March 4, 2014

Back up your work

Dear M,

In the early days of my acquaintance with the computer, I used to forget to save my work. I should also say that those were the early days of computer in my neighbourhood too - which means, not many had heard of such things as UPS, and a power failure meant your unsaved work was gone. After losing my precious slowly-typed-in lines several times, I learned to do Alt+F+S.

Now we do not have that issue where power failure could cause our beloved work to be lost, however there still hangs above our heads the possibility of a hard drive crash, or something similar where we could lose our data.

Today, we have so many alternatives to keep our work safe. If you say you lost your 75,000 words of your novel because of a system crash, no one is going to be sympathetic. No one's sympathy is going to help anyway.

Software like MS Word have the option to save your data as you work. In recent versions, auto-recovery is enabled by default, and in other versions, there is an option to "auto-save" your work every few minutes. Enable it.

Use an external hard disk or a pen drive. Keep saving the entire folder of your work into it, once or twice a week. Just dump the whole thing there.

Find an online location like Dropbox, and sync your folder.

Take care that you know where the latest work is - keeping different versions in different places could lead to confusion and eventually, madness.


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