JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen RE: Computer equipment theft -- Contacts lost #general

Stephen Mednick <smednick@...>

2001 is turning out to be an "annus horribilis". At the end of February
all my new computer equipment was stolen and replacements, only recently
acquired (courtesy of insurance), were lifted within days. And this
happened despite adequate precautions. The information lost is quite
extensive and includes names of persons on the JewishGen list with whom I
have been in contact. In particular there are several to whom I had
promised I would send photographs of particular tombstones from
Johannesburg cemeteries. I shall be able to retrieve some of the (much
older) names/letters >from backup CDs, but this will only be possible at
some unknown future date. The insurance implications of the 2nd burglary
may take much longer to sort out. [snip]

I'm sure everyone on this list sympathises with Anthony's predicament.

Anthony's case certainly highlights the need to ensure that adequate
precautions are taken to secure the data within one's computer. Every week
or so we read on this list how people's lifelong work has been destroyed
by a virus or computer malfuction.

Let's face it, the genealogical data we've accumulated is often the result
of years of work and it's so easy to lose it all in an instant.
Unfortunately the humble floppie disk with its 1.44Mb capacity has become
pretty useless as a reliable means of providing offsite storage. Saving to
disk a copy of the ship's manfest for your ancestor >from the Ellis Island
Database is going to set you back nearly 350KB!. If you value the data on
your computer that you've accumulated over the years as priceless, then
spending a few hundred dollars on a ZIP or Tape Backup system shouldn't be

In my own case I do a full backup of every file on my system every friday
afternoon to a tape backup device. I have about 5GB to backup and I
alternate between three different tape cartridges. When the backup is
finished the tapae is stored **away** >from the computer in my backyard
shed. Every evening I do a differential backup which backs up all the
files that are new and have changed since the full system backup. I'm
necessarily saying that my method is one that everyone should use as I
have other reasons for running this type of backup but at least everyone
should consider some sort of regular backup to protect the time and effort
they've put into researching and accumulating data.

If anyone wants some further advice on how they can protect their data I'm
happy to accept off-list emails.

Stephen Mednick
Sydney, Australia

MEDNICK (Kalius,UKR & London,ENG)
SACHS/SACKS (Kalius,UKR & London,ENG)

MODERATOR NOTE: We should all know that back-up of key genelaogical
data is important. However, the discussion of backup techniques is
beyond the scope of this forum. A more topical forum would be newsgroup
soc.genealogy.computing. As Stephen suggests, please continue discussion
of backup privately.

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