Crash and burn

So I’ve been burning the candle at both ends recently. Sometimes when you have too much on – what is the best thing you can do? For me, despite the fact it seems like counter-logic – the answer is to take a few moments out to refresh and re-evaluate. This happened to me whilst making Spare Change where our Photographer Mel told me to “take 5”, which actually helped enormously (thanks Mel!). And It really works, even if your brain is hard-wired to say “but you are losing another valuable 5 minutes by doing this”.

Last week, I was ramping up ready to throw myself into some editing/composing work when I was forced to “take 5” for entirely different reasons. I had a hard-drive failure.

Ironically, the first I knew about it was whilst backing up to optical media (although this was no thanks to Cyberlink’s crummy error messaging  – which wasted several Blu-ray discs unnecessarily). Cyclical redundancy errors. This was backing up data which I had only just copied onto a USB stick a couple of day earlier – when it seemed all was working fine. I’m a firm believer in not putting all your eggs in one basket. Thankfully I didn’t lose any data, but consider this a wake-up reminder that these things happen and they aren’t as uncommon as we might like.

It wasn’t all plain sailing. I needed to “take 2” (not “5”, but they were “days” not “minutes”). I had to ensure I had retrieved absolutely everything from the drive in question. So common sense dictates:

1. Back-up your important data. Do it now! Have a workflow so you do this regularly.

2. It’s best to have more than one copy of this data. Sometimes like lightbulbs – things can all go pop at the same time!

3. Back-up using alternate methods. USB/NAS/Optical Media. Some are more reliable than others. But ultimately – most are destined to fail over time. Spread the risk as much as you can!

4. Make sure you have an off site back-up of your important data. If you have a flood/fire/insert other disaster here – you will be thankful.

5. Make sure you have more than you need in terms of storage space, should disasters such as this occur.

I’m now back on my feet. Data is extremely valuable. Indeed some of it is invaluable and irretrievable if lost! Storage is getting ever larger/cheaper. There are no real excuses. Always have a back-up plan!

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