I know it’s shocking, but yes, I really did miss posting yesterday! Fortunately, the Earth is still rotating and there has been no evidence of creatures from the abyss bringing Eternal Night to us. It was a conspiracy of circumstances. I had no posts already prepared that I could schedule to appear and I was actually able to go and visit my daughter and her kids.
It was a very enjoyable day out. During a shopping expedition by my wife and daughter, I was left at something of a loose end, so I blessed the fact that I’d had the foresight to take my netbook with me. I’ve had an idea kicking around in my skull for a little while, for a children’s story. I decided to take this opportunity to work on that. After all, being for kids, it wouldn’t exactly be massive! I was getting on very nicely, too. Right up to the point at which… the netbook’s battery died! I think it’s safe to say that, if I was so inclined, I would have chosen this moment to curse most luridly. Cursing not being something I ever do, I just sighed and closed the thing. I haven’t yet dared to see whether I lost anything.
That got me to thinking – a dangerous exercise. One thing that has plagued computer users since we progressed beyond the abacus is making sure that we don’t lose our precious work. We are notorious for not backing up our files. It’s understandable, to a degree, in that it can be a tedious process, and costly if you use an online service that charges according to the storage space you need. But it’s beyond necessary. It’s vital! I count myself fortunate,and surprisingly prepared, because I use the excellent Dropbox service. Not only do I enjoy some degree of security, in case smoke pours from my computer and the hard drive suddenly resembles a Daliesque perversion of itself, I can take advantage of a characteristic of Dropbox. Not only are my files automatically backed up, I can access them from anywhere! In fact, I can access them from any device with the Dropbox app installed on it, or through a web browser. I can also elect to share with others, directly. For example, I’m having two more novelettes made ready to be produced in paperback. That means files flying back and forth. At first, it was cumbersome – using email and a file sharing site. When we discovered that we both used Dropbox, however, everything was streamlined beautifully! One or other of us simply copies the file(s) to a special shared folder and its “job done”. As the app starts when the computer is switched on, the files are immediately synced – even before everything’s finished loading up.
If you don’t use Dropbox, I strongly recommend that you give it serious thought! Yes, there are other services, but none I’ve found that are so easy to use. More, many others use it and it’s quite possible that you can make your life much simpler on file sharing. The free version does have a space limit, but you can increase that by getting friends and family to use your referral link to sign up.