Do you know what every digital artist needs? The answer is easy... a reliable backup system. Today I was faced with my external hard drive mortality. I still shudder at the thought of it. My sacred 3TB Lacie D2 thunderbolt drive spun for the last time today. Time of death was 11:30 am EST. With the blink of an eye 7 years worth of work (i.e, photography and digital art) disappeared. The funny thing is I always imagined that such an event would be far more dramatic than what I experienced today. I had envisioned flashing lights, grinding or clicking sounds and maybe even a faint smell of heated metal and plastic as the hard drive took its final gasp of life. But sadly not true. It died without making any sounds nor any warnings that the drive was spinning for its final time. The only indication that something had gone terribly wrong was a simple message appearing on my screen stating that the Lacie drive was ejected improperly and that this action could damage the drive. I am still wiping the tears from my eyes.
Luckily not all is lost. Many years ago I took heed in the warnings of my colleagues who experienced this before me and purchased a cloud based backup system. As I write this blog I take great comfort in knowing that my 2TB of archived photos and art prints magically exist on some far off servers waiting for me to bring them home tomorrow. The company that I use is called CrashPlan and for a small monthly fee they give me an unlimited backup system. Ironically, I have in the past often questioned whether or not this monthly fee is really needed or was it like many extended warranties that I have purchased before that simply expires without ever being used. Today proved how important such services are in our lives. Whether you are a digital artist, photographer or simply someone who treasure those rare moments captured with family and friends it is critical that we backup our files. It is a sobering thought to think that 12 years of photos of my wife, children, extended family as well as 7 years of photography prints disappeared in a fraction of a second. So if you have not taken the step to backup your photography files do so now!! You will thank me some day!!
Tomorrow I am off to buy a new hard drive and start the process of restoring all those files. Thank goodness I have unlimited internet as well as unlimited backup space. I will post tomorrow to show you my new drive and how easy it is to restore my system using CrashPlan.
Off to bed now! I have been fighting a cold for the past couple of days and I am losing the battle big time.