One of the main reason for the lack of updates recently was my laptop troubles. It became unstable and would often not turn on. I borrowed one from my brother and was able to get some posts out but still had issues. Mine was set up to be efficient on writing articles and I was used to it. The keys were all in the wrong place on the borrowed one and I made even more spelling errors than normal. I was holding out till this past weekend, that was tax free, to get a new laptop and continue writing. I still have some work to do to get used to the new one and set it up. So far I’m hating windows 8 by the way. besides having to buy a new one though the old one dying didn’t bother me very much. Normally it means the loss of data and valuable things. With me I didn’t have that problem and I will share with you what I did to make my system prepared for a failure.
When I got my lat laptop a few years back I still have a desktop with my important files on it so I didn’t bother to transfer anything over to it. Instead I used it primarily to use the internet and any files I needed I would email to myself so there was an extra level of redundancy. My gmail account is used more for spam and file storage now than anything. For anything really important I’m moving to using the Survivalpunk account. So when that laptop started not turning on I wasn’t too worried about loosing anything on it. I was more worried about the trying to run the site with out a computer. Since then I’ve employed a few more redundancies.
The majority of the pictures I take now are with my cell phone. The great thing about that besides always having it with me is that Android phones backup your pictures on the cloud. They are uploaded to a private directory on your Google+ account. If you break or lose your phone the pictures will still be there and can be added back on your phone. You contacts are linked with your gmail account and can also be re-synched on any new phone you get. That has a ton of added benefits. It solve the old problem of having to back all your contacts after a upgrade or breaking your phone. Also it means that your contacts are in your gmail account. If you break your phone or lose it but have access to the internet you can look up an important number. You could also print it out and have a hard copy of your contacts. I don’t know if Apple has similar capabilities I’m an Android Guy.
There are a lot of methods out there for file storage now but I will cover my personal favorites. I can’t speak for Carbonite backup personally but might look into it. It’s an automatic backup service that might be good for those of us that are lazy/ forgetful. Like I said earlier For years I’ve emailed important files to myself for storage and will gmail I still have a ton of storage left. I have backed up some of my most important pictures and documents this way. There is a file limit and you won’t be backing up home movies this way. For pictures and other small files though this is a great portable method. I can access on computers or phones this way. I like that sharing of files between devices that way a lot. One I finally started using was the Dropbox service. I got it on my phone as additional picture backup redundancy and installed on my computers. Now I have backups of important files that I can access anywhere. You can install Dropbox on your computer and it creates a folder to synch with your cloud storage making backups pretty easy. In fact making a physical backup of this folder on CD/DVD or solid state media would not be hard. Having all your files to be backed up in one folder would make the somewhat tedious activity easier.
I used to be a lot better about making physical backups years ago. Mostly because I had a small hard drive and just kept a lot of things on Cd’s since they were so cheap. Some of those cd’s are still working and some are unreadable. Cd’s, especially the cheap ones, do not last very long. They get scratched and degrade on their own. That was one of the reasons I moved to cloud storage. However having physical backups does have a place in your redundancy plans. At this point if you want to keep doing some cd/dvd backups I really can’t fault you since they are cheap and easy. I’m starting to move towards using SD cards as my preferred method. They can not become scratched and are more reliable. They are getting cheaper for some big amounts of storage space. A quick Amazon search turned up a 32 gig card for $19. Transferring to them is faster and easier than cd/dvd which have respective limits of 700mb and 4gb. Buying a spindle of DVD’s would be cheaper and give you a more storage for the entire stack. I think they have a place and backing up movies and videos are a good one for them. Powering a small dvd player would not be too much. I just prefer SD cards for their large storage and ease of transfer by simply dragging and dropping.
When I started Survivalpunk I used to write on the computer then upload to WordPress. I soon moved to just writing on WordPress. I had some issues with loosing entire posts twice doing this. Nothing is more infuriating than finishing a post and going to publish it and have it disappear. Since then I’ve moved to writing in Evernote and then copying to WordPress. This gives me the additions benefit of being able to access my articles anywhere and writing on my phone whenever I get an idea. Evernote has a lot of other benefits for preppers such as keeping for shopping list on it and checking on your phone when shopping. For this I no longer care to have a dedicated note, writing application on my computer. Any time I can move my wok to the cloud I’m going to.
I know some of you are worried that someone will see it if its online. Obviously we have found out that the government is already watching and monitoring you. Make a good password and keep things like bank account numbers off the cloud and you’ll be fine.
How do you keep backups? Do you use a service or manually backup? Let me know in the comments! Also please enter our Reader appreciation contest and help spread the word about our blog.