A proper good-bye to Little Backup Box

Little Backup Box has been by far my most successful and popular project. But about two years ago, I chose to transfer it to a new maintainer, effectively abandoning the project. The other day, it occurred to me that I had never said a proper good-bye to my project. So here it goes.

As it often happens, I started working on the project to solve a problem I had: I didn't want to schlep around a laptop when traveling, but I wanted to have a backup solution to keep my photos safe. As Raspberry Pi had been making waves as a versatile platform for all kinds of projects, I thought I'd try to build a Raspberry Pi-based backup appliance that would replace a proper laptop. And over the years, various Raspberry Pi models running Little Backup Box served me well during my travels.

But due to a mundane combination of personal reasons and lack of time, I decided to transfer ownership of Little Backup Box to a developer, who is much more skilled and motivated than yours truly. My plan was to continue using Little Backup Box and even contributing to the project occasionally.

But then I started monkeying around with my iPad mini. The transition from Lightning to USB-C instantly made iPads a much more flexible platform. Hook up a USB-C hub that has a card reader and various ports, and you can use the iPad to transfer files from a card to an external USB storage device of your choice. Another important development concerned the operating system: nowadays iPadOS acts more like a regular OS, especially when it comes to handling files. Finally, iSH provided the final piece of the puzzle, namely a Linux shell with all its benefits. All I had to do at that point was to cobble together a couple of simple shell scripts to automate backup tasks. And I did just that.

It wasn't my plan to use a simple iPad-based backup solution as a replacement for Little Backup Box. But my successful trial made me realize that this is the solution that does the job for me.

Safe Travels is a much more simple — thus less versatile — backup solution than Little Backup Box. But versatility is not what I need when I'm traveling. What I need is a super simple solution that just works. And this is exactly what a combination of an iPad mini and a Yottamaster YYM28P-G2 USB-C portable docking station does for me. If you're interested in giving Safe Travels a try, you might want to read my previous write-up.

I'm happy to see that Little Backup Box is thriving. These days, it's a much more powerful solution with features and functionality that I would have never been able to implement on my own. But at the end of the day, I already have an iPad in my bag, and I prefer to keep things simple. Safe Travels it is, then.