Whenever I’m speaking at an event and include information about the latest in technology, I always ask for a show of hands from people who backup their images when they travel. In a room of 50 people, I may have one or two.
I then beg them to back up their data, especially their precious vacation photos, on a daily basis. I know from experience how important this is because I’ve lost images myself. Once when an SD card went bad in India and I lost about 300 images (they were recovered about a year later) and once when I left my camera at a restaurant (in Seattle, no less), and I hadn’t backed up images from a trip to Hawaii.
Having those India images retrieved, by the way, cost about $120. It was worth it to me, but I could have purchased an external hard drive for that amount. A couple of those retrieved images are below.
I know I could back up my laptop and images to the Cloud but that isn’t the perfect solution for me. It would mean that in order to access all of my photos, I’d have to have a WiFi connection and that’s not always possible with all the travel I do. I often use my non-WiFi flights, for example, to sort images.
So, I’ve opted for an external hard drive instead.
The only problem is that I’ve gotten into the habit of backing everything up just before I leave on an international trip and I haven’t taken one in awhile.
(Psst, do you get where I’m going with this?)
Yup – this past week I had a computer crash. I won’t get into the details because it’s just too
painful to relive but I will tell you that I went through the five stages of grief:
Denial – No, that did not just happen. My computer WILL turn on.
Anger – How could you be such an idiot?
Bargaining – If you’ll start up, I’ll never let something like this happen again.
Depression – Waking up the next morning and thinking, “That did not just happen.”
Acceptance – OK, let’s deal with this.
I’ll add in here, Prayer. Because I don’t pray and can’t remember the last time I actually prayed to the universe for something, this was a big deal. I thought that if I could pray to the Mac repair geeks that I could force some good karma through the airwaves and they’d find a way to fix my baby.
Really, I’ve only been moderately depressed. As Jon said to me, “Most people are upset about the loss of data and don’t care how much it costs to fix.” I was the opposite.
I knew that nearly all of my data was backed up (save for some key documents I had been working on more recently). I was really more bummed about the cost of potentially having to replace a nearly new Mac. I’m not a wasteful person and saw this is a truly wasteful expense.
Enter the WD My Passport external hard drive. Actually enter two of these.
Ever since that incident in India, I’ve always backed up my documents, iMail, bookmarks and photos fairly regularly. And now I back them up on two external hard drives after seeing a talk by my colleague, JD Andrews at Earth Explorer. Although he relies on images and video for his living, he suggests that everyone keep at least two backups of all their work. After all, what will you do if something happens to your external hard drive?
So, usually when I leave on a trip, I back up the same data to both my WD My Passports. I hide one in the house in case we were to have a break-in and I carry one with me.
With regards to my little incident this week, I didn’t have my most recent docs backed up and while I had all of my incoming emails (they were sitting on my server with GoDaddy), I didn’t have copies of my outgoing messages for the past couple of months.
BUT, the good news is that my prayers were answered.
The Mac geeks not only retrieved all of my data but the laptop is repairable and is in the shop now getting a tune up back to its original condition. Phew!
By the way another nice thing about having two external hard drives is that I was able to leave one with the Mac geeks so they could transfer my backed up data to it while I worked from the second one that had some slightly older information.
The reason I like the WD My Passport so much is the size. My 2 TB version can fit in the palm of my hand and weighs only 8 ounces. And it’s Mac-compatible with no set up when you first connect it.
So… next time I have a talk and you’re there, you better raise your hand when I ask if you backup your data. I promise if you promise. I’m serious.
You can get a WD My Passport with 2 TB of storage for a stupidly low price of $127 on Amazon.