This was my second of two presentations to the Editors' Association of Canada in 2003. The other was about helping editors build websites, and took place in January.
In November 2003, I talked about computer backups to about 60 people at the monthly meeting of the Editors' Association of Canada B.C. Branch. This page includes a summary, audio of my talk, and a bunch of links. (Thanks to Michael Laycock for taking the photos.)
You can't even touch the most most valuable part of your computer: all those megabytes of fragile, irreplaceable digital information stored inside. Your documents, client information, research notes, files, photos, music, bookmarks, and e-mail.
So imagine you come home one day and your computer has been stolen. There's an electrical storm that damages it. An over-enthusiastic relative who "knows what he's doing" accidentally erases a whole bunch of your files. You drop your laptop while sprinting to catch a bus. Or your hard disk just wears out and dies after years of yeoman service.
Now what? If you have a backup copy (or two or three), you'll be back on your editing feet in short order. But most people—like you?— don't have a backup, and they'll be in deep trouble.
Even if you don't answer all of the questions, I hope thinking about them encourages you to make some copies of your essential files, because the originals may be impossible to replace if anything drastic (or even mundane) happens.
Here is the audio of my presentation:
If you want to save the files to your computer before playing them, simply right-click (Windows) or click and hold (Mac) on the file you want, then choose Save or Download (depending on your Web browser) to download it to your computer's hard disk. Double-click the downloaded file to play it.
I originally posted these links on my home page journal on 20 November 2003.