Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Back it Up There, Buddy

When it comes to computers, a lot of people sort of idly think, I don't need to bother backing up, chances are I'll never lose any of my files, that's the sort of thing that only happens to other people. If the odds are even remotely in a person's favor, then the path of least resistance is the path we'll almost all take, and in the case of personal computers that path involves doing absolutely nothing to safeguard our personal files.

The only problem is, people have the odds figured all wrong. Chances are that in your lifetime you will experience a hard drive failure, system crash, power surge, house fire, theft, a sudden case of butter fingers, whatever, which will result in the loss of your data - photos, music, e-mails, precious porn, you name it. It'll be gone. Forever. When that time comes, and it will come, you'll wish, oh how you'll wish, that you'd done something to back those files up.

So start backing up now.

I lost 5GB of photos once because I kept them in one place, on an iPod with an invisible ticking time bomb inside. When that bomb went off and the hard drive failed, my photos were gone. Two years of my life in images, gone. Was I upset? Yes. Did I learn anything? No.

Today I almost lost everything. After running an update for my Mac that somehow went wrong, my computer wouldn't boot. It would just hang on the welcome screen, unwilling to go any further. I had some stuff backed up, my screenplay, some TV shows I've downloaded, my music is mostly all stuff I own on CD, but some big things, like all my photos from my life in London, and little things, like carefully crafted playlists in iTunes, all hung in the balance.

I was lucky today. A reinstall of the operating system solved the problem, kept everything in tact like nothing had ever happened. I'm writing you from that same computer right now. But it reminded me that I'm still a total dope when it comes to holding on to the things I think are precious.

I survived the loss of those photos from my early twenties, its true, but I still wish I had them today and I'd do an awful lot to get them back. So why aren't I doing anything to keep what I still have?

As of today, I am.

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