This is a PSA for backing up your computer files. We all know we should. Many of us don’t. Maybe we have great plans for it, get started at it, then fall away.

I was in that last category back in January when my computer started coughing up blood, fell on its face, convulsed for a while, then got frightfully still. Flat line. I started looking at my backup discs and realized that they were not weeks behind, or months behind, but years behind. I could have sworn I had done it a month or so ago. Yikes.

The happy ending, as previously blogged here, was that all my data was recovered. The loss of photos and writing projects would have been devastating, and the fear I lived under until I had all those back was terrible. I vowed that I had learned my lesson. My immediate action was to get a terabyte external drive to go along with my new computer. That drive, using Apple’s fancypants Time Machine software, is an automated backup system that records my changes hourly. If something goes horrible wrong on my computer now, I’ve got that drive write there ready to restore my precious files.

But what if a zombie comes into my house and destroys my entire desk? That drive sits right next to the computer. One zombie, or Hellfire missile from an errant Predator drone, would take out my backup along with my computer. Obviously, I hadn’t gotten serious enough.

Yesterday I signed up with on offsite storage service. All my personally created files are uploaded, encrypted, and stored on servers. Their software automatically detects changes–just like Time Machine–and uploads new or updated files. Now if the Blob crashes to Earth in my neighborhood and engulfs and devours my desk, I know that I can buy a new computer, log into my offsite storage, and start downloading.

I’d been thinking about doing the offsite thing since the computer crashed, but over the weekend when a Facebook friend posted that her computer had died and she may have lost an entire novel she had written, I decided it was high time I finally did so. Got the upload started Sunday morning. It may actually take over a week to upload over 40 gigs of files, but I’ll sleep better when I’m away from home.

Because when you’re gone, extraterrestrial bounty hunters often use your home for stakeouts, and they’re none too careful with your personal belongings, I can tell you.

 

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