3-2-1 Backup!

I got another message today from someone who has lost files due to hardware malfunction. That makes the sixth person in the last two weeks. Seems that as fast as I can get people using proper backup, other people’s machines are failing.

To that end, let’s review the 3-2-1 backup strategy.  This, at least, should be followed for all of your important files and documents. And by important I mean anything you care at all about losing.

Let's Backup!3 – Your important files should exist in three different places. This could be your computer, your spouses computer, an external drive, a burned DVD, a remote backup, a friend’s house, whatever. Just three distinct copies of the files.
2 – Those files should be on at least two different types of media. Media can be hard drive, DVD, memory card or stick, or even original paper or film.
1 – At least one of those copies should be maintained off-site. That is away from the site of the original. Preferably in a different city or state. Think about common natural disasters. Off-site should be out of reach of those natural disasters.

An external hard drive is excellent for one of your backups. Time Machine on the Mac makes this a no-brainer, and there are some good software packages for Windows, such as Acronis True Image. Drive space has come way down in price, and an external drive is easy to pickup and take with you in case of emergency. An external drive such as the Western Digital Passport 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard DriveWD Passport Portable Hard Drive for Backup is a great choice. Western Digital drives are solid and dependable and they have a good company backing them up. Now is not the time to try to find the cheapest thing you can – unless you want to regret that decision later when there is a failure.

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Don't Forget New Orleans

New Orleans Doll - Pat Stuckart Photography
Please, let’s not forget New Orleans. In this time of Mardi Gras and Lent and election, please don’t forget that there are those who still need help. In this time of political pundits, military spending, and economic recession there are families who still sleep in tents so that they can stay near the only home they have ever known. And the only life they have ever had.

Please don’t forget the New Orleans. The land of jazz and gumbo, of Bourbon Street and the Saint Charles streetcar is as much a part of the fabric of this country as is Broadway and the California sunshine. The scents and sounds of this bayou city run through our food and our music and our literature. From Toole to Rice, from Storyville to the Mississippi, the subconscious blood of this nation flows through the Crescent City.

Don’t forget New Orleans. And her sisters. And her brothers. The township and parish just down the road. The city and county the next highway and interstate over. The Gulf Coast of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The scattered children of a proud land blown by the wind and washed by the waters.

We can’t forget New Orleans. The lessons that were taught must not be wasted. The lives that were lost must not be in vein. The tombs of St. Louis remind us that all time passes, but it is the job of those left to make sense of the past. The voices call to us from attic and stadium, from the light and the dark, and they reach out to us with palms empty but full of hope.

I can’t forget New Orleans.

— Michael