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backing up hard drive with emacs?

From: Steven Arntson
Subject: backing up hard drive with emacs?
Date: Wed, 14 May 2014 19:56:18 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

Sorry if this question is poorly stated... I'm a beginning emacs user
who's trying to be more responsible about backing up the hard drive of my
computer. A friend gave me a USB drive with the same amount of space as
my laptop's hard drive, and I'd like to figure out how to back up the

I've read some info online, and am primarily confused by it. I'd like a
simple way to make a copy of my home folder on this drive. I don't need
compressed archives or anything--this is just in case a boulder falls on
my laptop--but it would be nice if it had the ability to see what I'd
changed since last time and just recopy that, rather than doing it all
from scratch. (Is it called "cloning" the drive?)

Does emacs have any simple utility to do this kind of thing, or
(slightly offtopic) is there a cli command that would make it happen?

Lastly, should I be thinking about this whole issue differently than I

Thank you!
steven arntson

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