Remember to make daily back-ups! (Advise to research students)

Hi Ecolab honours students,

It is time to revisit this bit of advise from your start of project briefing – back up your thesis files on a daily basis!

Trouble will usually strike in the weeks to come, as your computer use becomes even more intense. Any computer, regardless of make and age, can be vulnerable, so a daily backup routine is critical. The mindset to adopt is to expect your computer to breakdown, for the hardisk to fail and the most tragic, for yourself to write over your own files!

So start saving in at least two of the following ways:

  1. Email yourself a copy of the file when you're done, in gmail. 
  2. Thumbdrive – save a copy to a dedicated thumbdrive.
  3. Dropbox – the files in your dropbox folder (which you all opened at the start of the academic year) are backed up to your dropbox server space. 
  4. GDocs – this is new – GDocs now allows you to upload files without conversion, i.e. to store files

Note: if you have raw data stored solely on gdocs, remember to download and set aside a copy.  

Finally a couple of file management suggestions. Particularly helpful during that overnight grind to complete a draft:
  1. If you have too many files that it slows down access, keep files in folder-chapters. 
  2. Reduce clutter in your primary working folder – set aside raw data you no longer access and early document versions into a separate, clearly labelled archive folder. 
There are many tragic stories from various years. These are exciting to hear about but dreadful to live through. So backup and have a Happy New Year!



6 thoughts on “Remember to make daily back-ups! (Advise to research students)

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