Tomorrow is Data Back-up day and I will be the first to admit I am not very diligent about backing up my files. Sure, I know the consequences and I can sit here and tell you all the important reasons why you should back up your files. I have experienced the cold sweat one breaks into when your computer crashes, a virus takes over and you feel you have just lost everything you have spent years working on. However, I can also sit here and tell you I am still constantly reminded by my husband to back-up, back-up, back-up. Only because, it will be him that I will turn to in my hour of need , to pull off some miracle to recapture my files.
I have lost files in past so you think I would have learned by lesson. One thing I believe about backing up files is not only the importance of backing up but I quite honestly I believe we need to back –up in more than one fashion.
I currently use CD’s to back up or an external hard drive. Nevertheless, particularly my genealogy data, I also like to make hard copies and file them in a binder. Backing up the computers in the house, is like taking out the garbage it has become another household task on the To Do list. With five computers in the house covering desktops, laptops and netbooks maintenance of computers and backing up of files has become an important part of life.
Many will debate what the perfect back-up system is. However, I believe several methods need to be considered. I am a little concerned that in years to come, my CD’s or external hard drive will be inaccessible, remember 8 track tapes or the VCR. With ever-changing technology, I can’t help but wonder where we are going to be next. This is why I like to print hard copies of my genealogy research as well. Now many might argue you need special paper that will stand the test of time, printed not copied, the ink will fade. But come on, we have been known to find the oldest of documents in the deepest darkest caves, does the Dead Sea Scrolls come to mind.
Ok I am having a little fun but I do believe in taking all the technology available to an individual today and using it to its fullest potential to keep your genealogy from becoming extinct.