The webcomics blog about webcomics

On Safe Computing And The Risks I Take For You People

Finally! A morning with a bit of free time before the conference wraps up, and at last I’m able to leisurely browse my webcomics, lay down some prime punditry on you via a suddenly no-longer-overloaded WiFi. Then I noticed the sign in the hotel lobby this morning that indicated that DEFCON registration was thataway. So basically, my immediate surroundings are crawling with Black Hats, and I’m risking my financial well-being for the forseeable future just by typing these totally nondescript, perfectly ignorable packets that absolutely nobody should find interesting enough to bother with as they zip through the aether. If they find me in a Vegas back alley with my credit rating shredded, know that I fell in the service of webcomics. Onward:

  • Tom Brazelton is learning a hard lesson right about now, one which I struggle to teach to IT professionals responsible for massive data systems. Namely, the short, to-the-point English word backup has a precise and fairly lengthy meaning — keep multiple copies in multiple locations on multiple media types or you’re fooling yourself.

    To be sure, many people have learned this lesson in the past (even some in our community), but it always make the data-slinger in me wince to see such occurrences. I’ve spoken to lots of webcomickers in the past who’re taking the right steps (external hard drives for secondary and sometimes tertiary copies of their Photoshop files), but still have chinks in their proverbial backup armor (those external drives right next to your computer don’t do you much good in the event of fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or giant monster attack).

    If you make a webcomic, your homework for this weekend is to re-evaluate your disaster recovery plans (and in the past 15 years, I’ve only seen one data shop that really had a bulletproof system … the cockroaches will take over, and The New England Journal of Medicine will still have intact data). Write out a plan for making backups and rotating your archives off-site. You might start by signing up for a half-dozen Gmail accounts and storing your files as attachments, but don’t rely on Google to make tape backups of what you store with them. Your mantra is, If I didn’t do it, it didn’t happen.

    If you need more drives or archive-management software, start looking for the sales now. And when the clerk hands you the change, keep in mind that Brazelton’s misfortune is your wake-up call, and toss a tenner towards his donation drive (launching Monday) or buy some of his merch to help offset the very expensive data recovery service he’s going to have to engage to recover every single one of his strips.

  • In happier news, one of my favorite webcomickers doesn’t have a webcomic of her own — Carly Monardo is known to some of you for her work on The Venture Brothers, or perhaps for her recent design challenge sketchblog (not to mention an awesome sense of how Wonder Woman should look), and hopefully you’re aware of her numerous excellent guest comic contributions and her stellar work on the Dr McNinja book covers and posters. Recently, she collaborated with David Malki ! on a poster depicting a Gernsbackian world better than our own. The hopes and wonders of the Space Age are just dripping off of this beauty, and it’s not just me saying so — it’s Boing Boing.
  • Want to see what Sweeney Todd would have looked like if it starred Jeff Rowland, Tallahassee Econolodge, Mr Jon Rosenberg, and The Englishman? Damn right you do, Sparky, and here it is. Obligatory spoiler warning: this comic adaptation of a movie will tell you how the movie goes.
  • Do you see something? If you do, check out the new project from Alien Loves Predator creator Bernie Hou, as he dips his toes into the water of editorial cartooning and earns Ted Rall’s eternal wrath for giving away his product for free on the internet.

Hey that Gmail idea is genius. Do you think any of those paid online storage things are worth it though?

It depends on how much you value your data, Whitey.

I’ve discs all over the place with back-ups. I have some at work, some under the bed, some at my brothers place at work…they’re all over the place. Might do some more this morning.

I’ve worked out a backup system that I’m fairly satisfied with. I archive stuff (every quarter, when tax time hits, cos it’s easy to remember) onto DVDR and onto an external drive. I have a big HD, so I leave lots of work right on my computer. And then that hard drive is mirrored off-site automatically using, which seems pretty decent. I’ve considered setting up something to backup to my ftp but haven’t gotten around to it. – tom.

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