Since this came on our Facebook page the other day, we thought it would be a good idea to add an article about various backup options for your computer. The worst thing that could happen to a professional translator is not when he forgets to translate a phrase or a word. It is not even when he failed to edit a paragraph (well, it is not that disastrous yet), or when the files he is working on is suddenly corrupted and is now irrecoverable. The worst thing that could happen to a translator – and to anybody who writes or creates in digital form – is when the computer crashes. It is by far a catastrophic event that could warrant a momentary snap from sanity or reality, a trauma of tragic proportion, or a chilling moment that could give one an attack of seizure. Okay, that seems too much. But really, computers that crash is nothing short of stressful so you’ll have to consider one of the backup options presented below.
Most common backup options
There are several options to get hold of when creating back-up options for all your computer files. Most of these helpful tips are easy to do; they’re also cheap and do not require you to spend much on pricey hardware that are often bulky to set up. Try considering:
- Making a Back-Up Plan Using Another Media. IT experts would tell you that a back-up plan involves saving your file using a media that can be taken off and stored somewhere safe. When such a crash happens, you can retrieve your files through this back-up media and open it using another computer. Of course, it makes a lot practical if these back-up files are updated regularly. By a long shot, doing this could actually be tiresome for many. But when a crash happens, those who went following through this step have certainly many reasons to be thankful for. By taking another media to store your files, they do not become susceptible to viruses or system outbreaks. And by storing them offline, especially in a fire and water-safe place, you are certain that you can start working again. This is the most secure of the backup options available but it is not for everyone.
- Cloud Back-Up Applications. They are perhaps some of the more modern options to take in ensuring your software and other similar files. This is a form of back-up service that is remotely done (online) to ensure security of your important files. A thing of caution when using this back-up plan: Since it is connected to a system, stored data are synced. If a threat is detected in the local PC, then the cloud service may have to be discontinued to avoid further damage.
- Cloud storage. While this is not one of the full system backup options, it proves to be quite useful when you want to backup certain files (like translation work, documents, dictionaries, terminology lists, translation memory). A great example of this is Dropbox (thanks Marc Lensly for the suggestion).
- Make Several Records and Versions of Your Files. If possible, use a number of external USB drives to store up files. These come in handy in cases of dire emergencies. In the event of an infection or when natural disaster occurs, or that physical damage affects the files, you will have other options to check those stored data. You can also keep your files by saving them at different stages in different forms. This step will allow you to check and recover the files before the specific time of the crash.
This back-up plan for translators ensures that the backup options are as powerful and reliable as any IT expert would want it to be. It can save anyone the trouble and cost later on when a crash inevitably happens.