Taking Charge 2
- The Illawarra Mercury

This is the second article in my regular column taking charge for the Illawarra Mercury.

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Beeeeeeeep this is one of the increasing numbers of signs my computer is giving me that it is slowly fading away into a non-working piece of hardware. Another warning sign is its refusal to start when I want it to. It is hard to imagine that 20 years ago, computers where still a bit of a luxury in most households. Now we are lost without our precious machines. I am faced with the nagging thought; ‘what do you mean my computer will stop working soon – my LIFE is on this thing’.

Is your digital life organised?

Were am I going with all this in relation to organising? Well that is quite simple; when our computers go, it is not so much that we are incredibly attached to the actual machine as there are thousands of machines just like it that will do the same. What is different for our pc is that it has our data on it. Set out, just the way we like it. Our organised brothers and sister will diligently save their data at regular intervals. Us “happy go lucky” folks might not do this, with sometimes disastrous consequences. I once heard a story of someone’s laptop being stolen from the back seat of a car -with all the pictures of the baby years of her children on it. You’ll be devastated wouldn’t you?

Online storage

In this day and age we are very lucky with the changes in cloud technology. As my computer was really started to feel quite “sick”, I quickly upgraded my online storage capacity and checked that everything was backed up. My new computer will have only folders that directly link to the online data so I save my self the headache of having to remember to regularly back up and to check if everything still aligns. As the online storage solutions have only a certain capacity (which is very reasonable) there is a build in incentive to declutter your computer files. Decluttering computer files is probably a good idea once or twice a year at a time of rest when work is not at a peak period. Of course you might think that everything you produce on your computer is important but once it is used and you haven’t opened it for two years it might not be as relevant anymore (give or take those handful of master pieces you have created for either work or study or items that the legislation requires you to keep on file).

By the time you are reading this column I will hopefully be sitting pretty behind my flashy new computer. I am opting for a laptop this time, transportable, no big pc box cluttering up the space under my desk and gathering dust. You can also like me be rest assured that all my documents especially the pictures of my two beautiful children are safely stored somewhere in cyberspace to access when I want to. If you are reading this and haven’t backed up your computer files recently - go get to it!

Illawarra Mercury, 30 April 2013

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