I’ve just had my second laptop hard-drive die on me in about 6 months. After much hassle, I am finally back with access to MOST of my data (down to a nice little auto-incremental backup tool I use).

The only thing that went smoothly was restoring Firefox — those guys really are getting ahead of the industry in terms of install/reinstall usability now. I literally just downloaded the install, ran it, used MozBackup to restore my profile (which I had rushed to save as soon as the laptop starting making grinding noises…) and now I’m back. With all my (many thousands of) bookmarks, saved logins and even my plugins loaded for me. No effort whatsoever.

It got me thinking though — lots of people get very worried about their stuff being hosted. I’ve heard people who object to Flickr because “the servers might go down and I’d lose EVERYTHING!”. I suppose they have a point, especially when their data is being encrypted away from them (not the case with Flickr, but there are some offenders).

The other side of the argument is this though: do you really think that your hardware and backup regimen is BETTER than that of the company you are concerned about?

When my harddrive started making sounds like it was trying to grind sand into powder, I was suddenly very happy that so much of my life was online. The really important bookmarks? Largely on delicious and this blog. The photos? Flickr. OK, so my document management is a little haphazard — I imagine I can fix that.

I’m quite enjoying relying on other people to keep systems up and running, to make sure backups are happening of my stuff on the web. They seem to be a lot better at it than I want to have to be 😉