Thursday, September 3, 2015

Are you ready to lose everything? I'm not!

It started fifteen years ago for me when my Mac G4 Cube's (circa 2000) hard drive crashed...



I lost all of my pictures, music and files.  My wife is still mad at me about those 60th Wedding Anniversary pictures of her Grandma and Grandpa Fox that slipped into the ether...

Recently we updated my wife's Macbook, and her first comment to me was that I needed to move all her files to her new device...  Easy right?  

First I tried the EXPORT function from iPhoto... 8400 pictures takes about 16 hours to export to a folder.  Then I remember the just move the iPhoto Library file (the magic of apple that hides everything in one place right?)  35.6 GB and 7 hours of copy time to an external hard drive... #ugh.  Then I remembered that old FLICKR account I have... I'll just grab the handy dandy Flicker uploader APP and voila! In the cloud! Safe from hard drive crash, spilling a large diet coke on the laptop, etc... Of course the uploader is still running... I figure it will take about 3 days.

I have more than a Terabyte of "junk".  Movies, music, documents, webpages, etc...  


The accumulation of 23 years of computing at work and at home.  I feel like I am device independent... i.e. if my Macbook gets destroyed, I am not out any files. I Dropbox.  I Box.com.  I Copy.com.  I iDrive.com.  I Google Drive.  I have floppy disks, DVDs, external hard drives, keyclips and a 512 MB SD card.  My copies have copies!  But if my iPhone dies tonight -- there will be files that haven't been cataloged and deduped...

Why am I telling you this? Because most people (maybe even you) do NOT have a good handle on how many files you actually have and what you would do if that computer or iPhone or iPad doesn't power on in the morning.

I have lots of people bring me their damaged hardware and with tears in their eyes ask if I can fix it... Sometimes I can.  Many times I cannot.  The only course is often the "nuke and repave", factory reset, or format and reload.  Sometimes we simply have to let it go.

DON'T get caught people!  Be ready and here are some tips:

1) Put it in the cloud!  You should all be using DROPBOX by now... and although I love FREE STUFF, pay for it!  It gives you more space and it gives you piece of mind.



2) Put it in the dirt!  Make a copy of the ESSENTIALS to External HD, SD CARD or Jumpdrive.  Then lock it up in something fireproof.  Then every 2 years, transfer it to a current device (so you don't get stuck with a floppy disk and NO disk drive in any computer in the town!)



3) DELETE.  For goodness sake, if you don't wear the blouse in a year's time, get rid of the blouse...  Many of you have files you built that first year in the classroom (POWERPOINT 1.0).  Guess what?  Powerpoint won't even open that file!  Let it go.  Just because we can keep everything we have ever done, doesn't mean we should!  (Apply this to your inbox too -- PRUNE THAT MAILBOX!).