My hard-drive recently decided, without provocation, that it was going on
vacation holiday and if I wanted it back I’d have to show it some love. Luckily for me, I’m quite skilled in the art of romancing a lovelorn hard-drive back into the here-and-now and have done so with this particular device four or five times in the past.
This time, however, my necromantic-like skills in re-animating the inner-circuitry of a somewhat antiquated and very dilapidated desktop computer where not enough and it was time to release the fiery arrows upon the machine as it lay atop the old Homer (Simpson not the Greek Saga-ist) mouse-pad on its final decent toward ‘The Junk-box Of Doom’.
Lugubriously, I bid adieu to my favourite—and not to mention expensive—word-processor/erstwhile high-end gaming machine without the trepidation one would usually associate with the loss of not only the hardware but the software and, more importantly, the data.
Because I knew, without any shadow of a doubt, that my data was, not only safely copied elsewhere but also up-to-date. This was due to a rigorous and steadfast backing-up routine that I had painstakingly developed—yes, the hard way—over the past several years. And it’s thanks to this routine that I can still write and edit even though my hard-drive has kissed the dirt.
Nowadays, my back-up routine is done oldskool with a twist: For my writing, my main data medium is my flash-drive and my hard-drives are my back-up sources. Every time I physically save some writing (onto my flash drive) I also back it up on whatever computer I’m using, usually my laptop or my desktop. It only takes 10 seconds to drag and drop whichever files need copied.
I don’t use Cloud software simply because there are too many unknowns. At the very least, accidents happen, people make mistakes and it’s these people who keep the servers we call ‘The Cloud’ running. At the very worst, some disgruntled ex-employee might savagely hit the delete key. Shit happens, right?
Backing-up data to the cloud is unreliable, not purely for the reason that you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. It’s just like T.V. magicians: They say they don’t use actors but, c’mon, you know they do. How else can they get these ‘random’ people on the street to go ‘Wow!‘ when even we can see how the trick was done from the comfort of our own ass-dented, nachos-ridden armchair?
But, I digress. Back up your shit. Don’t back it up to ‘The
Clown Cloud’. Back it up to your own physical medium, whether it’s a floppy disk, a compact disk, a flash disk or a hard disk. Just get it on something you can hold in your own hands. And make it safe. You don’t need to keep it secret, but keep it safe.
The writer is a mysterious figure, wandering lonely as a cloud, fired by inspiration, or perhaps a cocktail or two.Sara Sheridan