Derek Broughton derek at
Wed May 13 13:26:13 UTC 2009

Nils Kassube wrote:

> Steven Vollom wrote:
>> This may be impossible, but can a person have data saved to the /home
>> partition and the backup partition simultaneously?  That would keep
>> my backup current all the time.
> I don't think there are many programs that can save data at two
> different places simultaneously. A backup is usually done independently
> at regular intervals e.g. once a day during the night hours.

Of course, you can use software RAID in a mirror configuration (don't ask me 

>> Would doing that slow the computer down? 

Yes, but not much.

> Usually yes. Saving something to disk means waiting for the disk to
> complete the operation (unless you are saving only tiny bits of data).
> Saving to two places means waiting twice. Actually it may take less than
> double the time but you would notice a difference.

It should be _much_ less than twice the time, but more than once :-)
>> Since I have 8gb of RAM, won't that make the duplicated task
>> manageable?
> It is not a question of RAM size but waiting for the disk.

If they're _partitions_, yes, but if they're separate disks, no.  Then the 
disk wait time becomes basically the speed of the slower disk.
There are also a couple of different attempts to implement an "offline 
filesystem" via FUSE.  Google for that.  The idea is that your "ofs" is a 
local directory hierarchy backed by another filesystem elsewhere.  When you 
access the local filesystem, it attempts to keep it synchronized with the 
external filesystem - if the external system is unavailable, differences 
will be synchronized when it is next mounted.  I don't think these are ready 
for primetime yet, but one might work in this case.

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