A humorous look at Computer Backups
Excessive Backup Disorder
If there is a condition called Excessive Backup Disorder I've got it. And I've had it for a long time.
Not only do I have the disease, EBD for short, I have tried to inflict it upon others (to friends and family: sorry guys, I guess I was just trying to rationalize and justify my own addiction).
Ever since I couldn't find a picture I had scanned, and knew it was, or used to be, in the digital pixelated world somewhere, I decided to never loose anything digitized again.
Skip the technical, gory and sad details of my condition and see a few best practices scroll down to Backup Strategy Guidlines
I started small with 1.4MB floppy disks, then tape drives, and then I bought a CD writer, then a DVD multi-writer and eventually various external hard disks. I've got backups from 25 years ago. I've backed up and saved documents and photos that never should have been written or photographed in the first place.
I created rules about my back up strategy. ie. Never delete a picture from your digital camera until you have it saved in two other places. Always save a new document or any digital project as soon as you write the first sentence, most programs will automatically back up your work every few minutes but only if it has a name.
I've never met anyone who suffers EBD as I do, so if any of this sounds familiar comment on this article and let me know I am not alone. I can't offer any help but you too will know you are not alone...it is true that misery loves company.
And it gets worse
If you are really special, like me 😉 this will carry over into the physical world. I have a backup tooth brush, back up cologne (in little tiny bottles), back up cereal boxes in the garage, backup refrigerator magnets still in their original packaging, etc... I even have lists of things I've backed up so that I don't forget that I have them or where they are, (would that be considered backing up my brain?) and of course I have back ups of those lists.
Backup strategy guidlines
Here's the GOOD STUFF. I have learned some things about backing up that may be helpful even if you don't suffer from Excessive Backup Disorder
Keep it simple:
Above all: if it is simple it will get done. Hard for me to grasp, but most people don't enjoy the process of backing up their data.
I use a couple of online providers and set it up so that everything I write or photograph is automatically uploaded to the cloud. Best thing about this is I set it and forget it. Carbonite is simple to set up and offers multiple plans. For those more tech savvy Google Drive works great, and allows me to back up and access, edit and sync. all my documents on all my devices. No doubt there are others just google “cloud backup services”.
If you are even slightly affected by EBD you'll want to have a second backup system also in case the first fails. And if you are thinking about backing up your backup....welcome to the club.
I used to do two things that I find unnecessary now. 1.Make an exact image of my Hard Disk. 2. Zip everything to save memory. Today memory is so cheap, even in the cloud, it is much easier to just backup or copy everything in its original format.
Some files are not going to change like receipts, most pictures, ebooks, pdf files etc. For these types of files I create a Static Folder and only back that up once a year.
Check with a friend:
You probably know someone who knows more about computers and technology than you, so ask them if your backup strategy makes sense or if they would have any suggestions. Remember to keep your tech savvy friends happy so buy them a beer for their time.
Do your thing
I don't think there is a one solution serves all, find something that works for you and stick to it.
Independent of what products and process you use be sure you have a good fool proof, fail safe system and an easy process.