I have not been able to afford memory sticks for such a chore. Ya, I know they are cheaper now.
I don't go for replacing old files with current files.
Part of my reasoning is, I want multiple sources of backup, I have CD's or DVD's, I have MyBook, I have the net. I use all three.
One thing I do, is NOT erase the old backups. Well, not ALL old backups, I save a lot of them.
So, I have a back up of photos from December 2007, February 2008, April 2008, August 2008.
Because, I want incremental backups of all data files, as time goes on, files morf. I may forget to back up a file (ya, I do that too!
) So, in April, I forgot to back up some files, but, they were done in December. Now, I have done something stupid, and believe me, just ask Al how many stupid things I can do with a computer, sighhhhhh, and now, in August, I discover that I have destroyed, deleted or lost a file that I want, a photo, a cemetery file, a data base file, something. I can now go back as far as necessary to reclaim the lost file.
Or, a CD may fail, yes, they do. I can go back to another set of backups and recover the problematic file.
I love my little memory sticks too, but, I use them for moving files around, visiting friends, stuff like that. Personal choice, and up till now, one of finance, I could not afford enough sticks at the prices we used to have to pay for them.
IF you can afford enough memory sticks to save your files, that is great! Go for it.
But, I would not be limiting myself to a single set of backups, or a single medium to store them on. That to me is a very scary thought.
I wanted a file, a few years ago, to base a Christmas present on. It had disappeared from my computer harddrive. I started pulling old CD's. It took a while, a few hours, I had to pull a LOT of CD's but I finally found that file and the Christmas present was a hit.
Point is, if I had recycled, or tossed all those old CD's, I would have had to come up with another idea, eh?? And it was a great idea if I do say so myself.
I have a lot of files that are eventually turned into books for the local genealogy club, I have had the experience of having one of those files crash and burn. One file alone will represent the work of hundreds of hours of 1 to 25 different volunteers. Such a failure is also my failure to protect and value that work, the work of other volunteers. If you have incremental backups, you can recover something, and if you do those backups on a regular basis, you will recover the majority and the rework time will be mimimized. Ya, you can ask how I know, one of those been there, done thats, eh??
I cannot urge strongly enough, don't trust just ONE form of backup. I also store the really important stuff, the photos, the family data base and its accompanying files and the book projects for the local club on more than one computer.
Am I paranoid? Probably. Having survived a number of hardware crashes, a virus that destroyed the computer and the hard drive and any number of Carol-induced stupid acts, I can tell you, the more backups in the more places on as many different medias as possible, the more the better.
And, think twice about reducing the size of your photos for storage purposes alone, and invest in CD's, DVD's, MyBook external hard drives, share those files with all, put em on more than one computer and maybe even on the net.
OHHHH, and label those photos, so the next generation knows who Aunt Lillie really is, hmmmm, is this Lillie or Susie or Martha, or???????????????? That alone should keep ya busy for a day or two.