Over the last few years a large number of developers have moved to developing on a laptop exclusively. With the price of a high-end laptop now within budget, it just seems logical to use one (hey, I can work from the park now! Woot!).
I just started backing up my machine. Burning CD's for double redundancy.
The moral of the story is that a backup plan isn't complete until you've tested you can restore the backup correctly.
Backup plans should have nothing to do with whether you're working on a laptop vs. a desktop.
I use a laptop to develop with, but I use emacs and ftp.. so none of the files are ever on my hard drive at all. I've had my laptop over 3 years and have never once lost any data on it, but if I did tomorrow, I wouldn't care.. all my data is kept on our dev server, which is super-backed up!
"But the fact still remains, portability and reliability are often mutually exclusive."
Under all circumstances, user sever based version control. Period. I've had 3 laptop drives go bad in the last 4 years. Replace, reinstall OS, resync. Takes about a day to be fully armed.
The real moral of the story is that a disaster recovery plan is just as important as the backup plan.
Fog Creek Home