The Beauty and Horror of Backup

Once upon a time, I worked for quite some hours straigth in order not to miss a deadline. Once it was finished, I sent the file to the client and went to bed, happy happy. The next morning, the client confirms safe receipt. About 1h later, he says I sent him the source file, and asked me to please send him the translated file. Back to the project folder, I noticed I had only one file in the “to deliver” folder, which was… oh ow, the source file! Yes, my friends, I deleted my own work.

Panicking, I googled something like “recover deleted files”. No solution seemed good. Then I opened my cloud backup thing in the hopes that maybe it stopped synching yesterday, before delete, and the file would be there. It wasn’t, but there was a warning that “files from this folder were deleted”. WHAT? I clicked on the warning and a pop-up window asked if I’d like to restore it. Yes, please!

I went back to the project folder and… there it was, my pretty translated file… I sent the file to the client, he thanked me and will never know what happened.

Everything took only 5 minutes. I get chills when I think what would have happened if I didn’t have this system in place… No translator can have the luxury of not having a backup system in place. Actually, I think no one that uses a computer can. Your computer might crash, or be stolen, and you happen to have a huge project due tomorrow morning.

I have a dual backup systema – external HD and cloud. The first one is easy, you just buy yourself a nice external HD and start making a mirror of your system or simply copying the folders you really can’t lose. Every day. Because you never know when your computer won’t start… This system I use to unburden my computer, removing heavy files I don’t need right away.

The cloud is easier than HD, it does everything by itself once you have set it up. You install your favorite tool (Dropbox, Sugar Sync, Comodo, etc.), set the folder and start uploading it. Once you modify the file, the tool will update it in the cloud as well. My favorite tool is Sugar Sync. It synchronizes beautifully and is very easy to use. They all work pretty much the same, but I got along better with SSync.

The brilliance of this in my opinion is that, besides being safe, you also have synchronization. I work in a heavy, large laptop at home and in a small ultrabook while travelling. Can you imagine how long it would take me to separate the folders I could eventually need to access if I didn’t use the cloud? You install your favorite tool in both computers, set them with the same user name and password and wait for the magic to happen – both computers will have these folders synched.

In the next post, Amanda will share a horror tale with us. Stay tuned!

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