Yesterday, after lunch, I stopped by a local Houston Walmart to pick up a case of ice tea.
After 15 minutes in the store, I came out to find my pickup truck with a busted window.
My computer bag was gone, on it were 3 WIPs, one of which was a day or two from going to editing (a novel over 100,000 words).
The parking lot cameras weren’t working. The cop was useless, the store manager annoyed at my distraction.
. . . .
No problem on the books – I’ve got it backed up… NOT.
I’ve been using Microsoft’s new Office 365, and evidently I did something wrong because there is no backup.
. . . .
Words cannot describe my emotional mix of anger and frustration over losing those books. The thought of starting all over again on a nearly-complete work is just crushing. I tried last night to start typing it in again, and I just can’t right now.
Link to the rest at KindleBoards and thanks to Barb for the tip.
It’s a good time to reiterate the importance of having current backups for all important information on your computers.
PG went into obsessive detail about what he does here, but, in a nutshell:
- He backs up to external hard drives (something like this one) attached to his computer. He uses SyncBack, which runs automatically in the middle of the night to do this, but there are others. The key is to have software that runs automatically but check periodically to make sure it’s working correctly. (PG checked his as he was writing this post and it’s doing fine.)
- In the event that something happens to Casa PG, SyncBack makes it easy to run backups on small, portable external hard drives that look something like this. PG swaps an updated backup on a portable drive with one of his offspring (who lives nearby) every week.
- Mozy – Mozy is a remote backup service. You go to the Mozy website, sign up for the service, install a small piece of software on your computer, spend ten minutes telling it what files you want to back up and it just runs.
- Dropbox – In addition to Mozy (more belts and suspenders), PG uses Dropbox. Dropbox works a lot like Mozy, but it watches for whenever a file changes and automatically updates that file on the Dropbox servers. Think of Dropbox like another file folder. However, instead of those files residing only on your hard drive, they also live on Dropbox’s servers in the cloud.
If the unfortunate author who described his problems on Kindleboards had done any of these things, he’d be upset at losing his laptop and complain about the time it would take to transfer his backup files to a new computer, but he wouldn’t have lost three WIP’s.
PG has been dealing with personal computers for a long time and he can guarantee that even the best sometimes break. He uses multiple backup systems because sometimes those break too. He can also guarantee that people who use personal computers (including himself) sometimes do dumb things with delete buttons.