Back up your data. Frequently.
I say this because I haven’t in the past and it came back to bite me in the butt this week.
It was easy enough to plug in a back-up drive and let the Time Machine app do its work when I had only a desktop. When I got my laptop, though, automatic backups became much harder.
Last week, the night I got home from FamousUniversity, my hard drive died. It was bad enough that my computer wouldn’t even boot properly. Luckily, this thing is still under warranty, so I took it down to the Apple Store and had the hard drive replaced free of charge. But alas, they don’t recover your data for you.
At first I thought, “Wow. I’ve lost all of the stuff I’ve been working on for the last few weeks.” This was bad in and of itself–I’d spent the last two weeks working on (1)lecture notes for Dr. Hand-Waver’s class and (2) a statement of teaching philosophy for my teaching class. Item #2 had been particularly hard to write. I couldn’t imagine re-creating it.
Then I realized: I hadn’t backed up my hard drive since BEFORE THE LAST TIME I WENT TO SEA. Almost three months ago. I’d lost an awful lot of work. (Luckily, my research data is all stored in Dropbox so DannyBoy and Dr. Hand-Waver can access it too.)
I’d lost all of my pictures from the cruise. I’d lost all of my sightseeing pictures. I’d lost some Very Important Pictures of my children. *sigh*
I’m working on data recovery when I can and I’ve recovered some of my work (including my statement of teaching philosophy) and even some of the pictures. But not all. Man, this hurts.
Needless to say I’m getting myself a wireless network backup drive so I can back up my data automatically.