Hey, what are you doing right now? Oh yeah, that sounds like fun. Cool, cool. Guess what you should do, right now … Log off, and back up your computer. A full, complete, bootable backup.
So there I am, cruising the net, having myself a little Saturday night zone out, recovering from a week at the folks place, just dorking around online, and suddenly, my hip little MacBookPro freezes. Like a dear in headlights. Like a bottle of White Zinfandel that you stuck in the freezer to chill, and it turned to wine slushie. Like Hammer Time. Frozen. I do all the tricks. I wait 2 minutes. I ask it nicely. I promise to buy it a cool new blue-tooth mouse if it will unfreeze for me. Nothing works. So, I go to the old fall-back. I press and hold the power button for 5 seconds. It shuts down, and I wait a few seconds, then power it back up.
Scary looking question mark
The hard drive has gone to hard drive heaven, where it sits on white clouds and mocks me, flinging bits of my valuable data over the side at passing motorists, just to see their reaction. I hate you, dead hard drive. I hate you so much.
My last backup is 4 weeks old. I normally rip one every week on my laptop, and every night on my studio computer, but some logistical hurdles got in the way, and I hadn’t kept up with my backups. What’s happened in the intervening 4 weeks?
I wrote a bunch of music for Christmas. I did my final semester grades for all of my students. I wrote 3 extensive project critiques for some independent study students. I revised all of my syllabi, and designed a new course plan for one of my classes. I did 4 weeks worth of work, all gone to hard drive heaven, being flung over the railing in neat little 8bit chunks.
So, I here present to you, the faithful readers, a public service announcement. If you own a mac, doing a weekly (or nightly!) backup couldn’t be easier. First, buy a super cheap external hard drive. Something like this $100 LaCie 250 GB would work fine. Plug it in to your computer.
Download and install a little program called SuperDuper. Here’s what it does – it takes your computer’s internal harddrive, and it turns the new external drive that you bought into an exact clone of the original drive. Why is this important? Well, if your hard drive on your computer crashes, you can bring that handy little external drive to any mac, anywhere, plug it in, and boot from it. You’ll now be staring your own computer squarely in the face, down to the creepy picture of Jessica Alba that you use as wallpaper, Bobby. Keep working like normal, using the backup harddrive, and when your computer gets fixed, you can use SuperDuper to clone your backup back over to your main computer.
Sound simple? It is! Sounds like something that might pull your butt out of the fire if things go all hinky? It is!
I’m declaring January 2nd “Neo-National Cross-Platform Data Backup Day Extravaganza!” here at Addison Road. Now go back up your data!