Thursday, March 16, 2006

Computer Tips

So Blogger apparently had a few technical difficulties this morning, leaving me unable to post or comment. I think I was starting to experience withdrawal symptoms before it came back online. But I got some extra work done. Hmm...

Today is computer tips day. Why? Because I was working last night and I consciously noticed what has become second nature to me. That being the saving and backing up of files.

Tip 1

1. Back up your files.

Tip 2

2. Double-back up your files.

Tip 3

3. Save every few minutes.

Backing up

You can do this in a number of ways.

a) The most easy option is to set your computer to make a backup copy each time you open a file. Unfortunately, this is not going to prove very helpful should your computer itself fall victim to something unexpected.

b) The second option is to make a backup separate from your computer hard drive. It used to be floppy disks but now most people use cds. If you're doing that, I'd recommend using CDRs not CDRWs. I picked up this idea from a computer article and it's a goodie because CDRs aren't rewritable, which means your files can't accidentally be written over should someone else decide to 'borrow' the cd.

c) Some people are also using webmail as storage ie. emailing a copy of their manuscript to their Yahoo account etc. This is a good choice if you're not paranoid about people somehow breaking in to your account. *g*


Saving

You can set your computer to save every (x) number of minutes. I think mine might be set to 1. If your computer has a fast processor thingie, this won't interrupt your work at all. If you have a slower computer, you might have to set it to a longer period. BUT, if you can teach yourself the shortcut key for saving, you'll be a lot better off. That way, you can just tap those keys every few paragraphs. It was hard when I started but now it's second nature.

I'm no computer genius but those are some things I've picked up. Anybody else have any good tips to share?

16 comments :

Milady Insanity said...

Save your file into a CDR and send it to a pal halfway across the world. Across the US would probably be enough though, if you live there.

No, I don't do this, but I knew somebody who did.

Nalini Singh said...

Across the world? Wow!

I also know some people who use safety deposit boxes. It is actually a good idea to keep it somewhere separate if you can I think.

Laura said...

Hi Nalini! It's been a while but I've finally emerged from the pile of edits, promos and, yuk, school work. (At least for today - back to it next week. Blech)

Congrats on Slave to Seduction. What a sensational cover! And the story sounds great too ;-)

Backing up...I do 2 things. One is to keep 2 copies of every ms I've got. So if while I'm working on one and my computer goes on the fritz, I haven't corrupted the second copy. And two, I back up to CDR weekly. I make 2 copies. One for me, one for the bank vault (aka my mother LOL). After the recent bushfire scares here, I got my act together!

See ya round.

செல்வகுமார் said...

Hi Nalini,

CD-R would be ideal. But we have an option in MS Office Application for Auto Recovery of documents, worksheet and presentations in the Tools -> Options -> Save Tab.

Hope this helps,
Selva.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

sounds like you have your share of 'puter problems.

In a former life as a computer tech, one lady used to put her floppy disks on her filing cabinet with a magnet. I kid you now. She was always calling us because of lost files. ;-)

Emma Sinclair said...

There's those memory stick things, too.

There really not that expensive nowadays (though still too pricy for me to buy lots) and I've heard of people buying one per MS/WIP and saving to that every day.

Milady Insanity said...

Thumb drive. Don't get a memory stick unless you've got a Sony laptop or something.

Thumbdrives don't need a special reader, but memory sticks do. Plus they are cheaper (I think) then memory sticks or compact flash cards.

You don't really need separate ones, though. 1GB is plenty of space if all that's inside is manuscripts.

Selva, you can program it to autosave to external memory, like a thumbdrive.

Now, I know all of these tricks. I'm a bit of a gadgeteer, you see. Plus I've a hacker story to write.

I just have to get around to doing them. LOL

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I second the thumb drive. Also, since my laptop has a built in card reader that will read ANYTHING (Compact Flash, Sony, SD, etc), I usually take a tiny SD card and back stuff up there too. It fits in my purse and holds 1GB. The downside to that is that I couldn't take it to a computer without a card reader and work on it. But I know I've got it all with me, should anything happen to my laptop.

Nalini Singh said...

See, I knew I'd learn something if I put this up. I must go Google thumb drives!

Hey Laura - nice to see you again and congrats on your recent sales :)

Hi Selva - thanks for dropping by and for the tip. Is your name in Arabic script? Looks amazing!

Cynthia - tell me you're kidding! I once got an email passed to me with a tech transcript where a lady was apparently calling to complain about a broken cup holder. (Guess what it was tee hee)?! I haven't made up my mind whether it was authentic yet.

Emma - a lot of people around me use that for file transfer as well. They are pretty handy. And I have two friends who bought external hard drives. Kind of expensive and not too portable ie. not something you can put in your purse, but good for a backup if you can keep it elsewhere I guess.

Milady - oooh, hacker story. You must write it so I can read it! And I just googled thumb drives and they look like what I'd call a memory stick. Difference???

Lynn - that's an awesome idea. Those things are so tiny they can go anywhere.

Milady Insanity said...

Memory Stick needs a reader specific type of reader. It's a technology mostly used by Sony. Thumbdrives are also known as USB drives, and you just plug them into any USB port.

Nalini, go bug Samantha Hunter first. I'm lazy plus I kill my heroes and heroines at the end out of sheer annoyance. LOL!

செல்வகுமார் said...

Hi Nalini,

BTW it is not Arabic scripting. Just my name is displayed in Tamil (Unicode scripting) :)

Selva.

Nalini Singh said...

Thanks for the explanation Milady - I've seen a lot of USB drives in usage around me in Japan. Considered buying one but realized I don't really need it. It was just a shiny toy I wanted *g* Esp the keyholder type!

Hey Selva -it still looks pretty cool!

Talking about computer issues, me and a friend just tried putting some music into her brand new phone and had a *slight* lack of success. She's gone to read the manual lol :)

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Nope Nalini... All true... As a technician, I found that 75% of the world did not know how to turn on their computer... (the on/off switch) all true... LOL

செல்வகுமார் said...

Hi Nalini,

///***Talking about computer issues, me and a friend just tried putting some music into her brand new phone and had a *slight* lack of success. She's gone to read the manual lol :)***///

Check whether Bluetooth facility is available with that phone. If not, a data cable and a CD would be provided with the phone kit. You can just connect the phone and PC with the data cable. Install the necessary software (driver for the data cable and the PC Suite software) with the CD provided. Transferring data would be simpler.

Selva.

Nalini Singh said...

Thanks for the tips, Selva!

MarleneCC said...

Hi Cynthia - I used to sell computers and would sometimes take tech calls from my customers. It's true, a lot of them don't know how to turn on their computers. One of my calls was from a government guy (sort of high on the local chain) who was trying to turn on his computer by using the monitor on/off switch. Sad, but true.