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Friendly reminder: Back up your computer

My old Toshiba Satellite just died. Had that computer for 3-4 years and it's been around the world with me through Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North America, and the Caribbean. Something like 20-30 countries. I had a lot of nice memories with that computer, and it survived an absolute beating before finally kicking the bucket. The casing is cracked in all sorts of places, the screen has been battered and is spotty in a couple places, the CD drive doesn't quite work correctly, the battery only has a few minutes of charge, and I had to replace the power cord for it twice. But it kept going, and I did some great work on that computer.

But, today it is no more. It wouldn't boot up. I had a Windows installation disk with me, and it won't install either. I spent a few hours trying to do some sort of repair, but it ain't happening. So long, Satellite. Thanks for the memories.

But enough with the nostalgia. On a prgmatic note, when's the last time you backed up your computer? I back up my computer once every week or two, but only now am I realizing a few things I lost. There's a couple living documents I had that I haven't backed up in two months, so I lost the last few brainstorms I had. Also, I had just transfered a bunch of pictures and then cleared the space off my iPhone, so those pictures are lost to the ether forever. Nothing too amazing, but I did lose a few decent pictures of Vietnam.

All sorts of media and then my general settings - that's a big one I didn't think about. In January before I left the States, I did a full backup of my computer and then I wrote down all the programs and settings and extensions I had on my computer. Then I installed a clean version of Windows and went and re-installed/re-configured everything. My configurations have evolved since then, and I don't have them down. I'll put it back together quickly enough when I get a new computer, but it would've saved me time if I'd made a document of that.

So yeah - friendly reminder from Sebastian: Back up your computer. When's the last time you did it? Is there a mix of online and offline backups? That is, would you still have your most key stuff if, heaven forbid, your apartment caught on fire? You can email the most critical documents and pictures to yourself which is the bare minimum lazy man's backup you should do. External hard drives are cheap, go grab one and put all your media on there if that's important to you and you're settled into one location. Also consider scanning and uploading non-digital files that are really important to you - letters and pictures especially. It'd be a shame to lose those.

10 Tech Resolutions Everyone Should do for the first 10 days of 2014


Happy New Year 2014 Everyone!

It's a great time to add a few tech resolutions to your todo list. There are many, but these should get you going. They do not take a lot of time and you can complete them easliy

January 1st - Spend 10 minutes and delete all those dumb pictures you snapped on your phone. You know the one of Duck Dynasty Chia Pet you thought that was funny....oh wait that was me. If you posted it to a social site it's backed up there, so don't waste space and time on your phone with it.

January 2nd - Make Sure your iPhone/Android is backing itself up. Takes 10 Seconds to verify that you are backing up and when the last backup was. Do it No Excuse.

January 3rd - Recycle your old electronics - At least put them in a box in the car to take to recycling center. Do you really need 3 VCRs in the basement? What about that old Turntable....yeah yeah.. I hear ya records sound better. No they don't and unless you are harboring a collection of vinyl that you haven't transferred to MP3s and is not available in a digital format, recycle it.

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