SHCC WYSIWYG Article from February 2006

Previous Next

This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the February 2006 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Backups! Backups! Backups!

by Don VanSyckel

This month I'd like to return to a subject that I think can't be stressed enough, at least not until every one of you falls in line and gets with the program. That subject is back ups. I know, I know, we touch on this every once in a while. Well, if you still aren't doing regular back ups, you have no business complaining about repetition. If you are doing regular back ups, then good for you and you can skip to the end. Today it is easier than ever to do back ups. There are many choices:

1)External USB hard disk
2)Second internal hard disk
3)CD, CD-RW,DVD
4)Over the network to the hard drive on that old computer sitting in the corner
5)There are some tape drives around but these are not as popular as they used to be because other methods have become cheaper, faster, and have more capacity.

With the increased use of email and digital cameras we are all getting more and more digital data. Now some people tell me they wouldn't care if they lose their disk because they have nothing important on it. If you keep the data it's important otherwise you would have thrown it away to begin with. If you even download the pictures from your digital camera you have data you have invested time in.

One of the easiest methods above is the external USB hard drive. Some drives come with backup software to load on the PC and a 'one touch' button on the drive that works in conjunction with this software to backup your hard drive. This is a great solution if the features of the backup software can be configured to meet your needs. Software is also available on the internet to do backups to these hard drives. A second internal hard drive is also an excellent method. Some hard drives also include backup software but I haven't found any internal hard drives that offer a 'one touch' button to kick off the back up.

CDs and now DVDs are also a good backup for a permanent record. One DVD holds about 4.7 Gb (gigabyte) of data. I would guess most people have between 3 and 30 Gb of data. But you don't have to backup everything all the time.

If you have an old computer you can set it up on the network to be a file server and access your data from any other computer in the house. If anyone has interest in this contact me to discuss or get help.

I next list some guidelines for backups without getting into specific methodologies. These are aimed at Windows systems but applied generally to Linux and others.

1)Don't back up the windows directories
2)Don't back up other program directories
3)Keep your data in a data directory separate from the program, this includes directories 'under' the program directory
4)If possible keep your data under two general categories:
4a)data that changes often
4b)data that changes rarely
5)Plan how you want to organize your data

In planning you might sort pictures:

   *pictures
**2005
***family
***shcc
***vacations
**2006
***family
***shcc
***vacations
etc.

or you could do:

   *pictures
**family
***2005
***2006
**shcc
***2005
***2006
**vacations
***2005
***2006
etc.

You get the idea. Think about what will work for you. You might even have a mix of the two schemes. Be inventive but most of all do something that works for you.

End of Article

Previous Next

To discuss the article with the author, send an email.

Article Index Page


Contact the webmaster with comments and suggestions about this web site.

Home