Monday, July 27, 2009

Back It Up, Jack!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for the following public service announcement.

BACK UP YOUR DATA!

Go on, I'll wait a few minutes. Come on, just do it. You know you should.

Done? Good. You never know when those computer gremlins will decide to mess with you.

Here's my back-up routine, divided into daily, periodic, and archival routines.

Daily
At the end of every day, I copy the documents I've been working with (usually my WIP, an outline, and a "snips" file), onto a thumb drive. I thumbdrivealso copy a set of those documents into a file on my desktop called, appropriately enough, "backups." 

This gives me three copies of what I'm working on, one external to my computer.

Periodic
Every so often, I will copy my documents to a second thumb drive. I'll also copy them to an external hard drive. This gives me some "extra" back-up, in case something goes seriously wrong.*

external hard drive Archival
When I've got a decent draft of something (or if I'm feeling especially paranoid about losing work product), I'll email stuff to myself. That way, I've got a copy saved on my ISP's remote server, which I assume they back up periodically, too.

I'll also burn my "final" documents onto a CD or DVD and put it in my safe deposit box at the bank.

And of course, in the event of catastrophic failure, there are always at least five copies of various printed, hardcopy versions I use during the revision process.

As you can see, I think I take the proper precautions to back up my data.

SO ISN'T IT IRONIC THAT I LOST A DAY'S WORTH OF WRITING WHEN I BOTCHED THE DAILY BACK-UP?**

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

 

Footnotes
*I learned stuff like this when I worked at the Department of Redundancy Department.

**I love irony in my writing. In real life, not so much.


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3 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Ohhh...I'm wincing. I've lost work before, too.

I use a thumb drive, but....

Usually I just email my work to myself at Google and Hotmail.

It's lazy, but it works for me and I can access it anywhere.
Elizabeth

Jonz Theroux-Gidding said...

I have a thumbdrive and no more using a CD anymore to save work.

Crystal Clear Proofing said...

I'm wincing along with Elizabeth! Ouch!

Thank you for providing this public service announcement. I'm ashamed to admit that it's something I tend to "put off."

Very good lesson and reminder, Alan. Thank you!