backing up important files to google docs? How to?

I back up my computer. Duh. I have a 650GB external drive and a 120GB internal drive. The 650GB gives me long term incremental backup of my hard drive. The 120GB drive lets me store critical “cannot lose” files for those brief periods when I am recycling my 650GB drive. (If I lose everything during the backup, I am still ok.)

But if my house burns down, I am screwed!

I can live with losing most of my computer storage, but I cannot live with losing my archived photos and critical documents. This is currently < 20GB. I have over 1TB of archived video, but one must draw the line somewhere. If have a 10GB website. Good for transferring files, but not enough for storage. I just noticed google’s pricing for online storage:
$5/yr for 20GB.

I can afford that.

So I bought some storage from google. Now I’m going to backup/archive my files to my account. I’ll continue to keep these files at home, and the odds of both my house burning down and google losing my data are acceptably low.

What are the requirements?

1) I have certain things that are “one-time” archived. For example, when I complete a photo (or group of photos), I will burn them to a DVD. Same with archiving. These files won’t change. It would be nice if my computer would monitor a particular folder and automatically upload the contents, but it isn’t critical. Generally speaking, I’ll be selecting files locally off my hard drive then “dropping” them into google docs. The process will take hours to upload, but I can handle doing this one at a time.

I’m also not terribly concerned about security. Meaning that google can see my photos if they want to. And that I can see my photos when I browse google docs.

2) I have other files (such as tax returns) that need to be protected from everyone but me. So they have to be uploaded and stored encrypted. I don’t need to view these files in google docs. I just need to be sure they are backed up. So I want to select a folder on my hard drive and specify that it be synchronized with google docs in encrypted form.

For this, I would really like a tool that monitors certain folders on my hard drive and automatically syncs them with google docs. It should use rsync because it would be stupid not to.

3) This is strictly for home use. Business backup is nice, but not my concern.

4) I do have some very large files, but I don’t mind breaking them up into smaller chunks, if the tools require it. I think google docs has a 250MB size limit.

I could probably script all this with cygwin and rsynch. But I’d much rather download some free tool to do it.

And … I immediately hit a wall. No free tool seems to do all this for me. Google’s file upload works on only files. You cannot drop a folder onto it and have it recursively upload all the files. grr.

The long-fabled “GDrive” (where your google docs appears as a virtual drive on your computer) is not here yet.

This might be a good reason to learn the google docs api. I could write a little java app to do this 🙂 Hmm, Like I really need another computer project that I’ll have to support.

Surely, surely, someone has a tool to do this. Isn’t it such an obvious niche?


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