We all know this feeling. That sick feeling in your stomach, staring at your computer in disbelief as hours or days of work vanishes into the ether of software glitch or computer crash. It’s one of the biggest frustrations for the team here at Sound Librarian and has, in the past, led to the wanton destruction of at least one computer keyboard (we’re still finding the keys) and plenty of tears and unmentionable language.
You know the joke, if Microsoft made cars, they’d all crash twice a day (etc).
Not such a helpful error message!
Just last night, a tiny brief flicker in our power supply turned off our servers, reset our modem and crashed the Playstation. Today, Stephan is trying to write music but the tool he is using doesn’t seem capable of doing what he needs it to. He’s already lost ideas in dealing with the frustration.
We picked out our top 5 ways to survive the insanity that comes from working with software and technology.
1: Save often, and save in multiple locations
Since our garage caught fire a few years ago and both the fire and the water to put it out came distressingly close to our servers, we have been acutely conscious of the need for more than one backup solution. We don’t have the resources of a large company who can afford a separate location for their backup servers, and here in Australia we certainly don’t have the bandwidth to be loading our raw data and audio files to a cloud-based storage solution, so we have had to get a little creative.
Firstly we store our daily work locally on the laptop or computer. Then, at the end of the day we save our work to our server.
At least once a month, we knuckle down and do a larger transfer onto hard drives, which we store elsewhere (you could leave it with a friend, at work, or wherever else is safe).
2: Know your software well
Naturally that leads to a bit of extra frustration for us when we ask our tools to do something the developers never anticipated and it falls over. We take that as notification we’re doing our jobs, even if it leads to the occasional hardware casualty.
Bear in mind, even when a piece of software says it can do something it doesn’t mean it CAN.
3: Go Old School
As a cautionary note, Anna was reminded recently of the need to back up when using technology to track ideas. During an update, her ipad crashed and for some reason all of her notes files were deleted. Unfortunately, when attempting a restore, everything BUT the notes came back. All the ideas and thoughts she’d been storing there for the past couple of years disappeared into the ether, never to be recovered. It was an unpleasant way to be reminded that backups of backups are what you really need to keep your information safe.