So our business was broken into last week. Not at all a pleasant experience. They took a ton of stuff. Yet it turns out we technically didn’t lose a thing. Here’s why.


We use the following tools to help us keep current backups:

  • SuperDuper and a few spare hard drives. The fastest way to restore your computer after a disaster is with an exact copy. We make such a copy every week.
  • Time Capsule at home. This device automatically backs up our laptops when they’re plugged in and on our network at home. Since we bring them home almost every night, they are almost always current.
  • Dropbox, for all of our client work, is amazing. It allows us to not only keep up-to-the-minute backups, but it also keeps our client folders in sync between all of our computers. I love this service.

So it turns out I didn’t lose a single piece of data. Pretty remarkable, if you think about it. But it requires constant attention. You have to do more than just set up one service to do backups. You have to test it, and you have to assume that one service might not work for you. When is the last time you tested your backups? If your backup service suddenly vanishes, where do your backups go? Believe me, it happens.

In our case, we keep three types of backups. And that feels just about right to me. One way or another, I was going to get my data back.


We also have pretty good insurance. They’re in the process of reimbursing us for the equipment that was lost or damaged. But as emphasized above, you can’t replace your data. So it bears mentioning, go overboard with the backups. Trust me.

I’m certainly not going to recommend a specific insurance provider, but I would strongly recommend two things with regards to insurance. First, keep your serial numbers. Store them somewhere handy. You’ll want them. The other is that, starting the minute you find out about the break-in, you want to keep track of everything said and done. We use Highrise for this, and it’s really handy, but whatever works for you.

Mac Madness

Another thing I wanted to mention is how many Macs are getting stolen in Portland lately. Beware. I think thieves have finally figured out that the average Mac is bound to be worth more than the average PC. I don’t know. But if you have a nice computer, now might be a good time to lay low. Keep it out of the window for a month or two. Hopefully, they’ll catch these people, and we can go back to leaving our laptops in the office once in a while.