May 3, 2010

How To of the Week: Back That @$$ Up



How To of the Week: Back That @$$ Up

As The Joker said in the latest Batman installment,
Madness is like gravity; All it takes is a little push.

Once you have gotten the Blue Screen of Death, you will be saying something along those lines too. Like it or not, the BSOD is a sad, sad reality that has doomed us all at some point in our lives. Call it destiny if you will. If it has happened to you before, it probably came at the worst time possible. If you are lucky, you are able to restart you computer a couple of times and everything is right int he world. If you are royally screwed, that bright blue screen is the last thing your computer will ever see. I talk to people on a daily basis that encounter this crisis, and trust me, it isn't pretty. I've seen giant companies that have 50+ people working 8 hours a data strictly on data entry and then lose a month's worth of stuff in an instant because of some sort of Office Armageddon. I suck at math, but 50 people x $hourly wage x 8 hours a day x 20 work days = Bad News Bears. I would consider it equally devastating to simply lose all of my music and pictures on my computer. It's happened before, and trust me, it sucks hard.

So why take the risk? There are things you can do that are cheap and easy to give you the peace of mind that if shit happens, you can have some sort of Plan B. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Store stuff on your iPod/iPhone/media device. Most people have some sort of music device these days so use it. You can store documents and pictures on iPods, not just music, so always keep that in mind. If you have one of these already, the cost to do this is free.
  2. Get a storage device. If you shop around, you can usually get a good deal on a 10 GB flash drive for around $20 or so. This isn't going to do the trick if you have every song known to man on your computer, but if you want to store some music and photos on to something that you can plug into your computer, swap it over, and then wear it around your neck on a lanyard to protect at all times, this is your best bet.
  3. Get a mecha-external backup device. I have an external backup device that holds 500GB of data, does automatic backups, and helps me sleep easy at night. You can see the specs here. This gets a little more pricey, ranging from $100+ based on how much storage you need, but if you have a lot of crap you want to backup, the juice is really worth the squeeze.

I know this is dorky and all, but if you're not taking any precautions what-so-ever at the moment, you will be thanking me that you did if the BSOD pays you a little visit.

Murphy's Law applies here.