CrashPlan – Part V

Adding more.

In Part IV I mentioned that I had copied all my photo files to CrashPlan’s cloud storage.

As there are currently no limits on storage volumes, and I do not expect this status to prevail, I have been gradually moving other non-photo data to CrashPlan on the assumption that unlimited volume rights will be grandfathered if they decide to charge for large storage spaces. I have signed up for three years at CrashPlan and now have over 300gB of data on their servers.

Here’s how the storage paths selected for cloud backup look at CP:

CrashPlan directories.

When inputting new paths, the best way is to drag and drop the folder from Finder on your Mac to the above CP box. Typing in the path does not cut it – Finder omits the suffix “.aplibrary” from the Aperture database, for example, and without it the back-up will fail. Further, remember to add the trailing slash (‘/’) or the back-up will fail. Irritating quirks and CP really needs to adopt a visual icon based approach, compared to this geeky one.

How about Applications? Increasingly applications are purchased by download, so all you need keep in the cloud is information relating to your serial number and related access keys. Uploading gigabytes of applications to the cloud makes no sense. It’s also likely you will miss one or more of the hidden directories many applications use. Just re-download the app if you lose the original (assuming the vendor is still in business), then re-input the key. Rather than using CrashPlan I strongly recommend 1Password used in combination with a free DropBox account. The latter will not only store all your keys remotely, but also provides efficient syncing of all your 1Password data to all your Macs and iDevices. After many months of use I can confirm it works properly. 1Password is an application every Mac or iDevice user should own.

Here’s an extract of the Software section in my copy of 1Password:

What about software you bought on DVDs? For me that leaves the truly awful Intuit Quicken. I store that DVD offsite.

CrashPlan’s warning feature:

CrashPlan will backup even if your computer is logged out; however it cannot do so if the machine is switched off. That happened with my HackPro the other day when, for the first time in ages, I left it off overnight while doing some hardware maintenance. I received the following alert from CrashPlan in my email the next day – a nice feature: