Tuesday, 21 October 2008


As part of the day to day running of a software business, I'm quite often called upon to present at CAD conferences and exhibitions - which in truth I enjoy. A few weeks ago we sponsored an event in London, which was pretty uneventful, that is, until the final day. Now, being in IT, you could rightfully assume that we travel with a range of tools to do our job properly, such as laptops, projectors, etc., which of course is true. However, on this occasion, I made the cardinal error of leaving my laptop at the booth (albeit tucked away) and headed off to attend the evening networking event. I don't know why I didn't take 5 mins to pop it back in my hotel room, but simply assumed the room would be locked, and left it at that.

Naturally the next morning, when I returned to the booth, I found my laptop bag, laptop, notebook and all my recent work - had disappeared. Not wanting to assume the worst, I contacted hotel security and the event organisers to ask if someone had perhaps moved my bag, but it was nowhere to be found. At this point, I had that horrible sinking feeling (the kind you get when you lose your wallet, or your house keys) and you know that the next few days are going to be an absolute pain! Visions of calls to the police, checking security cameras, logging a crime number, claiming on my insurance, replacing my laptop, and being WITHOUT EMAIL for days swarmed through my mind.

Then, to make a bad situation even worse, I realised that I hadn't backed up my files for at least a month! I was as annoyed at myself as I was at the light fingered individual who was probably at that moment flogging my treasured Toshiba in a smoky back room of a London pub for a handful of used notes. How could I have been so dumb as to bring my machine on the road with a bunch of files which had no copies?? It was enough to put me off my full English breakfast! Happily, my fears were short lived, when the head of hotel security informed me that they were holding a laptop in the 'lost & found' room - and by sheer good fortune, it was indeed my trusty Tosh! As the relief flooded through me, I resolved to a) back up my files religiously from that point on and b) make sure that none of the team goes on the road without making sure they have everything copied.

As soon as I got home, I logged on and copied everything on to my 320GB hard drive. And then for good measure, I found a really handy online backup service called Carbonite (http://www.carbonite.com) and uploaded all my files onto their system as well! So now I have backups for my backups - and I hope never to have a repeat of this episode again! I'm off to Florida on Sunday to present at a Bentley user conference, so my calendar has a BIG note to do a full backup before I go. Which leaves just one question - when was the last time YOU did a full backup (including your pst files)??


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