Friday, July 10, 2009

SpiderOak saves the day in unexpected way

Ok, I'll admit it - I'm a computer geek. After over 20 years in the industry, I still go gaga over the Next New Toy, regardless whether it's software or hardware. So, of course, I tas totally stoked last week when I finally broke down and purchased an offsite storage solution.

I'm sure everyone has an opinion on the best solution, but for my needs and my reasons, I bought SpiderOak. So far, it's been extremely easy to work with, across both Mac and Windows laptops and desktops. I found out that a single account supports all of my computers, as long as I don't exceed my storage allocation, and this has already come in very handy.

But, as I'm not affiliated with SpiderOak an any way, I'm not rambling to convince you to buy this product (although I'm guessing you'd greatly benefit from it). No, I'm here to pat myself on the back for finding an unintended use of this backup tool, one which helped considerably this morning.

I'm currently 200 miles from home, in a remote campsite (with a laptop and data card, of course). This morning, the family and I treked out to one of these underground caverns. I, being the family photog, had chewed through all but one memory card during our vacation. I believe a 4-leter word might have danced across my lips as I noticed that I hadn't yet formatted the data card. This is when doubt set in - had I copied these pictures to my Mac yet? Of course! Most probably! I doubt I didn't! Um, I did, didn't I???

It's not like I could call someone and have them go to my house and check. This would require 1) finding someone available, 2) giving that person my Mac password, and 3) walking someone through the steps of finding my files. This was not an enticing solution.

It was at that moment that I had my back-patting moment. I ran to the back of the car and fired up the laptop (yes, I dragged along, for fear of leaving it at the campsite). The family groaned in unison, but I convinced them to give me a few quick minutes to "check something," and to go find something fun in the gift shop (in the end, this suggestion cost me dearly, but that's another story).

After an agonizing 3 minutes, Vista was up, the data card was connected, and I was surfed into spideroak.com. A quick login later, and I was staring at my offsite file tree. A few more clicks, and I was all smiles. There, sitting in front of me, was a big fat file listing with all of my photos from my very last data card. Quick shutdown, quick in-camara card format, and quick trip to the gift shop (I was too late to thwart cheesy-gift-shop purchases), and we were off to the caverns, camera locked-n-loaded.

So: Kudos to SpiderOak for an easy-to-use tool that works just as advertised, with a very speedy and easy-to-navigate web interface. And, thanks for providing the bonus feature of allowing me to simply check for the existence of a set of files to ensure that I wasn't permanently deleting the only copy of my data.

Time to get back to vacation - the campfire is roaring and the back of my LCD is getting quite toasty. Good thing my laptop is backed up...

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