Backup, Backup, Backup

Two days ago I did the unthinkable — I washed my cell phone. It was in an “Otter Box”, but soapy water still got into the phone.

As the phone was under a contract, I immediately looked on the net to see if I could revive it. Methods ran from using a vacuum to pull all of the water out to submerging it in a bag of rice, etc. Tried them all out, because in today’s world, a smart phone makes for mobile computing.

In short, yesterday I had to replace the phone. It had almost 12 GB of information on it, but I had little worries, as I knew that I had backed up the phone on my computer within the past few days. Sure enough, when I plugged it into my computer, all came back except for a few voicemails from last week and several text messages. No images were lost. If the text message were important, I could have asked the individuals who sent or received them to send them back to me, but they were not of that nature. And I’m sure that if I really needed any lost information that I could appeal to the NSA since they have all of it! Replacement of the phone was “free”.

Last year I had my camera pick-pocketed. In it was a 32 GB flash card. Every night in the field I download the day’s images onto an external “photo” hard drive that is made specifically for backups of CF and SD flash cards with slots for the cards and a screen for viewing stored images. So I lost about 20 pictures I had taken the morning before the theft — none prize winners. Insurance paid for the camera (and a model upgrade!).

A few years back, the hard drive on my computer went down, along with about 400 GB of applications, documents, and everything else that one “stores” on a computer. I had the hard drive replaced. Since I have automatic backup of everything on my computer (and my external hard drives consisting of 5 TB) I simply plugged the computer with the new hard drive into my backup drive and retrieved everything. Adobe and several other software manufacturers required me to re-enter my registration numbers, so keep those handy. The manufacturer later sent an email noting that the problem with the hard drive was theirs, and they eventually sent me a check for the amount of the replaced drive.

The point of this blog is to make sure you back up every device, and often. Fortunately, at this point in time, it is not hard to do. But do you do it? There is a saying about the computing world, “It is not if your device will go down, but when”. My son-in-law is a Marine and he says that for the Marines three is redundant.

Make it a point today to re-think where you stuff resides and if you have it backed up.

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