Critical Section

good housekeeping

Sunday,  03/29/09  07:41 PM

Sorry, but it’s a Sunday afternoon, and you know what that means:

<rant type=random>

Good Housekeeping SealHere are a few things you should do, they’re like flossing your teeth.  You know you should do it, and later when things turn ugly you realize why.

  1. Backups.  Quick, stop and think how much time you would lose if your hard drive failed, right now.  You know you need to backup your computer, so why don’t you do it?  You can do it Friday night before going to bed, and it won’t cost you but three minutes.  My own suggestions – get a 1TB USB2 drive (Fry’s has them for $150 $100) and use Acronis.  Note that in 2009 hard drives are so big and so cheap that there is no reason not to back up everything - your entire drive partition, from A to Z.  It is simpler and much easier in the event of a recovery than having to reinstall stuff.  Your time costs much more than a hard drive.
  2. Scans.  Yes you should have an antivirus / malware tool on your computer, and yes you should have it scan your entire computer weekly.  My own suggestion is Norton but YMMV.  The time and aggravation you will save in the event of a virus or malware is your own.  The latest incarnations of these tools do it in the background when your machine is “idle”, you don’t have to think about it.
  3. Logs.  The best thing you can do to avoid “stuff not working” on your computer is to religiously log everything you do to it.  I’m talking about a simple text file; put in the date and what you did.  “Applied Windows Updates”, “Installed latest ImageScope”, “Backed up entire computer with Acronis”, “Performed Norton full scan”, etc.  Keep the file on your desktop so you will remember to update it.  This helps so much in problem determination, I can’t tell you.  And since it will be part of every backup, it is perfect documentation for what is missing in the event of a restore.


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