Sunday, January 22, 2017

Backup Your Computer!

Linda:  We have been “missing in action” since December when my computer decided to slow down to almost a stand-still.  And then I couldn’t get on the internet because Safari just showed error messages about my computer could crash at any moment - just spam.  After an extended stay at the local authorized Apple store, my computer is fixed and I’m back!  

So I was thinking that perhaps some of you out there aren’t backing up your computers.  I learned the hard way many years ago that backing up can save you hours of frustration and stress.  Here’s what can happen if your computer crashes or is stolen (both of which have happened to me). Even if your computer is brand new and you’re figuring it will never crash, it can be stolen or destroyed in a natural disaster.

If you are a TpT seller, you can lose all your working files.  You can recover your product file/pdf from your store but none of the working files.  If you are a buyer, you can recover your purchases from your account but I purchased items years ago before they had a My Purchases page and would not be able to retrieve those if my computer weren’t backed up.

Personal files can disappear in a flash - all your photos, your contacts, your budgets, your passwords.  I have a doc
that is password-protected that lists all my passwords.  I’d be lost without that!  
Backup Suggestions 
You can use an online service for backing up your files. I researched some this morning and found these: 
The cost for unlimited cloud storage is $60 a year with free support and the ability to access your files remotely.  You can pay $100 a year for an external hard drive backup and a mirror image backup but that’s for Windows only.  Try it for free for 15 days. 

This, too, is a paid service for plans starting at $110 per year for 10GB of space.  The price increases as you need more room.  I had Mozy about 7 years ago but had difficulty restoring files on a new computer after my old one had crashed. But now they offer tech support so this might work for you but I couldn’t find a free trial offer. 

With this plan, you can back up to their cloud for $60 a year, back up to a local drive (maybe an external one?) or even another computer.  It’s free to back up to other computers or external drives but you pay for backing up to their cloud.

According to their website, you pay only for the space you use and there are no set up fees or contracts.  You’ll be charged $4 a month for 10GB with an increase after that. 

This, too, is a cloud storage service which is my pick!  I had the free version which lasted over a year until I ran out of space.  I now pay $10 a month for 1 TB - that’s 1,000 GB!  I’ll never run out!  I used to save only the final pdf of my products but now can add all my working files to it also.  I have the Dropbox app on my phone so I can access everything wherever I go.  I can sign into my account from any computer and access my files, something you probably can do with the others listed above.  

External Hard Drives  
As much as I love DropBox, I’m a little compulsive about backing up so I also have an external hard drive!   About once a week I plug it in and it backs up my entire computer.  I work on a Mac and use Time Machine with my external hard drive.  Here's a tip:  Do NOT store your external hard drive close to your computer.  If your house is broken into and your computer is stolen, your external hard drive will be stolen too!  

Thumb Drives
These little devices are very convenient for traveling butthey are limited in the amount of files you can put on one.  There are new ones now that hold 128GB but due to their size, they are easy to lose.  Now, how do I know that????

I recently used a CD to back up just my KinderLit files and ended up using 8!!!  They don’t hold much and now the latest computers are coming out with NO CD hard drives.  So, I don’t see this as a viable backup choice.  

Here’s a good article to get you started in thinking of backing up, if you don’t already:  How To Back Up Your Computer

I’m sure there are many other wonderful ways to back up your system and your files.  Please leave a comment below with additional methods so we can all benefit! 

Zoo Animals Update!
Lisa:  We recently updated our product, Zoo Animals - a Riddle Book.  It now includes a writing journal as well as our KinderLit collage book, Guess Who?  If you have purchased this product in the past, go to My Purchases in your account and upload the newest version for free.  A great resource for a field trip to the zoo!  
February Already?
January is almost gone - time for February.  Below is a linky party for your groundhog and Valentine products!  Add up to 3 paid and/or freebies!