I am heavily dependent on OS 10.4’s Address Book, iCal, Mail, and Safari applications. If I ever lost that data contained in those apps, I’d be doomed. Ok, not doomed, but certainly at a major loss. I’m fairly careful about keeping my data backed up to external hard drives, and synced across multiple machines. However, I worry that I might have a major crash, or an sync error that wipes out all my data. Sync errors are a particular concern.

I’ve taken to backing up the data in these individual apps, and then burning the data to CD. You can easily export data from iCal. Address book has a handy “Backup Address Book” feature. You can also export all the vCards from Address book to an external folder. Mail stores it’s messages in the Library folder in the Home directory. The entire folder can be copied to CD and backed up. All bookmarks and bookmark folder in Safari can be exported to an external folder, for backup or simply moving to a new machine.

I try and do this twice a month. It gives me peace of mind, and allows me to make major use of these applications, without fear that they’ll leave me in a lurch.

Apple has a Knowledge Base document expanding on this here.

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