July 14, 2011

Back Up Your Poems!

I have had three poet friends in the past few month contact me frantically because their computers crashed. It wasn't just the lost hard drive that had them frantic - it was the "lost" poems.

None of them had full backups of their files (poems included, but also photos and other documents). I was able to retrieve all the files from one hard drive, retrieve some files from another and do nothing at all with the third.

As tech people say, it's not a question of IF your hard drive will crash, it's just a question of WHEN it will crash.

I highly recommend that you use some kind of regular backup. You can buy a backup drive or use those flashdrives - but they can crash too and you have to remember to do the backups. So, the thing to do these days is to store your work "in the cloud" - online on a computer server that will do regular backing up for you.

There are several well known services like this but I am recommending Dropbox because they offer a FREE 2 Gigabyte account (that's a lot of poems!) of basic backup protection.

You sign up, install a small program on your computer and it creates a folder on your computer to put files in. You use the folder just like any other folder - but it will be automatically backed up online. If you have other computers, you can add Dropbox there too and then those files will appear on both computers. No more emailing files back & forth or carrying them on a flashdrive. And you can access your files by signing in at Dropbox.com from any computer.

You can also share folders in your Dropbox with other Dropbox users. That would be great for collaborative writing or editing situations. If I make changes to a file, you would see them next time you open it.

Okay, I pointed you to a solution. Don't contact me when your computer crashes and you lose those poems!

1 comment:

  1. I prefer http://www.carbonite.com but agree that the free 2GB is a good offer and plenty for poets. Some people have security issues with cloud storage but I don't think most poets should be concerned.

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