Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tiny tales of technology: Flash drives

The other week a writer friend took what looked to be a small, striped toiletry bag out of her leather purse, unzipped it and dumped its contents on the table. An array of flash drives poured out, in an assortment of neon colors, looking like so many flattened lipstick tubes. She said she backs up all her writing on these flash drives, color coded according to the type of writing, and carries them with her everywhere because she doesn't trust computers. 

"But what if you're mugged," I asked.
"Then I'd still have it on my computer."

"What if your house burns down the same day you're mugged?" I asked.

"Then I would be in a lot of  trouble," she replied.

This has inspired me to find a less home-based method of backup. I'm thinking of putting all my writing from all my computers and external hard drives onto one mega-flash drive and locking it up in a safety deposit box, at least until that thumb-size technology is eclipsed by something else.


chandra Garsson said...

Regarding the one mega flash drive with all of your writing in the safety deposit box, um. Uh, what about when you do more writing ( and you do frequently), do you then run to the safe deposit box every time, to save more on the mega drive? Also, safe deposit boxes usually cost somewhere around $50 per year. Now, I know it wastes trees, but at the very least maybe print all of your writing out, as well as whatever else you decide on?

Beth Blevins said...

Chandra made some good points in her comment. But, I already have a safety deposit box, which isn't big enough for a sheet of unfolded paper or even a CD, so a flash drive will have to be the way to go there. I still plan to print all of my writing out, but the worrying part of me wonders what if... What if the house burns down or a tornado carries us all to Oz, and the print-outs disappear? I'm planning to do this mega-flash dump semi-/annually and hope that paper print-outs will suffice until then.

Of course, Chandra is in a trickier position since she is a visual artist. What does a painter/sculptor do for backup?

Beth Ann Hancock said...

Beth-check out www.mozy.com They have off-site backups for personal use for free if it is under a certain size (2GB). If all you are backing up is documents, you will be fine. We actually back up alot of photos, and we still don't go over the limit. If you want to back up EVERYTHING, unlimited back-up services are only $4.95/month.

Anonymous said...

just email it to yourself and keep them in a file.