Sunday, May 20, 2012

One More Reason You Need Computer Backups

woman running with computer

Think it's time for another post about computer backups. Car was broken into & husband's laptop stolen. He doesn't backup. So sad! — Direct message I got today on Twitter, shared with permission

The person who sent me this message also said, in another Twitter message: I worry about computer dying & don't think about theft. But people have computers stolen — or leave them behind in taxis and airplanes — all too frequently.

Here's the story of what happened to author Neil Gaiman — who, fortunately, did have backups in place:
On a trip with his daughter visiting college campuses, Neil had fallen asleep mid-flight and forgot to remove his MacBook Air from his seatback’s pocket. By the time he had returned home and realized his Mac was missing, the airline’s lost-and-found office had closed. When he called back in the morning, the Mac was still missing.

In full-on panic mode, Neil contacted the Code 42 Support team. He had been working on a few confidential pieces that he hadn’t emailed to anyone. In Neil’s mind, they were potentially not backed up. CrashPlan to the rescue!

Not only did CrashPlan have backups of everything he did up until he got on the plane, CrashPlan also retrieved his data in time for an important upcoming presentation.
And here's author John Scalzi, who lost his computer just a few days ago:
My absence from the Internet was a bit longer than I had anticipated today, for one genuinely depressing reason: I left my travel bag in the taxi that took me to my hotel from the airport, and that bag included my computer and some other stuff (including my car key).
However, it seems like he's mostly OK on the backup front:
Almost everything I had on the computer was also redundantly stored elsewhere, so I have lost no work.
And here's a sad story from a bookstore that thought it had backups, but didn't:
I'm writing to you on behalf of the Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore, an independent, not-for-profit cooperative bookstore located in Montreal.

This wonderful "little store that could" was robbed this past Sunday night (May 13th 2012) - someone or a group of someones, smashed a window in, and stole our computer. ...

We would really really appreciate our computer back. Even if its just to borrow it to copy the files on it. See, our ENTIRE inventory and records are on that computer. Which means HOURS and HOURS of lost work, and HOURS and HOURS of work we will have to re-do. We will have to close the store to get this work done, at a time when we can't afford to close the store.
So if you're not yet backing up your computer, please do something about that, right away.

And that backup that the bookstore thought it had, but didn't? That will be the subject of my next blog post.

Related Posts:
Backup Your Data - Avoid Heartache and Pain
Sleep Well at Night: Have a Good Backup Strategy

Credits: Photo by charamelody, found on Flickr, licensed through Creative Commons.


Michaela said...

That is why I invested in Carbonite. I found it to be inexpensive for a three year plan. Also - the best thing to me - is that I can access my computer on my smartphone. Of course I don't leave it logged in on my phone (in case the phone gets stolen), but there have been many times I needed work files out in the field and I'm able to easily access them. I have tried to get everyone I know in this business to follow suit, but no one seems to do anything until something radical happens (like my friends laptop that fell into her toilet - plugged in!).

I'm sold on computer backups!

Pam Holland said...

HI, Jeri, great post!

I was curious about why you chose Super Duper over Time machine for Mac Backups?

Thanks for this important reminder!

Jeri Dansky said...

Hi Pam,

I'm sorry your comment/question got held up in my moderation queue.

SuperDuper creates a bootable hard drive, which TimeMachine does not. TimeMachine is great if you delete a specific file by mistake. SuperDuper is great for more catastrophic problems - if your entire hard drive goes bad. I've restored my entire computer from a SuperDuper backup, after the hard drive got replaced, and it worked really well.