Hi, I’m Manu, a biking web developer. I’ve been writing on here since June 2002 about a bunch of different topics. My favorite posts are tagged with ✪.

Why “plothole.net”? As defined on wikipedia,

a plot hole, plothole or plot error is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot. Such inconsistencies include such things as illogical or impossible events, and statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.

This definition suits my life pretty well.

Thanks for reading!

My backup strategy

Don’t wait until something happens. It will be too late. Do backups, folks!

My backup strategy has evolved quite a bit over time. It still isn’t completely satisfying and probably never will be, simply because you can’t prepare for everything. What I could and should do is save part of my stuff on optical media, as they live longer than magnetic drives, and use an online storage service like Blackblaze or Crashplan (but I have trust issues, even if I don’t have any sensitive data, just private stuff).

At first, I had no backup. Some time around 2001–2002 I started to back up my photos on CDs, then DVDs, then on an external drive. I never backed up my whole system until Mac OS X shipped with Time Machine. Thanks to Time Machine, I lost absolutely no data when my MacBook Pro got stolen in 2008. I bought a new Mac and imported everything seemlessly. I thankfully never had any harddrive failure nor any kind of incident except that one. Which doesn’t mean however that my backup strategy hasn’t evolved since. I now have the original files and three copies. Two copies are local, meaning at my appartment, and one copy is off-site at my Mom’s. All drives are encrypted, hence password-protected1. The cool thing, and I’m not bragging here, is that the backup plan I came up with, had been “validated” by other people2. Well, except for my lack of a cloud component, like I said before.

So, long story short, here is my backup plan:

click to view in large
click to view in large

For Mac users, the icons3 should be pretty self-explanatory. For the others, the silvery-grey boxes are harddrives and the blue-greenish boxes are Time Machine harddrives.

Basically, it works like this:

It looks complicated, but it really doesn’t require any effort whatsoever.

  1. Please, pretty pretty please, use a password management software like 1Password! But that’s another topic entirely.

  2. There are tons of good resources on the interwebs, for example:

  3. Technically, they are .icns files you can find on your Mac OS X system under


    You can then open them with Preview and save them as .png files. Quite handy!

  4. Because Mac OS X likes to complain when you eject a drive “improperly”, and because I’m too lazy to drag’n’drop it onto the trashcan (or right-click it to eject), I found a way to use a keyboard shortcut to eject 3 when I power off my Thunderbolt Display. You create a service in Automator and you trigger it via a shortcut defined in the System Preferences.

    Script to be executed
    Script to be executed
    Define a keyboard shortcut
    Define a keyboard shortcut