Every writer should know the importance of keeping regular back ups. Many writers have suffered from the agony of losing a morning’s work following aor computer system crash. But how many writers (apart from the Geeky ones) will pay attention to making proper regular backups?
Over the years I’ve tried several methods – some have worked really well, others, including the zip disk and the once ubiquitous floppy, died a death long before the storage medium physically wore out.
CDs and DVDs are all very well but don’t cope well with change, and the last thing I need is to lose yet another precious hour trying to figure out which was the most recent version of draft 3 of my novel.
I’ve tried nifty little programs like ysync (a free program written by novelist, programmer and all round nice guy, Simon Haynes) and backup to email. If you have a pc and a windows laptop, ysync is definitely worth a try, though it might not help if your home is destroyed in a fire. And back up to email combined with gmail, gives the reassurance that in the event of an act of god your data is backed up online, so it’s a secure as it can be, but you will get a growing pile of versions to compare. If you’re really organised that could be just what you were looking for, you can change your mind about a scene you wrote yesterday and easily roll back to that version. It didn’t suit me but I’m not a brilliantly organised person.
Right now, I’m trying out the home version of Mozy online backup. I found it easy to set up – you select the file types and folders you want backed up and how often you want the backups to happen, and let it do the rest. There’s a free version which offers 2gb of space, which should be enough for your writing needs.
My first back up took several hours and I let it run overnight, but subsequent back ups take less time, depending on how many new or changed files you have.
For me the benefit of this system is that I don’t have to think about it. There’s no need to remember to burn anything or even run a program – it’s all done for me.
Having come close to losing everything on at least two occasions, I’m not taking any more chances with backups, and if you’ve read this far, nor should you. Whatever system you try, do something about it now.
If you have your own backup solutions, please leave a comment and share the details.
- Mozy’s MozyHome and MozyPro Backup Solutions [via Zemanta]