Data MigrationPosted: Tue 4 June, 2013
Every time I get a new computer – laptop, PC, work machine, whatever – and/or change jobs, one of the biggest challenges is always taking existing data and moving/copying it to the new device. And it’s not just the data, it’s also the applications – the programs that make use of the data.
But it’s also always getting easier. The process this time was the smoothest to date, and a lot of that is down to ‘cloud’ services. I store a lot of my stuff now with Dropbox, although there’s also plenty of other services. I store my data in an encrypted fashion, so it’s also secure – while I like the ease of storage on Cloud-based services, I don’t trust them with my information – but it means that once I’d installed Dropbox on the new laptop, then my key files were all being synced and downloaded.
The other thing I like about using Dropbox and it’s ilk is that if you save your files there immediately, it’s not just a saved file, it’s automatically backed up. The risks of my losing important documents is pretty much gone, because I save everything to the folder on my machine that links to a cloud-based service. All my work stuff (which is also backed up with Subversion Version Control) goes to one service, all my personal work, writing etc. goes to a different one. But the key thing is that everything’s safe, and I don’t even need to remember to do a backup.
For larger stuff, it’s still a case of “copy onto portable hard drive” – I prefer the speed of that to doing it via wi-fi – but even that is easier now with the much larger sizes of portable drives. At some point, I could add a NAS (Network Attached Storage) box, so all the data is in one central location, and the machine(s) just access it off that box/server. But for now that investment isn’t worth the time, energy or money.
All told, getting New Laptop sorted out has probably taken the best part of a working day – but that includes learning the idiosyncracies of a new Operating System and downloading/installing the apps, odds and sods that I want/need, as well as getting the data over. It’s been a pretty easy process, I have to say.