So, the other day I did something bad on my computer. I deleted the wrong identity in my address book. What I mean by that is that I deleted my WHOLE ADDRESS BOOK! 10 years of electronic contacts gone.
Sweet Corn Muffins! Panic set in, quickly.
Luckily, I had made a back-up of my entire hard drive about a month ago. It was a little tricky, but I was able to recover everything (minus 4 weeks of info, but that seems like nothing compared to 600+ contacts and calendar events).
You do back up don't you? For the love of Pete, haven't I told you all, for years now, that ALL MAGNETIC MEDIA WILL FAIL. Everything. Your hard drive, floppy disks, Zip disks, you name it. One day your computer will die. Without warning. Not the time to figure out what to do. Emergency disk recovery services go for about $1000-2000. It works, but man!
So here's what you need to do at the minimum -
Back up your address book. If you use Outlook or Entourage, there is an Export function. It makes a small text file that you can re-import later. Other programs like Palm and the rest have the same type of deal.
Back up your Web Browser's Bookmarks. They all have an export function too.
Pictures? You bet. This'll take up more space though.
Now, where do you keep this? I have a fireproof safe. A small one in a closet. In it I have a spare hard drive that I back up to at least monthly (that'll change now, duh). Just the contact and bookmarks, plus a few other important docs can fit on a flash drive or you can burn them to CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. Hey keep one away from the house too. Think how happy Mom will be when you send her duplicates along with a couple of them to keep for you. Ain't manipulation grand?
But with this kind of info, think about an online account also. Apple has .Mac accounts that you can do this with. Just a file online. It's pretty cool. Look at CNET.com or Yahoo.com. They will have links to similar services, most for about $3-5/month. Yahoo even has something called Yahoo Briefcase. Or just get a GMail account and mail yourself the files. Free and a lot of storage. You can even get software to automate the process (but that's WAY beyond the scope of this blog).