Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Computer Disasters

Don't worry, I haven't had a computer disaster of my own, but I have been reading about several other people's recently. In most cases they seem to have got away with it and not permanently lost any documents nor other information. In my humble opinion though, they got away with it by the skin of their teeth!

In this day and age, most people seem to be reasonably well educated about sensible working practice when it comes to computers, so there should be no excuse for permanent data loss. Having said that, it's apparent to me that many still have a haphazard approach to computer safety, relying on the fact that "somebody somewhere" will be able to fix it, should anything go wrong. Or, for example, that you can run some kind of "recovery" on your hard disk to get data back.

Let me state categorically that you are gambling with your data, if this is your attitude.

I'd like to put this right; to give you some facts and ideas, and to clear up one or two myths. So, at the risk of preaching to the converted, teaching Grandma to suck eggs etc, included in this post is part one of Captain's Computer Tips.

Colworth Marathon Challenge

This weekend I took part in the Colworth Marathon Challenge. Three running races in three days, adding up to the marathon distance. The weather was very kind: warm but not too hot, though I managed to get slightly burnt on Sunday. My unofficial results were:

Race Distance Time
Colworth Five 5.0 mi ( 8 km) 0:40:44
Trail Race 8.1 mi (13 km) 1:12:23
Half Marathon 13.1 mi (21 km) 2:11:22
Total 26.2 mi (42 km) 4:04:29

As you can imagine, my legs are pretty tired now. Certainly tired and definitely not pretty. My next big running challenge will be the Aviemore Half-Marathon in October.

From Racing to Racers

This coming weekend I'll be meeting up with some of the Novel Racers in Birmingham. I'll report back in my next post. Unless it's too embarrassing.


HelenMHunt said...

Ooh - now you've scared me. Thanks for thorough explanation.

ChrisH said...

Sh*t! That's frightened the life out of me! What a brilliantly helpful post and a timely reminder to back up (I've just started my 'new work' - finally). It's also explained why my ancient laptop (now dead) started making strange noises and eating everything (well, I'm guessing that was the hard drive wearing out). Thanks very much - and well done on the marathon results. Hope your legs have recovered.

Debs said...

Thanks for that. I shall definately take note and increase my backing up, as at the moment it isn't very good at all - memory sticks mainly.

Annieye said...

I save everything I change/create on a memory stick as well as on the hard drive. Once a week I transfer all the new files to a personal file on my work pc. If I get the sack, I'm stuffed!

Karen said...

That's a really useful post, and I've taken note :o)

Lane said...

This is an excellent post. Thanks Cap'n. All duly noted and I think this is one post that I'll be refering back to.

Lane said...

And yes, more articles. Any area would be useful as my knowledge is miniscule.

Anonymous said...

Helen: My aim was to scare people into safer computing.

ChrisH: I really do hope some good comes from my scare tactics. My legs are just about okay now. Apart from the blisters.

Debs: Your backups are better than some people's. I guess there's always room for improvement though. Especially when CD/DVD disk storage is so cheap these days.

Annie: Making use of work's own backup policy - cunning.

Karen: You're welcome.

Lane: I've cheekily added this post the the collection of useful links on the NR blog, that Calistro started. It will eventually appear in the Writing Resource Links gadget, when I get around to updating the database. And okay, you've convinced me, more computer tips coming soon.

Gonna be a writer said...

I have to back everything up every time I change anything because I once almost lost everything I'd ever written. It's far too easy to assume that everything is going to be alright and then one day your computer doesn't start, your hard drive corrupted and it's all gone.

Anonymous said...

GonnaB: So true. You can never be too careful.

Liane Spicer said...

This is just the shaking up I needed. I've stopped making CD backups because it's so much easier to save to a flash drive and external hard drive. Or two flash drives, which is what I've been doing of late. Time to buy another CD spindle.

I'm adding this post to the link list on my blog.

Shauna Roberts said...

Thanks for stopping by Novel Spaces and commenting on my post. This has given me reason to think about changing the way I back up. Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

Liane: Shaking people up was my intention. Better shaken up than lost data.

Shauna: Thanks for the return visit :o)

mahasiswa teladan said...

hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Mahasiswa: You're welcome.