Backup, Backup, Backup

The universe synchronized and the pattern emerged from the social networks. People complaining that they have lost their data. Website crash, hard drive not recoverable, application stopped suddenly.

All without warning.

With these signs, I said to myself, “Self, time to quit procrastinating. Do some yoga, backup the phone, and then have a nice relaxing evening. Because you know that sd card did loose all the music on it. So do it now, get it over with.”

So after setting mat up, checking my social feeds, little pranayama breathing app, I set my phone up to backup and proceeded to Get My Om On.

Usually when I see the frustration of people loosing data, my response is pavlovian blurting out, “Three rules of Data Retention : Backup, Backup, Backup!”

This comes from many years of dealing with customers, friends, family and their computers. Their data is more important and has more worth than the physical computers they store it on. Photos, spreadsheets, home business information, tax information, and so on. I believe with larger corporations and services, with one hour of data loss is equal to loosing millions of dollars. (Ironic, that this information comes from most data recovery services. Insurance company type marketing anyone?)

So how do you avoid data loss? Biggest method, habit. Get into the regular habit of backing up your information when you are done handling it. At the end of the day after taking a thousand brilliant photos, backup. After writing the most brilliant poem, backup. After spending hours and hours of working on that one little picture of the cat and the caption, backup.

In three places.

Backup locally to a spot on your own local computer. This is known as the ‘Save Often’ rule. Saves time and frustration for preventing tiny data loss. Next spot is to backup to a place outside of your computer. Usb memory stick, flash card, external hard drive. And if you still use them, floppy disks and/or CD/DVD. I call this ‘Backup In Hand’. And the third spot is to save someplace offsite where your computer or your external storage is not located. Like a friend or relative.

Explaining to a relative or friend why you want to store your backups in their home might be a little strange to them… ( “No, the files don’t hold KGB/Corporate/Government secrets and I’m not going to die in the next 24 hours under mysterious circumstances. This is what happens when But if Boris from Government Accounting Reclamations shows up, give him anything he wants. Anything. Even your eyes. You don’t mess with Boris.”) But when you explain to them, that if the house were to burn down, what are the things that can’t be replaced? Photos, paperwork, data.

And if you don’t have any friends or relatives that you trust to hold that information for you, there is cloud storage. One portal, multiple locations where the files are stored. Various services are quite prevalent these days, some of the most popular include Dropbox, Spider Oak, and many others. Even Google’s documents has it’s advantages. Just make sure that you read the disclaimers, as some services hold certain rights over your information that you store online. And if that doesn’t work for you, get a safety deposit box.

Where was I? Right, my phone.

After a few grunting Sun Salutations and Downward Dog to stretch back out, found my calm and center, back is relaxed, shoulders loose, feel more at one with all that is around me… my phone decided to do a backup AND a firmware update.

But not in that order.

The firmware update pushed through first.

And failed.

My phone, my music player, my pocket internet search device… All of these are now a hunk of shiny plastic and circuits.

Data loss.

Calm disturbed? A little. The urge to swear up and down was surpressed.

On the universal scale, it is quieter now. And realizations emerge, as in, I’ve ultimately simplified my phone. There are less distractions. And as far as things are progressing. I’m getting more writing done.

It’s the bittersweet feeling of loosing everything in a fire, but looking forward to rebuilding a simpler way. Optimistically hopeful? Slightly new on me. How does it look?

So yes, please backup your information on a regular basis. And do more stretches, as it’s slightly painful when you haven’t done so in a long time. Please take this advice from both the sage and the wisdom seeker.

Hopefully other things do not become suddenly simplified.

I’m still here,