Michaeline: Your semi-annual security reminder

I made it to New York! And I’m practically comatose with jetlag, but I did it! A fourteen hour flight in the economy section.

Anyway, before I took my long trip, I decided I should backup my files. It should be a habit — it should be linked to some chronological trigger, like “It’s Monday; I back up all my files on Monday.” But for whatever reason, it isn’t, and I was shocked to see that almost a year had gone by since I last backed things up.

So, if you can’t remember the precise date you backed up your stories and writing and research files, maybe it’s time to do so . . . and give a little thought to how you might remember to do so more easily in the future.

So far, I’ve been lucky, but I’ve been skating on thin ice for the last several months — one hot cup of tea over the keyboards away from disaster. Even once a month would be an improvement, so I think I will randomly declare the third Sunday of every month as my back-up day.

New York is fabulous. The snow is gone, and my daughter and I had fantastic Korean food at New Wonjo. The meal came with Korean pickles (kimchee, cucumbers and squid) and other sides, so my trip has a vitamin-packed start! By the time I get home, maybe spring will have arrived there, as well.

4 thoughts on “Michaeline: Your semi-annual security reminder

  1. Have a great time in NYC, Michaeline! I love visiting that city–I’m already thinking about the RWA national conference there next year.

    Have you ever considered using a backup service, like Carbonite? My last invoice was for $64, including sales tax. That’s $5 a month for peace of mind.

    • Thanks! So far, so good. I had a good nine hours of sleep, so maybe jet lag is not going to be too bad this time!

      Cloud services do sound like a good idea — and since we’re not talking about just writing, but family photos and other precious bits of data, it does sound like it’s worth some money. When I was at university, my family home burned down, and so much was lost on that day. So, when I think back-ups, I really like the idea of something that’s outside of the house — I do have several backups in different places, but if there’s a fire when I’m home, I’ll lose almost everything. (I used to use Dropbox regularly, but have stopped. I need to check that out again.)

  2. All I use is DropBox. I store all my books and related materials there, and I copy all my new book material into it every day. I might be living in a dreamworld, but I’ve been thinking that a third exterior hard drive (or other mechanism) is unnecessary. And I even had a scare the other day—I went to my folder, and both my outline document and my entire story document weren’t there. I couldn’t believe it. How could that happen? So in terror, I went to trusty DropBox, which had the previous day’s files, and I copied them back into my local C drive. (I think instead of “Copying” the previous day, I must have “Moved,” or whatever the designation is.) Anyway, a happy ending.

    Cloud services aren’t particularly secure (well, nothing is), which is the reason all the experts say to have multiple backups on various platforms. But if the backing up gets so cumbersome, people won’t do it. And that sounds a lot like me.

    Have a great time in NYC, Michaeline! I have a hard time believing the snow is all gone. We’ve been hearing tales of the gigantic nor’easters for the last month, but if it cleared up for your visit, I’ll have a renewed appreciation for the weather gods. Your description of the Korean food sounds terrific. NYC is a great place for food and just about everything else, too.

    • I’m visiting the tip of Lake Ontario right now, and they still have some snow — but also wide swathes of dead yellow grass. Green is a very hopeful sign, but even that yellow means something springlike is on the way! The weather has been fabulous!

      I know what you mean about things being too much of a fuss and not getting done. I haven’t written anything I particularly want to save in the last year — just doodles and messes that I never seem to look at again. But when I do have something good, I am motivated to save it on a USB stick (my laptop is getting old, and could break down at any time, really, and I would have gotten my money’s worth), and to Dropbox.

      If I could only save it one place, I think I’d choose to save it to the USB (or the Giant Box of Knowledge that I only remember to use once or twice a year to save the entire C: drive). I was on MySpace (remember MySpace?) before they dumped everyone’s accounts unceremoniously. I didn’t have anything important on the platform, but you can bet your bippy that I don’t trust a free platform to keep my stuff safe. I think you have a paid service, and Dropbox has been very reliable and easy to use these past five years. I keep thinking I really need to get a subscription.

      These days, it’s easy to pay for online stuff via cards you get at convenience stores and drugstores. (Or at least people tell me that is the case.) I just watched Mute, which is a Netflix exclusive film, on my daughter’s iPad, but my friend said when I get home, I can just get a card, enter the number, and enjoy Netflix until the money on the card runs out. As long as my wi-fi is strong enough to support the streaming . . . . Sigh. Technology.

      Now that I’ve seen the film, I probably shouldn’t get Netflix. Last thing I need is another thing to watch instead of making stories of my own.

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