Are you a back-up junkie?

Since I suffered my first (and, knock wood) only total data loss back in the last century, I’ve become a back-up junkie.

Where others collect coins, stamps, or eggcups, I collect storage hardware: 3 1/2 inch diskettes, SuperDisks, Zip disks, CD-Roms, external hard drives, flash drives, smart cards, USB keys, and the computers whose data they preserved.

A bit excessive? Probably. The memory of a serious scolding when I was a child remains. Told to go clean up my room, I did just that, and pitched a bunch of family letters my eight year-old’s logic considered useless to keep. The rule of thumb for data has become “better safe than sorry.”

I’ve tried to convey that fear to my husband. Largely unsuccessfully. Where I keep multiple copies of all my data, only recently did he heed the call to back-up his computer on an external hard drive. He didn’t see the point of repeating this time-consuming process twice.

Last week, his computer was infected with a virus. While he was doing a clean reinstall, the  external HDD fell. It’s toast. He lost a magnificent slide collection representing decades of work in the northern Alps. We hope data recovery experts will be able to salvage it.

My multiple copies and daily back-up routines don’t seem as loony now. If one gizmo breaks down, I don’t waste time running to the data hospital and I know my clients’ documents are safe. Last year, a client phoned, panicked: the company’s IT system had been infected and my client had lost a year’s worth of documents we had worked on together. Within an hour, I sent my client a zip file with all the source documents, translations, and the in-house glossary we had developed to provide that organization with reliable terminology standards.

Andrew Bell over at the Watercooler has chosen Sustainability in Translation as the theme for his October book contest. Preserving data integrity is one of the keys to providing value and service to clients (even years after a job is done), working both efficiently and effectively, building on your knowledge and skills.

If you are a back-up junkie? Tell us how that has served your business and your clients’ needs!

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