April 21, 2011
Data, video, and general web backup
ESTIMATE OF THE VALUE OF FAMILY PHOTOS AND PERSONAL DOCUMENTS
Technology provides benefits but imposes significant costs (in money and time).
PHOTOS: When film rolls were expensive, each camera would take about 20 rolls of film on average. So if a cheap camera cost USD$100 (in those days) and each roll including processing cost $15, then 20 rolls (say 500 shots in all) cost $400 in all, or $1 per shot. In today's terms, each shot is worth at least $5 in current value. Once digital computers came, then photos multiplied. By now I have 14,000 pictures in my personal records. Even if the marginal cost of these pictures is very low, the fact is that at least 10 cameras have been used by now, and plenty of other raw material (rolls, batteries, albums, etc. etc.). Total value is at least $10,000 if not more.
If I add the cost of videos (on Sony Handycam, and the new one) then the cost of the capital and raw material is at least another $2500 in today's value. Altogether around $12,500 in COST in today's value.
But what if the house were burnt and these things lost? What would be the value you'd be willing to pay to recover these? At least a quarter of my remaining savings. So the true value of these things is enormous.
And what about one's writings? While books are replaceable, one's unpublished writings are not. The total value of these things is huge. Fortunately much of this material is now available in digital form.
In brief, it is OF GREAT VALUE in BACKUPING THIS MATERIAL DILIGENTLY AND, to the extent possible, AUTOMATICALLY.
So far I've been buying spare hard disks (costing each time well over $200 in current value), and these last for about 2-3 years. The problem is that this material is perishable as well. What if a fire takes place? Then everything will be lost.
What if I could dispense with hard disks almost entirely, and resort entirely to the cloud? What would I be willing to pay for the power to store my valuable data on the cloud? My guess is that I'd be willing to pay QUITE A BIT, at least $100 per year in current dollar value.
Carbonite: ALL PERSONAL BACKUPS [unlimited, trying first year for around $55 or so]. This includes ALL pictures, videos, and data including full FTP backups.
DriveHQ: ALL CRITICAL FILES [ up to 1 GB is free ] it is genuine FTP and very convenient – better than Cloudberry.
Carbonite is slow, so back up on HDD. S3 might be useful once its prices fall down further.