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USB drives as backup medium

 As posted in the past I am using a consumer level travan 
based tape backup system. It is getting old has an eight gig 
capacity which forces me to be selective in what I backup. 
The largest travan capacity with a new drive is 20/40 gig. 
So, looking at the price of the new 20/40 drive at close to 
$300 new and three additional tapes at $50 each for a total 
investment of $450 I could by five 80G USB drives maybe even 
six. My total disc storage across three household computers 
is in the neighborhood of 80gig, but this includes distro 
downloads and kernel source code that I wouldn't backup. So 
my current backup script uses tar and dd to write to a 
device a hash table of known directories that I can edit to 
include or exclude. So what is my question? Well typically I 
cycle the same 4 tapes each month with a full backup Monday 
and Inc on Friday. So when I am ready to overwrite the tape 
I just erase and it is ready. With a tape you append to the 
end of the data. How would I achieve the same with a disk? 
I'm sure the answer is in front of me but I am not seeing it. 
Jim KR 

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