Autopilot Computer Backup
When I got my first laptop computer back in 1994, I’d didn’t get it without a fight. Not with my wife…my boss.
I’d previously convinced the president that the salesmen needed laptops. Now I wanted one. Joe was adamant that I didn’t need one and they cost way too much. So I kept pushing….
Joe relented only after I told him not to get me a laptop unless he wanted me to work on company business at home, on airplanes, and in hotel rooms. He said, “Okay, okay already. Now get out of my office!”
My productivity did soar as I could work wherever I happened to be. I was unchained from my desk. Finally. If I had to work a 12 hour day I could take several hours of work home with me. Even to the beach.
Yet suddenly many documents and spreadsheets suddenly were unchained from the network. And the server’s automated backup.
I had to back up my laptop myself or risk losing precious data. And eating crow when explaining what happened to Joe. I couldn’t let that happen so I began a weekly practice of backing up my computer every Friday…and during the week if I completed a major project.
I’ve used everything to backup: floppy disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, thumb drives, external drives, and even backing up to the network drive.
My backup habit paid off a few weeks ago when my trusty Acer laptop choked on an automatic update from Microsoft. Seems my 4-year old laptop couldn’t handle Internet Explorer 8. Fortunately it happened on a Saturday and I had a fresh backup from Friday!
I now am loving my 6th laptop: a Macbook Pro which runs Windows XP whenever I need it.
Mac’s now include a backup program called Time Machine which automatically backs up to an external hard drive. I like this because I no longer need to remember my Friday afternoon ritual. It just happens.
Yet the possibility remains that my laptop and external hard drive could be stolen at the same time and I’d be one hurtin’ dude!
So I added an entirely new layer of backup protection: Online backup.
I use a service called Carbonite which you can read about here. For about $50 a year my documents, pictures, and music files are automatically backed up into “the Cloud.”
It took about 2 weeks to slowly upload over 40 gigabytes of data. Now it’s done and it keeps me backed up automatically, all of the time. No matter where I am. If I am connected to the web any changed files get backed up just as soon as I close them.
Amazingly they place no limits on how much you can back up. And the price includes both personal and business files so I have everything covered.
I’ve tested the service by restoring some files. Very easy and quick.
If my laptop died, I would just buy a new laptop and install Carbonite. Then restore all my data to my new PC. My productivity would be impacted for a while but I’d be back in business in no time.
This is cheap insurance and I strongly recommend you add it to your onsite backup practices.