planet undergoes another, less well-known change, which affects it in a more subtle way, perhaps even volcanically.

    Due to factors like the gravitational pull of the sun and moon, the speed at which the Earth rotates constantly changes.
    Accordingly the length of a day actually varies from year to year.
    The difference is only in the order of milliseconds.
    But new research suggests that this seemingly small perturbation could bring about significant changes on our planet — or more accurately, within it.

    A study published in the journal Terra Nova in February showed that, since the early 19th century, changes in the Earth’s rotation rate tended to be followed by increases in global volcanic activity.
    It found that, between 1830 and 2013, the longest period for which a reliable record was available, relatively large changes in rotation rate were immediately followed by an increase in the number of large volcanic eruptions.
    And, more than merely being correlated, the authors believe that the rotation changes might actually have triggered these large eruptions.”

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/09/30/is-it-volcano-season-from-japan-to-iceland-scientists-probe-the-reasons-why-there-are-so-many-eruptions-lately/

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    PhilJourdan

    Off topic, but I wanted some input on this video that is making its rounds.

    http://youtu.be/tg-b8skNNY0

    I know our junk food is different, but is it really that different?

    For the record, I do not regularly eat any of the products displayed. most because I do not care for them, and a couple because I have never had the inclination.

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    farmerbraun

    Someone remind me to send Willis Eschenbach some flowers . . or something :-) . . . will ya?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/01/test-driving-the-solar-notch-delay-model/#comment-1753641

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