October 10, 2010

Just a quick word on backing up your work.

No, I haven’t just had that nightmare scenario where your work has been subsumed into the ether never to be seen again but I thought I would share my super anal back up practises…on second thoughts, I’ll rephrase that.

This is how I back up my writing.

I write everything on my laptop, it gets saved automatically every 5 minutes or so.  After every writing session I back it up onto a flash drive/memory stick, whatever your part of the world calls it.

After I complete a chapter, I initiate my super-anal back up procedures.  I save a copy on my laptop, my memory stick, my desktop computer, the external hardrive connected to my desktop…but what if my flat is destroyed by an asteroid?

Never fear, I upload a copy to this website’s server…but what if the UK is destroyed by a nuclear armed rogue state?

I’m prepared.  Even though I’ll probably be radioactive dust at this point, my work will not.  I have another website I upload work to hosted in the USA.

What if you don’t know about uploading stuff to websites and all that malarky, can you still have a multi-national backup system in place?

Why yes, in fact, now I think about it, you could have a far easier system than myself.  First off, you should definitely have a memory stick or external hardrive at home where you can easily copy documents across from your main computer.  You never know when your computer could go tits up.

Secondly, to get that global system in place simply sign up for Gmail and email your work to yourself.  Gmail allows you store tons of stuff and it never gets deleted, plus Google’s Gmail servers will probably survive the most gruesome alien annihilation you could possibly imagine.

You should also upload your work to MyOWS (My Original Works), a free online copyright protection app where creatives can upload work and have it date-stamped, stored and registered.  Not only does it sort out any copyright issues but you can also download your work from here, so if you do run into issues later, you have an extra backup.

There’s also online storage services with free options; Mozy, Humyo, Dropbox and Box.  I’ve never used any of these but I’ve done a quick background check and they seem kosher.  You can research more here.

You could burn your work onto CD’s or buy a secondary memory stick and leave these round your mum’s house, but to be honest, these online services are more convenient, free of charge and they won’t hassle you about getting a proper job or ask if you’re eating enough veggies.

Do you already do something not mentioned here?  Let me know so I can incorporate it into my already bloated arrangements.

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