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Guide(s?) to backup philosophies

I've been good about telling others that backups are a good idea.
Guess who hadn't and then crashed his system and spent hours putting things back together ;<

In the past individual projects ended up on individual flash drives as I was frequently using different machines. I now have some reliable hardware and a large internal hard drive.

I have one partition that might be called a "production" environment, i.e. fairly stable and has the most valuable content. A second partition hosts my experiments - I've a project to create an optimal install. The third is the target of those experimental installs whose content doesn't rate explicit backups. The scripts for creating those installs being on the second partition.

I've vague ideas of what backup pattern(s) I might follow.
I'm looking for reading materials that might trigger "I hadn't thought of that" moments.