March 23, 2015 - Comments Off on I should’ve backed-up

I should’ve backed-up


This article is a short visual essay that illustrates the importance of backing-up work related files and the resulting anger caused by the absence of them. The article is primarily focused on a personal occurrence and it concludes with different tips and resources useful for the purpose of keeping your files safe.

1 · I Trusted You

Back in February of 2012 I used all my savings to buy an expensive artefact that ensured a good manufacturing quality while allowing me to see reassuring pictures of cats doing stupid stuff at 2am during a one-third-of-life crisis. My first Apple computer, a reliable Macbook Pro. I fell in love with it instantaneously. I was happier than a dog with two tails.


The Mac provided me with an increasing feeling of trust in the absence of Microsoft’s characteristic blue screens of death. Doing back-ups started feeling like a waste of time. Until all of the sudden, my computer stopped working. I immediately took out my pocket calculator (conveniently located on my top shirt pocket for easy access) and I did the math to determine that I had 932 hours worth of work on files that I haven't backed-up.

2 · Hard-Drive of Hell

Sauron, the lord of darkness, happened to cast an evil spell on my computer; or at least that's what I imagined when the Apple engineers told me that my hard-drive broke for "unknown reasons".


In that moment I found myself praying to the Gods of every religion, and then my whole life flashed in front of my eyes. I remembered the first time I turned her on, the first time I took her to a Starbucks to look pretentious while working, the first time we torrented a movie together, the time we started using a silicone keyboard cover as protection to avoid any unwanted spillage , the first time I "accidentally" stumbled upon pictures of naked ladies on her. Sadly, my relationship with my computer had come to an end.

I was subject to a full week of hiatus waiting for the Apple repairmen to tell me if they would be able to save my computer or not; or at least my files. During that week I was prone to episodes of self-diagnosed "Phuckmylife's Syndrome". A neuropsychiatric disorder that, much like "Tourette's Syndrome", it's associated with the exclamation of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks. A socially accepted excuse to tell others phrases such as "Mind your fuck-hole!" without being considered a potty mouth.

3 · Gently Remove your Tampon and Start to Work

Sexism aside, I found that a quote from the movie “Love you, Bro” perfectly illustrates both my feelings towards my hard-drive, as well as the only way out of this situation: "Now, gently remove your tampon and try again."

On day 7 of this inconvenient adventure, after I had climbed to the very tip of Mount Stress, I heard a voice in the wind, an epiphany carrying a message that said “shit happens". All computers are bound to unexpectedly fail as much as humans are bound to get unexpectedly sick. We can take some preventive measures, but our efforts are always limited by the will of the computer.

Thankfully the Apple repairmen’s healing magic and the painful sum of 230 Euros managed to be enough to replace my hard-drive and restore most of my files. Nonetheless I’ve learned my lesson, and much like a Jehovah witness, I’m preaching my beliefs in your doorstep.

Wrapping up


In the past I relied in online back-up services like Carbonite, but the upload speed never matched the rate in which I created or edited heavy Illustrator or Photoshop files. Now I run Apple's Time Machine once a week, which doesn’t need internet connection and even shows several versions of each file as edited in different periods of time. And for backing up files edited on a daily basis I just use my Dropbox folder integrated in Apple's Finder browser. For any office type files, I’ve switched completely to Google drive and Evernote.

I’ve surely learned my lesson the hard way, and I trust you will find useful advice in my words of wisdom.

Tell me your thoughts @borishrncic

Published by: Boris Hrnčić in Thoughts

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