My Backup Strategy See my website (URL below) for the most current information. Updates in GREEN are the PPC equivalents - the basic process is identical irrespective of platform. Note: Since I migrated to PPC the Palm software referenced herein remains frozen in time as of that point. In other words, be sure to check for updates, newer versions, and newer products before embarking on a Palm-based software acquisition! I hotsync (activesync) daily when I can (although I have gone as long as two weeks). BackupBuddy for Windows software runs during this process. Options enabled for BackupBuddy for Windows include to perform a checkpoint on every hotsync and keep two generations. My SD card is not being backed up by this software. I backup my T3 (X50V) to a 1GB SD card using two different products: BackupBuddy VFSro and BackupMan (Spb Backup and (Sprite Backup). There also is a backup facility in SKTools that I periodically use for ad-hoc backups. The two daily backups go to different memory cards: Sprite Backup to SD; Spb Backup to CF. This further reduces risk by separating the backups physically on the local device. A scheduled automated BackupBuddy VFSro backup happens every day (Sprite Backup and SPB Backup). I keep three days of these backups. A scheduled backup using BackupMan happens every day. I backup the SD card to my PC weekly. I use a USB card reader for this. I create a new directory in the form YYYY-MM-DD for each weekly backup and keep as many generations as I feel I need, usually no more than two or three. I backup the user data (not the OS) from my PC to a USB external 160GB hard disk at least weekly. I keep three generations of weekly backups. I backup selected critical files at selected points in time to a CD and keep that in a secure location separate and offsite from the PC and the disk drive. This for physical protection of the backups. The T3 (X50V) is in an metal hard case (hard case). The PC is a laptop in a Pelican case. Another Pelican case houses the USB external disk drive. Additionally, I keep some specific files in directories on the SD card for easy access while away from my PC. That way I can perform a complete restore after hard reset while away from my PC. These include the T3 Compatibilty DIAs, some themes for ZLauncher and PocketTunes, the Palm Security Update for the T3, and so forth. Also, I do not use the T3 (X50V) cradle. Instead I have two travel chargers (one for home & travel, the other stays in my office at work) and a Belkin auto+USB charger in my car. I had a Palm Power-To-Go, but sold it since I was rarely using it (Although I do have three standard batteries for the X50V). I use a hotsync (activesync) cable rather than the cradle as well. I frequently install via an SD card and a USB card reader rather than via hotsync. Just personal preferences. Encryption, on the PDA, on memory cards, and of backups may be important to you. In fact, in many cases, you may be legally required to do so. For example, if you are keeping confidential patient data or confidential legal client data or confidential employee personal data on your PDA and not encrypting I want to fund my retirement off of the lawsuits to come that will be surrounding you! Know your responsibilities surrounding this aspect of your data! I have not performed incremental backups of my PDA data as I have done on larger platforms; however, for many, the ability to take a full backup periodically with intervening incrementals provides benefits such the ability to perform selective rollbacks or point-in-time recoveries. The disadvantage is that, in a true incremental model, in order to reach currency, the last full backup must be restored, followed by each intervening incremental, in sequence, which can be time-consuming. Due to the volume of data contained in the incremental backups, which include only changed data, there often is a pre-process, sometimes referred to as change accumulation, to "break bulk" and ensure that the change log that is applied includes only the final change, not all intervening changes to any specific data element. A backup is a snapshot as of some point in time. How many to retain is dependent upon: How much space you have available for backups (Capacity) How far you want to be able to go back in time (Generations) How rapidly your information changes (Velocity) How often you take a snapshot (Frequency) Keep in mind that with unlimited space one could go quite a ways back in time, the further one goes back, the less current the information becomes. So, if your information rarely changes (low velocity), then you need less frequent backups. If your information changes often (high velocity), then more frequent backups are in order. The frequency of the backups determines the number of generations to keep. For example, a daily backup with three generations is three days worth of backups. However, to get three days worth of backups with a backup taken twice a day requires six generations. Very simple calculus: rate of change as it relates to time. I also keep my important data not only in multiple locations and in backups, but also in multiple forms. This is one of the main reasons why I chose the SplashID, ListPro, and PocketQuicken applications. The all have desktop components so the data is also resident on my PC (and incidentally, gets picked up by the separate backup cycles that occur there). Additionally, both SplashID and ListPro support import/export in common and open data formats (e.g.: CSV) so that there is no proprietary interface needed. This has become a requirement for me when considering software. Having data locked into a broken or dead-ended format one time is enough for most people. Also of interest is that these three products are available for both Palm and PPC platforms. And, of course, although I don't actually use Outlook (Thunderbird wins out hands-down), I do sync all my Calendar, Task, Contact, and other PIM information (other than eMail) with Outlook on my PC via ActiveSync. This provides another readily accessible backup of that data with minimal effort on my part. My PDA remains the prime repository of my PIM data. On-Demand Ad-Hoc backups Checkpoint Backups Restores from backups Daily Hotsync including BackupBuddy for Windows backup (Activesync) 02:02 SKTools automated cleanup 02:22 BackupBuddy VFS automated backup (03:03 Sprite Backup automated backup to SD card) 03:33 BackupMan automated backup (04:04 SPB Backup automated backup to CF card) Weekly Backup of SD card to PC via USB card reader Backup of CF card to PC via USB card reader Backup of PC to USB external drive Backup of critical files to CD Monthly Review of backups to ensure they are happening correctly Cleanup of any unneeded backups Quarterly Hard reset/restores to test and validate the usability of the backups Cleanup of saved and unsaved preferences The keys in any backup strategy are: Have current data available at the time it is needed with minimal or zero data loss. Have multiple copies available where appropriate to ensure that at least once copy is readable. Backups are just data and can have errors just like any other data. Have the data in multiple forms where appropriate. Have the backups in multiple locations to reduce the risk of physical loss Have the means to restore the data and perform periodic validation of that process Minimization of down time Simple processes, automated where possible, to ensure they are actually performed. Backups are simply a means of risk management. Nothing more. Nothing less.