back up

11) Cool Tools: Back up Your Work

backup1Sooner or later, you’ll unintentionally overwrite your work, or worse yet, your equipment will fail or be stolen. We’ve tried online back-up software. To us, it has just become too big of a hassle and too slow. But if you want to give it a try, check out CrashPlan (free with ads) or CrashPlan Plus. (You can evidently use CrashPlan for free with an external hard drive, though we haven’t tried this option. This would be a great choice for Mac users, by the way.) However, with large hard drives dropping so low in price, we now recommend carrying a 1-, a 2-, or a 3- terabyte hard drive. It’s about the size of a small smart-phone. (We live in an amazing age, eh? USB sticks are another option, if you have a USB port on your device (all of them should!). Backup software varies greatly per device. If you’re on Windows (at LEAST through Windows 7), check out

http://www.cobiansoft.com/cobianbackup.htm

It’s free and easy to set up. The only problem is, you have to remember to delete your old backups (maybe leave 3 previous versions). Mac users, see the above note about CrashPlan.

8) Cool Tools: Back up Your Work

Sooner or later, you’ll unintentionally overwrite your work, or worse yet, your equipment will fail or be stolen. Online back-up software now makes this nearly brainless. There are several providers. If you work in sensitive fields, look for one that offers end-to-end encryption, meaning that the staff people at the server farm can’t even read your data. SpiderOak is a great example, although I admit that they like to sell you more space by not helping you configure your backup to overwrite previous backup versions. Oops. I still use it because of their commitment to working data-blind as your vendor. But another option is to carry an inexpensive and portable external hard drive or flash drive. I currently carry a 1-terabyte drive (huge by any standard) that I think I picked up for $100. It’s about the size of a small smart-phone. (We live in an amazing age, eh? My first portable computer was a KayPro II, roughly the size of a large suitcase! It had NO hard drive and the “floppy disks” each stored about as much memory as one small Facebook picture. Yikes.) Again, make sure you sort this out before your trip and practice using it. Several vendors now offer high-speed SD cards (which are about the size of a small coin!) that can store as much as 128Gig without any moving parts. USB sticks offer that much and more, if you have a USB port on your device (all of them should!).

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