Having a Backup Computer and Plan

Backup PLan

Its always good to have a reliable backup computer to work from, thankfully my iMac is not in the same state as these. Image used under CC license and courtesy Roninizer.

This week my iMac had a spasm and decided it did not want to show me what it was doing anymore. I’ve worked out it is probably the graphics chip as this mid-2011 27″ model is known to have an issue. I’m hoping that on Monday at the Apple Store they might fix it for free or a small fee, we will see.

However, it got me thinking about how important it is to have a good backup system in place to enable you to continue working if your main computer has a flaky. Ideally I’d have had a spare iMac with all my usual programs installed, but well I never really could justify spending another £2000 to have it sitting about.

Instead I have a little Samsung laptop, which I am typing this post on. It is OK but I probably cannot work as quickly on it and I don’t have all the software I usually use installed. What I have done for many years is always store my most important files and work-in-progress in a drop box and long ago I stopped using desktop email. Those two simple things have saved me endless problems when drives have failed and back-ups have refused to load.

If you run a simple site or maybe just one blog then you could really work from anywhere and any computer but as soon as you have multiple sites with different needs it does become harder to make yourself device independent. You might need bulk image resizing software, FTP, image editing and even things like the size of the screen can really impact how much you get done and how long it takes.

I’d say my own back-up computer is probably OK for a week or two. But it is a bit noisy and the screen is too small. Also because I have an iMac as my main PC and a Windows laptop it makes it a bit more of a pain to get used to. I also realized that I don’t have any bulk resizing software on this, so will maybe need to sort that.

I guess after this I will probably get a spare iMac, maybe a second-hand one with a smaller screen. That would probably be a better solution.

Anyway, just thought worth throwing out there as something to think about when you make your living online. Everybody should be aware how important backing up your actual website is but sometimes easy to forget how much you need a backup for your work tools as well.

Do you have a backup computer and have your important passwords and files available if your main one stops working and you cannot get your backup disk/Timecapsule to work?