Back It Up!

Sheesh. I’m gonna chuck the modem.

We have Charter Communications for our cable, internet, and phone. Great price and I like them. We’ve had the internet through them for a long time. They provided a Motorola Surfboard cable modem. I think it is the original one. Anyway, the modem is connected to the two computers via a Linksys wireless router. Lorna’s computer, the Dell laptop, is hardwired. The Toshiba, the one I am using, is wireless. At first I thought it was this Toshiba acting up. Then I checked to see if the Dell could get on line. Like the Toshiba, it does, but it takes fooooorrrrrrever to load a page if it does at all. Some websites load partway then think about loading the rest. Sometimes, I can hit stop/reload and it finishes. Tomorrow (or maybe tonight if I feel like it) I’ll bypass the router and see if that helps any. The reason I am certain it is the modem is that the lights on it keep going off and on. The Surfboard has 4 green lights for connectivity and an orange light showing activity. At times, only the top light and the second is on with either the second one blinking or the third blinking. I did a reboot (simple unplug) which worked for a few hours then I did a reboot and reset. But it keeps doing it and it is very frustrating.

If bypassing the router is no different, then I’ll call their tech support. Sometimes there is a reset or something they do remotely.

Anyway, I’ve been trying for the past several days to post this message about backing up work.

As a writer, my documents can’t be just recreated from data elsewhere. Unlike numbers in a spreadsheet, a lost manuscript will never be the same if re-written because the hard drive crashed. I’ve discussed backing up work before but its been a while. This is your reminder (and mine!). I back up my manuscripts to 3 different places. I have an external hard drive and I have a hidden, password protected directory in one of my websites. And, when I remember to can, I upload files from the external drive to the Dell.

I use Ipswitch’s WS_FTP Pro to upload chunks of files. I use the program’s faster (and lighter) Upload Wizard to upload one or two files, such as images and such. There are other online ways to save files. There’s places that let you upload files to their site and they keep it safe for you. Kinda like a safe deposit box. My webhost, Dreamhost, has a Files Forever option but I’ve not really looked into it yet.

The external hard drive is the old one from the Dell. I wiped it clean, reformatted it, and got an external case. It connects via USB cable and is hot-swappable, which I like. I have a flash drive/memory key but I keep losing the damn thing. Flash drives are getting cheaper with bigger capacity. External hard drives are also getting cheaper with huge honkin’ space on them. Someday I hope to have a networked hard drive system where I can access files from any networked computer in the house. Not sure if I want to do the remote access way, though. For now, when I want to put files on the Dell, I upload them to the ‘net then download to the Dell. Yeah, complicated and why don’t I just plug in the external drive? ‘Cause the poor half-dead Dell won’t recognize it, that’s why. I really ought to shoot it and put it out of my miser.

A lot of people save files on CDs for their backups. I’d do that, too, except I don’t have rewritable ones. I’d just be wasting CDs since I do backups weekly or even daily when I am actually working. Regardless, be sure to mark each CD with the date so you can quickly grab the one you want. I’d suggest putting manuscripts on a CD of their own.

Okay, well, that’s all for now. I’m going to hit ‘publish’ in the hopes it actually gets saved and put on the site. Sigh.