Amazon’s S3

I’ve thought S3 was pretty awesome sounding ever since it launched early last year. Sadly I haven’t managed to get it set up yet — it’s refusing to accept my credit card (which I’ve used to buy stuff from Amazon before), so I just get a NotSignedUp error and told “Your account is not signed up for the S3 service.” The webservices help has responded, but not managed to work out wtf’s going on yet.

One of the things I’d like to do with it is (the pretty obvious and staid) remote backup thing — though what I’m actually hoping for is more to get something more or less the same as the backup described in Greg Egan’s Distress, which is more or less: your laptop automatically backs itself up to the web somewhere, then when your laptop dies or gets stolen, you get a random new one, authorise it with your passcode or thumbprint or whatever, and it automatically recovers itself from the backups you’ve got on the web.

Oddly though none of the command line tools seem to quite do backup “right” (by my definition) — there’re some that encrypt, some that do an rsync equivalent, and none that I’ve seen compress, all of which seem like a requirement to me; and given the support for metadata pretty easy to actually handle.

It’d be even nicer if there were some other services with similar APIs (and cost structures!) so it wasn’t quite tying yourself to amazon so much, but until Google decide to release G-Drive or some other distributed thing happens, there’s not much to be done. Of course while amazon won’t even let me in, not much to be done…

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