I subscribe to the langalist. It’s a very useful PC email newsletter by Fred Langa which offers lots of practical advice on PC maintenance, smart programs (not COOL programs but ones that are useful and you’ll use more than once), and a good variety of articles on various PC related topics. He’s saved my bacon on several occasions so I’d recomment subscribing (it’s free). Today’s newsletter includes an article on end of year maintenance.

This is the bit that most people, including myself, fail. Backups for example, when did you last do one? I can’t recall when, but I know it’s over three or four months ago, which got me thinking.

If, god forbid, my entire PC including both hard drives, failed spectacularly and nothing was recoverable, what would I miss?

I have about 60GB of music, most of which only requires re-ripping the CD. All those programs I’ve downloaded can be re-downloaded, as can all those visual styles, wallpapers and such like. In fact bar a few personal documents (which ARE backed up on my pen drive) there is only one large folder that I would miss. My photos.

In a digital age, there is no film backup, and the originals are all stored on my hard drive. I DID burn a couple of DVDs as backup a while back, but I’ve added to them since then, and I really like some of them. So one of my tasks in the week between Christmas and New Year, a week I have OFF work (joy, bliss, rapture!) is to burn some up-to-date DVDs.

But therein lies another issue – how long do DVDs last before they start to degrade? It’s a worry indeed.

Ultimately though, I know that if I DID lose everything, whilst it would be major blow, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It’s all about priorities you see. It’s the same principle that governs the fact that I’ve yet to buy Louise presents. A few months ago we booked tickets to Spain in January. We decided then that that would be our Christmas present, and we’d only get each other a few things. The priority for us is being together at Christmas. That’s why I always look forward to Christmas.

OK, that’s enough mushy stuff for now.