Friday, 23 April 2010

Public Service Announcement

This is for JoAnne aka Titus who today has posted that her main computer has died and taken with it all her work, including the poems she's been working on for a new pamphlet: arrgh!

How guilty do I feel? A few weeks ago when I was pulling my portfolio together my computer went blank as it was rendering the cover image. It was about 4am and I nearly threw myself out of the window, I thought I'd lost everything.

I'd been muttering about getting an external hard drive to back up my work for some time but hadn't got round to it, now it looked like it was too late and two years work, and more really, had been thrown away by omission. Luckily my son, Bob who knows about these things was still here – he's in Hawaii now working on a fruit farm – and he came to the rescue. Everything popped back up and I saved my portfolio onto a memory stick.

The next day he searched the internet for a way to back up my work on line and found Sugar Sync. After a few clicks of the mouse I had, for free, enough storage space to contain every document I ever created.

The real joy of Sugar Sync, as opposed to other online storage facilities of which it turns out there are many, is that you can set it up to automatically save redrafts and new work (you can also use it for photographs and music but I'm not fussed about those just yet) and, there is an iPod application so you can access everything on your pod or phone too. And, being online, you can access your work from any computer in the whole world! So if your computer crashes any work you have saved to your hard drive will still exist.

The guilt comes from not having shared this with you before. I meant to do so at the time, it was so exciting for a start, and it felt life-saving. But I didn't get round to it, just like I didn't get round to backing up my stuff until catastrophe appeared to have struck. Sorry JoAnne, I hope your work can be saved, and once it is click on this* to get your own Sugar Sync account.

* the link I've provided is a refer a friend link, if you use it to set up your own account it will automatically give me, and you, a little extra storage. If you'd prefer, though, you can go to the Sugar Sync home page and leave me out of the equation, or if you have another friend who uses it ask them to provide the link so they can get more storage.


Jim Murdoch said...

I've just started using Dropbox. What I like it that it will save updates onto however many computers I have with the application installed. At the moment I have it on one laptop and my office PC and am delighted with the results. I also have two external hard drives with copies of all my writing. Bit of a belt-and-braces sort me.

Pat said...

I've got the book on a USB that flashes with a blue light and I keep that safe. Also my granddaughter put it on CDs and in addition I sent my son three chapters at a time as an attachment and he printed it all out.
I haven't got round to using an outside party but hope that is sufficient.
I'm so sorry for your friend but we are all responsible for our own stuff so don't take on.

angryparsnip said...

I am always hitting the wrong key and so my fear is that I will just hit some random key or tab and everything will be deleted.
I am so not a nerd and really wish I was !
My Japanese son has to log on to my computer from Osaka to help me fix problems. Thank Goodness for our talented children.

Eryl Shields said...

Jim ~ we looked at Drop Box but couldn't see how to make it automatically save work as and when I saved it to the hard drive. Bob knew that if it wasn't automatic it wasn't going to happen, his poor mother is too dozy to be able to do too many things at once!

I have sugar sync on this computer, my only one, and my iPod and can hardly contain my delight at being able to scan a piece of work done the night before, while still in bed in the morning, on the pod.

The belt and braces approach is a sensible one, I think, you just never know what might happen where. It is possible for the Drop Box (or SS) hub to be annihilated in a storm or something, isn't it?

Pat ~ it sounds sufficient to me. We could, should we allow it, get ourselves in too much of a tizz about such things, I sometimes think.

Parsnip ~ thank goodness indeed, and for the technology that allows Japanese Son to log on at that distance and fix things, it's amazing.

newjenny said...

It sounds useful. Does it cost anything? Do you subsequently get bombarded with irritating emails?

I do like the unselfishness of your last paragraph. These little touches of goodness are appreciated.

Eryl Shields said...

Jenny ~ it doesn't cost anything unless you want a huge amount of space. I can't remember how much I get but it's swallowed up all the documents I've ever created including all my coursework for both my degrees, correspondence, and blog posts which I type up before copying them to blogger. And I've still got tons left. If you want to store photographs, videos and music you'd probably need to pay.

I haven't noticed a lot of emails so far.

Thank you for your appreciation, X

Titus said...

And here is the distraught one!
Thanks so much Eryl, once I've retrieved (Alesa may have found a way) I shall belt and brace like Jim from now on.

You just don't expect these things to happen... to you!

angryparsnip said...

I know, isn't technology a hoot...
I still don't understand how a phone works let alone having a son a gazillion miles away fix your computer.
Sounds like Titus has maybe found the deleted files. Yea !

Eryl Shields said...

Titus ~ I really hope Alesa, or someone, can help retrieve all for you. When I read your post I felt sick, so goodness knows how you felt. I think the belt and braces approach in such things as this is much better than letting your trousers fall down.

Though, I must say, I have lost work in the past due to forgetting to save it and so have started from scratch and found the rewrites without recourse to the originals have often come out much better. Takes a lot of time though.

Parsnip ~ it's completely astonishing. I do tend to be a bit: 'I don't have to know how it works as long as it does,' sort. But I must find out a bit about how your son does access your computer to fix problems from such a distance so that mine can do the same. He may well know but isn't telling so that I have to sort things out myself: 'sink or swim, mummy!'