Monday, January 23, 2012

Ode To The Importance Of Backups

I had a fancy computer
One I loved like no other
It was always with me
Even when I was under the weather
I watched Downton Abbey (season 2) on a slightly disreputable site
And all that got me besides hours of entertainment
Was a bug I could not fight
When all my computer knowledge was used up to no avail
And my virus protection was going insane
I had no other choice but to restore to a previous date.
Problem solved! Or so I thought, until a message popped up
It told me no documents had been harmed, which I thought a rather strange thing to say
And upon farther investigation found, indeed no documents had been harmed
But they had all been thrown away
Four years of document accumulation gone in the blink of an eye
But thankfully my panic attack lasted just long enough to remind me
I had a USB thing, Hurrah!
All hail the USB thingy!

This is my way of saying to you (and demonstrating my HORRIFIC lack of poetic abilities all at the same time!) to not wait for later. Back your shit up now, or else. It's not me threatening you, but all those a-holes out there that plant these little virus/worm/"malicious" URL bombs to destroy your entire life. Do they care that it took however long to write/perfect your work? Nope. They don't. Because they're a-holes. So go. RIGHT NOW.

Or be prepared to know the answer to this question: What would you do if everything you ever wrote was just gone?

On a more pleasant note,

Winner of My extra copy of The Marbury Lens goes to . . .

Random generator picked Gracielou

Yeay! So Gracielou, email me ce(dot)murphy(at)yahoo(dot)com with your address and I will send it your way!

Happy Monday!


  1. I always back up my work on my external hard drive.

  2. OMG. I love it! I backup EVERYWhere because once, I lost stuff. Never again. I used Evernote. I have 2 external hard drives, and I keep everything attached to drafts in my email. I'm obsessed with never losing my work again!

  3. So, so grateful for my USB thingy! I would be so devastated if I lost everything. Though Downton Abbey might be worth it. :) Congrats to Gracielou!

  4. If everything I wrote was gone?? Yeah, I'd die. Just curl up and quit existing. Actually, once upon a time with my first book, I spent hours writing a scene I was particularly proud of. When I woke up in the morning, it was gone. I was pretty sure I hit Save, but it was late when I finished... Lucky for me, somehow it got saved under a different filename. Now, every time I change anything significant, I back my WIP up to the internet, and then monthly, I save everything to a USB drive. Plus, every draft is saved separately, so I could rebuild if I had to. If I ever lost those backups plus the originals, then yeah... end of existence.

    Multiple redundant backups may be paranoid, but it's the only way to be safe.

  5. Congrats to Gracielou! And man that was a close one. I once lost my USB thingy, and completely flipped out, even though I only lost like one day's worth of writing.

  6. Scary! I'm so glad you saved it--and your backup was intact. I email my work to myself.

  7. You have obviously made big sacrifices to watch Downton Abbey. Sorry about that. It's a good series, the only I've been watching since first season of Twin Peaks (got tired of it).

    An easy way to avoid loosing your work, is to store it on Google Docs. That's how I make a backup independent of my own fragile computer system.

    Cold As Heaven

  8. You must have almost had a small heart attack. I back up onto a USB, plus I'm thinking about doing Documents to Go, so I have a back up on line.

  9. Oh, glad you had your stuff backed up! I periodically back everything up--I've had too many computer crashes not to do so. O_O

  10. rut roh! I was afraid you were about to say you lost everything. Hooray for the thumb drive! I actually thought I left my thumb drive in a hotel once and nearly lost it. It's my book backup. Now I'm thinking maybe I need more than one... :p <3

  11. You are so right ... they are A-HOLES! I am so glad that you had your USB thingy...

    I have a macbook, so I am not too worried about viruses, but I still have multiple places where my work is available.

    I must look into the iCloud thingy...

  12. Congratulations to Gracielou!

    I'm glad you were able to recover your documents.

  13. This happened to me, too. All I lost were some photos (sob!) that I hadn't backed up. No one else was so lucky. Hey, but as long as my stuff is safe, that's all that matters. :D

  14. I'm SO glad you had your USB thingy. I've written since backing up a week or so ago, so I need to do it again. Ugh...but need to be backed, now.

  15. Scary! So glad you were backed up. I got a virus once, too and it took hubs hours to fix my computer. A-holes, indeed.

  16. That happened to me once, and the IT guys where I worked saved my (virtual) ass.

  17. Every time I finish a session of writing I back up onto a different hard drive. Then every few days I back up all my writing to an online Dropbox account. I haven't backed up my photos in ages though... Really need to do that... Will do it NOW!

  18. Oh... I'll react as I did on 26 December 2011. I'll stare disbelievingly at the white space where my rewrite and some rough drafts used to be.

    Then I'll optimistically use everything I can to get them back.

    Then I'll give up a week later and start counting blessings...


  19. Thank heavens for USBs! I agree. I even e-mail all my work to myself. Then it's even there in case of fire. Slightly paranoid? Perhaps. but it's a good thing.

    Oh, and I would die. That's what I'd do if I lost it all.

  20. While your poem was funny, you did say something important - back up before it's too late! And ALL HAIL THE USB!

  21. Oh boy. That's wretched. It's a writer's worse nightmare. I use the USB thingy, but also Dropbox. It's simple and free. I save to it after every update and it has saved me many times!!!

  22. ROFL! That was the most entertaining way to be told a really crappy story I think I've ever read!

    And my response?

    WORD. (in my old lady podunk sort of way)

  23. Ha, love this. Don't love what you went through though. I was hacked last year and it was AWFUL. Gmail shut down ALL of my google accounts, including my blog and it was horrible to get it all back and running safely again. Good reminder!

  24. Hi Colene
    As it happens, I have three USB thingys with specific use. Short stories, long stories, plus all the details I can't forget and one for the husband who always wants me to do this that and the other thing for him. Still, losing a loved computer sucks. I think there is a very warm place for all those a holes, as you said, where destroyed computers will pop up and thrust virus' at them like lightning bolts.

  25. That is great you have suych a diligent back-up method. I email myself my stuff, but not as often as I should. Sorry about the computer scare!

  26. I gotta get on board with Downton Abbey! Everybody's raving about it!

    I use Dropbox to back up my stuff, as well two memory sticks and the alternate hard drive on my computer. I had a scary moment when I was writing FREAK and suddenly thought I lost the whole thing... a book that's under contract and that I've already been partially paid for. From that moment on, I've been really diligent!

  27. Dude, seriously! You're like the 4th person this week I've heard of having a problem with their computer and losing everything they'd worked on (and you're the only one who had a USB memory stick). I'm so anal I save a copy on my laptop and USB every time I write (even if it's only a couple sentences). Then I back them up every so often on the desktop and the back-up external harddrive. Barring some catastrophy I can't avoid (like a massive house fire) I should be all set.

  28. Wow, thank goodness you backed up! I've backed up most of my stuff, but I could do with being a bit more diligent.

  29. Awh Colene, so glad you had your USB memory stick back up of files. It never ceases to amaze me that there are such evil people in the world ho create viruses to wreck people's lives with their misery. Congrats to l;ucky Gracielou, too.


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