Managing your documents

ID #1016

I heard all kind of horror stories about crashed computers, virused data, lost files. Is there any way I could prevent such things happening with my thesis?

Unfortunately many of such stories are true. You know, there's a saying in the computer world: "the question is not if a computer hard disk might crash but when it might crash"

Advice 1:

Save your file as often as possible. You might enable the Autosave option of Word. Remember however that this only protects you from power failures and not from hard disk crashes.

Advice 2:

Take time to save your file in several alternative locations, if possible on a different medium that your hard disk. Save it on:

(A) a second hard disk (if you have one);

(B) a CD or DVD. Take your time to burn 2-3 CDs and update their contents frequently; CDs are so incredibly cheap nowadays (0.7-0.8 lei) and so are DVDs (1-1.3 lei), so it's not gonna break your bank. Keep those CDs for you paper only, do not record music or anything else on them. Do not carry them around. Keep at least on of these CDs in a different location (you best friend's house), just in case you house catches fire or anything (God forbid!).

(C) a USB storage stick; Remember that USB sticks are so easy to lose or forget in your pants and shirt and get some washing. Don't make your USB stick the only alternative storage you use.

(D) a specialized website for file storage. The same way you may store photos on the web, you may store files. Many of these solutions are free of charge. Trey one of these: X-drive, or (2 GB storage space), or (1 GB storage space), or (1 GB space). Considering that your whole graduation paper will seldom be bigger than 2MB --say 5MB if you have pictures in it-- which means 0.002 GB, then 1 or 2 GB is really a lot of space! (It would suffice for 500 to 1000 graduation papers!)

(E) emails. Yes, emails! You may simply email the graduation paper to yourself (or to a good friend), and you know you will be able to find it on gMail or Yahoo at any time, from any location.

Advice 3:

Save several versions of your paper. After every major revision or change in the paper, save a new version. Of course you should give them names with incremental numbering that will help you identify the chronology of those versions.

Such as: MyPaper_ver.1.doc, then MyPaper_ver.2.doc.

Or for smaller versions you may use the software developers' solution: MyPaper_v.1.0, then v.1.1, then v.1.2.

The advantage of such versions is that, if you made a mistake, or an unwelcome change, you may always revert to the previous version. It is also possible that sometimes your thesis supervisor's advice will force you to delete parts of your file that you feel sorry about. If, sometime in the future, you feel like re-using those parts, in order to write a conference paper for instance, then you can always return to those previous versions and use them.

Tags: backup, CD, copii de rezervă, DVD, file management, salvgardare date, USB stick

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Last update: 2011-03-25 12:13
Author: Curiouser and Curiouser
Revision: 1.4

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