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In need of advice for backing up
Thread poster: Timothy Barton

Timothy Barton
Local time: 09:17
French to English
+ ...
Aug 30, 2004

Last night I accidently saved a file over a previous 10000 word translation that has not yet been sent back to the company for which I'm working. Fortunately, I've managed to locate a temporary file in which "only" 1200 words are still in the original language (I'll also have to proofread everything again). Anyway, I've decided is probably time to follow people's advice and back files up. So, I was wondering whether you could advise me on the best options. (I currently don't have a CD-writer). Please take into account that I'm on a low budget, so I can't go for anything incredibly expensive. I'd sooner e-mail files to my parents every night than spend several hundred euros, but obviously if there's a cheap way of saving the files myself, it would be better.

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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 09:17
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Ouch - that hurts! Aug 30, 2004

I know that feeling. I started making backups after my computer crashed about 5 years ago - just as I was putting the finishing touches to a 40 pager that was due the next day. So I worked through the night to retranslate the dang thing and swore never, ever, again....

I was working on a budget then - so I just saved a copy of the file I was working on to a diskette every half an hour or so, as well as saving the file to my hard drive regularly.

Now my workload has increased quite significantly, so I back up my work in two different ways....

Everything I do is translated with Trados. That means that even if I do delete my translated file, I can still run Trados over the original to get my translation back (because all of the segments are stored in the Trados memory).

I work with a network of 4 computers (one is for the kids, one is for my hubby, and I have a laptop and my old desktop). The laptop is my main computer now, but still have my old desktop as a backup. Once a week or so I copy the entire contents of my work folders to my desktop, overwriting any old copies of the files I had stored there.
That means that even if my hard drive gets completely wiped I still have a copy of all my files AND my memory.

My tuppence worth.

HTH

Alison


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Timothy Barton
Local time: 09:17
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Aug 30, 2004

Thanks for the advice. My flatmate has a computer, so I could backup to his, but I don't think he has a network card, or whatever it is is you need to connect computers together, so the only way to do the transfer would be with floppies. I don't have Trados and can't afford it at the moment. I'd love to have a laptop, but the for the same reasons, I can't get one. I'll start working full time one day... and then I'll have letters from the Student Loans Company asking for repayments!

Does anyone know anything about these new gadgets you plus into you USB port that are the size of a keyring and can store large amounts of data?

Anyway, I'd better get back to working as I've got plenty of catching up to do!


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:17
English to Polish
+ ...
Backing up into a tree Aug 30, 2004

How tight is your budget _really_?

A DVD recorder is less than 100 EUR these days. That gets you 4.7 GB worth of data on a single disc which costs pennies and surely you have less than 4.7 GB worth of files (the most important, most recent ones).
100 EUR is the price of one not-so-big job.

A more expensive option is an external USB hard disk. It costs maybe 300 EUR and you can simply dump all your data on the disk whenever you feel like it.

A less expensive option is a second hard disk inside your computer. You do the same thing as above, except you can't take it with you.

Or, the poor man's solution is to create a partition on the single hard disk you own. You call the extra partition "backup" and dump all your data there.

Failing all that, you can simply run Microsoft Backup (part of Windows).
You can schedule it to run once a day, or as often as you wish.
It produces one big BKF file which you can keep anywhere you like. (The partition or 2nd hard disk idea still applies.)

Still, most mistakes like the one you made are instantaneous. Even if you backed up all your data last night and you've been working all day on a rush job, your backup copy won't help you if you mess something up before you make your next backup.

HTH
Pawel Skalinski

[after reading your 2nd post]:
pen drives are expensive per MB of data and small. The largest ones I know are 2GB, and cost several hundred dollars.
The affordable ones are 64 or maybe 128 MB, so that's not really a good solution.





[Edited at 2004-08-30 11:14]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 10:17
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Yes, these USB Aug 30, 2004

memory sticks work and, as far as I know, are reliable. But you'll have to back up manually. I use external USB I-Omega HDD drive, 80 Gb, and with it comes program for automated backup, you can set it from "backup every time the file changes" to whatever like "backup every 3 hours" or "backup every week". Also, of course, you can backup manually. The cost was about EUR 100.

Uldis

Timothy Barton wrote:

Thanks for the advice. My flatmate has a computer, so I could backup to his, but I don't think he has a network card, or whatever it is is you need to connect computers together, so the only way to do the transfer would be with floppies. I don't have Trados and can't afford it at the moment. I'd love to have a laptop, but the for the same reasons, I can't get one. I'll start working full time one day... and then I'll have letters from the Student Loans Company asking for repayments!

Does anyone know anything about these new gadgets you plus into you USB port that are the size of a keyring and can store large amounts of data?

Anyway, I'd better get back to working as I've got plenty of catching up to do!


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Lakshmi Iyer  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:17
Italian to English
+ ...
USB storage Aug 30, 2004

Does anyone know anything about these new gadgets you plus into you USB port that are the size of a keyring and can store large amounts of data?

***

I know people who back up all their day's work on these devices: I think they're called USB key, memory stick, micro vault depending on the manufacturer...I'm told the basic models only store about 128MB, so you won't be able to do long-term storage, but if you just want to make sure you have a back up of a current project or two this might work. Alternatively you might want to invest in an external disk drive: parhaps sites like Kelkoo, Priceminister or Pixmania will have budget models you can hook up to a USB port on your computer when you need to back up large projects.

[Edited at 2004-08-30 11:13]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 10:17
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
I wouldn't advise Aug 30, 2004

the second hard disk. I used it, but when once FAT (File Allocation Table) went, it did so on both HDD simultaneously.

Uldis

PAS wrote:
A less expensive option is a second hard disk inside your computer. You do the same thing as above, except you can't take it with you.


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:17
English to Polish
+ ...
Nothing's perfect Aug 30, 2004

Uldis Liepkalns wrote:

I wouldn't advise the second hard disk.


Let's not be defeatist here
That way your backup DVD can get scratched or you can knock your external USB disk on the floor and there it goes.

I've had 1 (one) HDD failure in my life, and that was on an ancient Compaq computer, where the HDD must have been at least 6 years old. The chances of a HDD failure are not big. (Unless I've been really lucky!).

Pawel


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Maria Belarra  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:17
French to Spanish
+ ...
This is only a suggestion Aug 30, 2004

If you have a ADSL or cable Internet connection, probably you are entitled to an email account with many MB for storage and a free space on the web.

If you are skilful enough, you can store your files on this space and set up a password so they are not available for everyone. Otherwise, you can e-mail them to yourself every night- it's not the best solution, but it may serve for the time being.

Oh, yes, and if you don't have a fast Internet connection, Yahoo! (and Gmail?) serves just the same.



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Timothy Barton
Local time: 09:17
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Options Aug 30, 2004

PAS wrote:

How tight is your budget _really_?

A DVD recorder is less than 100 EUR these days. That gets you 4.7 GB worth of data on a single disc which costs pennies and surely you have less than 4.7 GB worth of files (the most important, most recent ones).
100 EUR is the price of one not-so-big job.


Very tight! Maybe I can try and get something like that second hand.

PAS wrote: Or, the poor man\'s solution is to create a partition on the single hard disk you own. You call the extra partition \"backup\" and dump all your data there.


Could be an option. Won\'t safeguard from disk failure, but will save me from what I did yesterday.

PAS wrote: Still, most mistakes like the one you made are instantaneous. Even if you backed up all your data last night and you\'ve been working all day on a rush job, your backup copy won\'t help you if you mess something up before you make your next backup.


The file I saved over hadn\'t been touched for over a week, so a backup probably would have saved me in that case. I could still end up losing a day\'s work, but at least I wouldn\'t lose a week\'s work.

PAS wrote:
[after reading your 2nd post]:
pen drives are expensive per MB of data and small. The largest ones I know are 2GB, and cost several hundred dollars.
The affordable ones are 64 or maybe 128 MB, so that\'s not really a good solution.


I\'ve still got a year of studying left, so I won\'t be doing any huge projects, so 64 MB would probably be fine. And when it gets full I could just go to a friend\'s who has a CD writer and back everything onto a CD. I think as a temporary measure it\'s maybe the best and most affordable option, although some are suggesting they cost around 100 Euros. I thought my Dad had told me they were just 30 pounds (50€), and that\'s in rip-off Britain, but maybe I\'m mistaken.


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:17
English to Polish
+ ...
Right... Aug 30, 2004

My prices are off the top of my head and I live in Poland, one of the most expensive countries in the world

I bought a 128 MB memory stick just a few days ago and it cost ~29 EUR. It's a Kingston, but I saw some cheaper no-names.

The catch is that the 64 MB stick right next to it cost ~22 EUR.

If you're really on a starving budget then perhaps the stick is the way to go. It's definitely convenient and quick (as opposed to a CD or DVD recorder).

I don't know about their (i.e. memory stick) reliability, but I've never heard of one failing.

Think about the partition, too. I think it's a fairly good, if non-mobile solution.

good luck

Pawel Skalinski


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:17
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Positive experience with a USB-stick Aug 30, 2004

In response to Kaveri's question and in line with the general topic of this thread, I can positively recommend the USB-stick.
I bought the smallest, cheapest size, which still holds the content of 40 floppy disks. I use it to transfer documents from my laptop to my desktop, but I also store the folder I am working on at any given moment on the pen. It means that if my laptop would ever be stolen, I still have the documents stored on the pen in my handbag.
I used to regard those pens as a redundant gizmo, but I'm amazed at how user-friendly and practical they are for backing up. My children's school is selling them cheap, which helps.
I store a new version of each translation with the date, which has proved useful when I inadvertently deleted a page when re-aligning a very complicated document.
My Word programme is set (in 'options) to make a back-up copy of the documents I work on, which has also saved me in the past.
I have been through nightmares in the past when my computer crashed, which taught me that it is worthwhile investing in a new computer when the old one becomes unstable, so I agree it is useful to have a network of computers in the house.


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LindaMcM  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:17
Swedish to German
+ ...
Check ebay Aug 30, 2004

Hi,

a "normal", new CD burner isn't that expensive (about 50 Euro here, in Germany) and I would suppose it is the cheapest possibility...

A few weeks ago I got 2 USB sticks via ebay. I paid 17 Euro for 128 MB and 24 Euro for 256 MB.

As time also is money you maybe find a possibility to get something like that - so that you don't have to spend your time with re-working but with earning money on new projects

Linda


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xxxTadzio
English to Spanish
30 Mb per account... For free! Aug 30, 2004

Hi Timothy!
If you think you have enough with 30 megas for storing (back-up) your files for free, go to http://espanol.briefcase.yahoo.com/ and log in for an account. If you need more, you can always open a second account with another name and password. This way you'll have 60 megas.
Regards,
Tadzio.


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LindaMcM  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:17
Swedish to German
+ ...
Hm, sensitive data online...? Aug 30, 2004

Tadzio wrote:

Hi Timothy!
If you think you have enough with 30 megas for storing (back-up) your files for free, go to http://espanol.briefcase.yahoo.com/ and log in for an account. If you need more, you can always open a second account with another name and password. This way you\'ll have 60 megas.
Regards,
Tadzio.


Hm, I'm not sure that it is a good idea to store sensitive work and clients data online...

Does anyone have experiences with that?

Linda


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