In Thursday's New York Times, I write about how to back up data. I've become a big proponent of using hard drives for backup for at least a year when the price dipped against other media. I've used DAT, DLT, and AIT tape drives, and I hated them all. They were a necessary evil. Tapes are ugly, hard to use, and weird. They don't work like any other media you deal with. They're not, by design, random access but linear access. John Cleese can tell you more about that.