23 February 2008

Back-ups the L Jamal Way

Regular back-ups are probably the one thing that most computer users just don't do. For a comic book creator of any type, back-ups should be one of the most important things that you do and they should happen as often as possible.

I do back-ups on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Daily - I back-up all my important drives. This includes mainly my work files and email.
Weekly - I archive the files that I completed during that week and back them up to CD and upload them to my storage web site.
Monthly - I back-up everything.

I don't have some fancy back-up program or anything like that. What I have is computer that I bought off of eBay for $100. I then bought a really large hard drive (at least 350 GB) and installed it into the computer. This computer serves as my file server.

I'm a Windows user, so I then wrote a simple DOS batch file that copies the mission critical drives to my file server on a daily basis. On a monthly basis, that same machine simply copies all the hard drives from my other 3 computers to my 4th computer. That's it. Done.

In addition to my file server I also utilize my web space. Web space has become extremely cheap and if you're like most people, you don't use more than 10-15% of the space that your web host allocates to you. I've signed up for what my web host (www.hostexellence.com) calls the Unlimited Business Account. For about $200/year, I get unlimited web space and I have decided to use some of that space as storage. So as I finish projects, I RAR then into a single file and I upload them to a special storage account on my hosted machine. This includes my self-published work as well as other work. I store my self published work permanently. All other work get deleted once it's 2-3 months old. This is what I call my off-site storage.

My off site storage takes up about 2.5 GB.
Most of this takes place late at night or other times when I'm not actively using my machine and if you're really clever, you can schedule all this to occur without you needing to be present AND have it email you when it's completed. I don't go to those extreme ends, but I've lost enough email and have had to redo enough work to know that you just can't ever back-up enough.

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