Shelter-in-Place Journal, Day Forty-Two

Diane upgraded her phone today from an iPhone SE to an iPhone SE – the new one has four times as much storage, so she should be able to stop thinking about running out of space on the phone for a while. It’s also slightly physically bigger, which was NOT a selling point, and it’s significantly faster and has a better camera (her photo of the day on Facebook was taken with the new phone).

I permanently retired my Apple Time Capsule today – it’s 9 years old and has never been terribly useful; periodically, Time Machine would say something like “I can’t verify your most recent backup so I’m going to throw away all of your backups – OK?”. And even when it was working, trying to do a restore over the network was painfully slow (I’m not a super fan of the Time Machine user interface, either).

I wanted to thoroughly erase the disk on the Time Capsule before getting rid of the device; Apple offered a choice of how many passes of writing random data I wanted to make: 1, 3, 7, or 35. I picked 35 (better to be safe, right?) and it’s been erasing itself for a week and a half.

Yesterday, I (finally) got curious about why there was a choice and found the Wikipedia article on the Gutmann Method (the 35-pass erasure algorithm, which clearly explained that I wasted a lot of time – one pass would probably suffice, and three would certainly have been enough!

In the meantime, I now have two computers without a backup strategy – one is this new laptop (which doesn’t have any “real” data yet that isn’t on one of the other machines) and the other is the Plex server. So I ordered a 4TB drive from Office Depot this morning and walked over to pick it up this afternoon; it’ll go on the Plex server. I’ll probably get another one for this laptop, but I need to figure out my cabling needs, too – the laptop only has two USB-C ports, and I’m beginning to think I need a dock for it!