Bitcoin & Backup

I’ve been following the Bitcoin saga pretty closely lately. I first heard of the digital currency in 2010, shortly after it was launched. Back then, the value of a Bitcoin was less than the change you might find in your sofa. In the beginning people were mostly talking about the difficulties of buying lunch with Bitcoin.

Now that Bitcoin has achieved a much higher profile, the value of a single Bitcoin has skyrocketed (and sometimes plummeted back toward earth). It’s an interesting tale, and users have gone from using it to buy lunch to living for a week on Bitcoin alone.

All of which got me thinking about how much of my life is tied to my Mac. I work in front of it at least eight hours a day. I use it for entertainment, watching movies on it (or streaming them to my TV with AirPlay). Most of my music collection is played back from iTunes. I track my finances on my Mac, store scanned versions of all my important documents there, and use it to keep up with far-flung friends and family via Skype, FaceTime, and of course Facebook. Family photos, my dog’s vet records, even my top-secret recipe for the perfect Manhattan all live on my Mac. And now with Bitcoin, computers are also bank vaults, holding not just your Quicken records, but the chunks of computer code that are Bitcoin itself.

Without me even realizing it, my computer has become the single most important object in my house—so much so that calling it a “machine” vastly underestimates its value. It’s less of an machine, and more of a repository of information that I interact with daily for work, play, and all sorts of necessities like paying bills (literally and figuratively), keeping grocery lists, and remembering to call my mom on her birthday.

Sure, my Mac has some innate value, as in the couple hundred bucks that someone would pay for a used last-gen MacBook. If I lost it, I’d be sad for a minute, then I’d head to the Apple Store to buy a new one. But the real value of my Mac is what I’ve put in it, and some of that can’t be replaced no matter how much money (or Bitcoin, if you prefer) I throw at the problem. Ask anyone who’s had a hard-drive crash and they’ll tell you that losing data hurts.

Thankfully, backing your stuff up is painless. I’ve got a short road trip coming up, and owing to first-hand knowledge of what it’s like for a hard drive to bite the dust, I backed up my data to an external drive just in case. Backing up my entire user folder from scratch took less time than it did to make myself lunch. In addition to Dolly’s well-known cloud storage and backup features, we’ve also got Local Backup and Clone tools, and we’ll even walk you through the process. It’s easier than you think, and the security of having a fully backed-up Mac is worth even more than a virtual pocket full of Bitcoin (which is at US $113.78 as I write this).

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