Backing Up

Have you ever had one of those days when technology does not cooperate?

I’ve always been a gadget man and I love the latest technology, but when something goes wrong I leave it to the professionals to help me. I have a list of trusted experts on speed-dial for everything else (from arborists to zipper repair), so when my techno is touchy nothing is more comforting than knowing I have Apple care/support available seven days a week.

The other morning I sat at my desk and my iPhoto program would not open. Even worse, I couldn’t find any of my photo files on the computer. Zero. Nothing. (Did your stomach just clench in sympathy?) I have been a huge fan of all things Apple since 1997 when my PC got sick with a virus and never recovered; ever since I have been dedicated to the brand, and should something go wrong I know who to call. I did, and in no time I was back up and running again. Thank goodness!

Here is the even better news. Although it was just a minor glitch that only required a few simple steps to correct, what I also discovered was that I had not been backing up my computer. To be accurate, I had a system in place, plugged in but apparently it had stopped functioning. So I had a “backup with yet no backup!” Who knows how long it was not working? Thank you Apple support for taking the time to ask questions and diagnose what could have been a potentially catastrophic problem.

I corrected the situation that very morning. One never thinks of losing files until it actually happens and by then, it is way too late. Think for a minute about the files on your computer. What would you lose if they were gone, forever?

Can you believe there is actually a “Backup Awareness Month?” Yup, every June!

In this year’s Harris Interactive survey of thousands of PC and Mac users (aged 18-80) across the USA, only 71.7% of people surveyed had ever backed up their computer. And of those, 22% only did it once a year. I don’t know about you, but I think I’d miss a lot of what I received, wrote, and photographed in the last year!

Today its easier than ever to install this peace of mind, as all Windows and Mac OS X have great built-in backup utilities, so it only takes a few simple steps. All you need is an external hard drive and a cable; your computer knows how to do the rest – and will do it automatically from then on. (There are on-line storage options as well – these also require a monthly fee.)

If any of this confuses you – be honest, now! – the best thing is to ask someone to help you. Wouldn’t you rather be embarrassed to ask than wake up to an empty computer one day?

I’m proud to say that I now have a working system that automatically backs up my files, photos, and videos. Back me up, my MARtians, and make sure you have one.

When was the last time you backed up your computer?