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Old 03-20-2010, 05:36 PM   #1
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How do you back up your books?

I am wondering how everybody backs up their stuff. I have some of my books on the Kindle and some not, but I am still concerned about backing them up because a) not all of them are from the same source so if I ever had to re-create my whole collection from scratch, it would take ages and b) some of them have had work done on them such as conversions that would take ages to re-do. So, what I had been doing was backing up everything using Time Machine onto a backup drive. But then I started thinking I needed a second back-up not at home. I thought about sending them all 'into the cloud' as attachments in my email and storing them there, but again, tat would take forever as each book would need to be emailed individually. So what I did was bu an 8 gb USB thumb drive (my collection is not even 1 gb even though it it over 800 books) and backed up the whole Calibre library folder onto that and I have attached it to my keychain so it is with me when I leave the house.

As far as original files go, if the book was eReader and I converted it to HTML, I am keeping the HTML in Calibre but I am not keeping the original eReader anywhere. If it is a mobi or a Fictionwise multiformat, I am keeping the mobi original in Calibre since I am using mobi right now and since I can easily convert them in Calibre later to something else. And if it was originally an epub, I am keeping the epub backed up in a separate folder since they gum up Calibre if I leave them in there. People told me epub loses a little in conversion to mobi and if I want to convert them to something else later, to keep the epub just in case so that's why. I have not yet backed up this 'mobi originals' folder onto something else though---I am just backing up my Calibre library for now since I may want to put some other backups on the thumb drive and don't want to run out of room.

So does this sound like enough backing up? If not, what do you recommend?
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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I'm probably being a bit more laissez-faire than you. I still back up my files, but I don't worry so much about converted files unless it took a lot of work to convert them. In my mind, as long as I keep the originals I can always convert them again should I want to read the book again (I'm a great re-reader so it's quite possible I would want to).

In a general sense with regards to backup, I back up the files that I would never wish to lose and would not be able to recreate in any way. I usually imagine 'what if I lost it in a fire?' When I put the idea to the test, it's quite amazing how little on my computer that is not expendable. Though there are still a lot I'd love to keep anyway. So I back up all of that
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:17 PM   #3
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I am a bit more anal. I keep all of my books in Calibre - I download the books I buy at Amazon, and keep those in Calibre as well. Once a week, I back-up my computer to a portable hard drive. But I also have Dropbox back-up for my library, and I have an SD card that I have labeled books. So, I have it backed up three ways. I have broken computers and lost kindles, so I have learned my lesson about back-ups (I hope).
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:38 PM   #4
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:46 PM   #5
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Perhaps not. But how much of it do you need to back up?
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:53 PM   #6
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I use DropBox and a USB drive and a CD archive.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:07 PM   #7
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I keep all my reading material on my PC data drive, plus 500mB external 3.5" mirrored to a 2.5" mini-drive as part of normal backup routine.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:14 PM   #8
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Right now, the books are all on my PC via Calibre and backed up to my 2nd PC (a Windows Home Server) and backed up on a USB key and I'm considering doing the dropbox thing too.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:22 PM   #9
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DVD or Double layer DVD, plus the wife just got me a 16gig SDHC card.

Currently sitting on aprox 5000 titles, some 3 gig. But that is my working list, the stuff that is sorted, converted, checked for duplication, file names fixed and ready to read.. I have a lot more I'm working on. On a second partition I have another 6 gig setup by genre that I'm about ready to burn to a DL dvd.

Then there is one more big pile that is yet to be converted, sorted, filename fixed, etc.
20,000 books and 10 gig in that, but I don't know how much of that is duplication. Authors listed as both David Drake, and Drake, David, Drake,D, etc.

Its a big job trying to sort it all out, and calibre just made a bigger mess. I was trying to add books and it seperated each title, put it in a folder in a folder.

I'm afraid I don't have a whole lot of patience for the job.
No software I've looked at really seemed to suit what I wanted.

The idea is to eventually get it all sorted cataloged, fixed, and burned to DVD, with a separate backup on the 16gig SD card.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:18 PM   #10
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I back up all me ebooks (original drm file, and any converted files, plus calibre library). Back up to a network drive and also to online storage (idrive.com).

All my backup jobs are scheduled to run nightly, so I never lose more than a days worth of changes/additions. imo, with online storage being so cheap these days, it is silly not to have an offsite (online) backup.

Most importantly - make sure you test your backups every now and then to make sure:
1. they are acutally backing up
2. you can actually retrieve your backed up files
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:40 AM   #11
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I have almost all my ebooks in Calibre and sync the Calibre library with my laptop, home server, and work computer. Almost all the ebooks that aren't in Calibre are PDF references and those get synced between my laptop, home server and work machine.

I've already had a huge loss when my home server hosed the data partition beyond easy recovery and I lost about 2TB of media files. I didn't have it backed up since when I ripped them all 2TB was a lot of space, plus I have the originals, so I didn't lose anything critical. It's actually easier now since I don't have to re-rip most of it, I can just download it off the net. All the originals are in boxed in the garage.

The ebooks I back up since it may become difficult to recover or re-download some of them and they don't really take up much space.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:22 AM   #12
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I use a couple of .5 TB "Free Agent" external drives with a USB interface. A couple of years ago I invested in a fairly sizeable Raid configuration for my main PC, and the one time I had a disc failure (because I forgot to connect the power to it after a fiddle with the cables) the system set about the job of re-building the missing disc and the next morning I had a complete system again. (be sure to un-plug the backup drive(s) after use).

Disc space is so cheap these days ($160.00 NZD for a 1 Tb internal Seagate) that *some* kind of backup is affordable. Partitioning your drives to keep your OS separate from your data also makes a lot of sense. I reserved 85 Gig for my old XP system, and 100 Gb for my Windows 7 setups and haven't even come close to popping those limits.

Free public spaces like Microsofts "SkyDrive" and the photo site "PhotoBucket" also offer affordable means of protecting your "non-easily-recoverable" data.

I wish I could report that I had an elaborate system of backing up all the new and valuable manterial that comes into my system -- back when I was cutting code I used "SyncBack SE" to grab all the new stuff and tuck it away -- these days its just a bulk copy of my more valuable user folders.

Frank

Last edited by frank.w; 03-21-2010 at 01:29 AM. Reason: thought of additional material
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:33 AM   #13
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I have all my books in Calibre... then I have my calibre library in my Dropbox folder.

Dropbox is a sync service that you can install on one or more computers. It keeps copies of everything on multiple computers and one copy on their cloud servers. It is automatic and instant. You don't have to do anything but keep drop box running. Whenever something changes it will get synced with that cloud and other PCs almost instantly.

Dropbox gives you 2GB for free... You can get more (up to 3GB) for free by having others sign up using your referral ID. Or, you can pay a fee to get more space. Your 1GB library would fit fine into the free space.

Just today I d/l'ed 26 recent Kindle purchases, liberated them and put them into calibre. Within a few minutes they were all safely in my dropbox.

If you decide to get a dropbox, I would appreciate it if you use my referral link: https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTMwMDU2MDk

Once you get bigger than the free dropbox you could pay... but it isn't as cost effective as some other services.

Jungle Disk is software that you pay a monthly fee for the software plus you pay $.15 per GB per month stored on their servers. $ wise this is the most cost effective storage for medium size ... perhaps up to 10-30Gb or so.

Then if you get really big you would move to something like Crash Plan... which gives you unlimited storage for less than $4 a month if you pay for 3 years up front. If you have multiple-Pcs you can back them up with the family plan for $5 a month if you pre-pay for 3 years.

The above is my progression plan. I also back up using Time Machine locally.. the cloud stuff is just emergency... plus the ability to access stuff from any Internet connected PC is a bonus.

BOb
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ea View Post
Perhaps not. But how much of it do you need to back up?
That is a good question. Pretty much 100% of your books are already backed up... at the location you original acquired them from.

Of course, re-downloading, liberating, converting, etc... would take a lot of time.. and for the cost of "free" or at most $5 a month or so you can get the stuff stored off-site online pretty easily.

See my previous post about dropbox, Jungle Disk and Crashplan.

BOb
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
That is a good question. Pretty much 100% of your books are already backed up... at the location you original acquired them from.

Of course, re-downloading, liberating, converting, etc... would take a lot of time.. and for the cost of "free" or at most $5 a month or so you can get the stuff stored off-site online pretty easily.

See my previous post about dropbox, Jungle Disk and Crashplan.

BOb
What happens if they go out of business, decide (or are forced) to drop a publisher, or lose their records for some reason? You could be out of luck trying to re-download it. It's a good idea to back up all your downloads and not rely on the vendor. An example would be Fictionwise stating on their FAQ that they can't guarantee that your books will remain in your bookshelf forever. Don't take a change, download them all, then back them up.
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