Backup TAO

The novice asked the backup master which files he should backup.

The master said: “Even as a shepherd watches over all the sheep in his flock, and the lioness watches over all her cubs, so must you backup every file in your care, no matter how lowly. For even the smallest file can take days to recreate.”

The novice said: “I will save my working files, but not my system and application files, as they can be always be reinstalled from their distribution disks.”

The master made no reply.

The next day, the novice’s disk crashed. Three days later, the novice was still reinstalling software.

The above is the introduction to The TAO of Backup by Ross Williams. There is more at I suggest you read all of it. Someday you will be glad you did.



Johanna Schwartz May 17, 2017 at 7:26 am

Love it. I’ve always recommended and done full backups. Reconstructing my system configuration and all it’s software and settings would be torture, if even possible.


Overall concept is sound and the whole Tao contains good best practice steps. Otherwise, thanks, this really made me smile. Not because it’s a laughing matter, I am a huge believer in backing up everything, but because the Tao hasn’t kept up with the times. Well after I noticed the copyright date (1997) I came across this part… “Veracity is a commercial software product that is available from Rocksoft for a wide range of platforms including Windows95…” 😀 then there was the part about DAT tapes that could hold 8G and some that could hold 20G… Wow! And I remember those times. What a great stroll down memory lane. Almost as fun as remembering my IBM PC Jr with it’s whopping 256k (yes k) of memory.


Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: