Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence
I will admit, that I have a love/hate relationship with the flash drive. I don't like when I plug one in and start getting error messages, that I need to disc check it, or who knows what else. In fact, those stinkin' error messages have kept me from using them very often, and frankly, I don't really have the need that often.
But, these last few weeks in Salt Lake City I have needed one, and I have been using one, I just close the error messages, ignore them, and carry on. Copy files to it, transfer the files to the computer ASAP and every night (or early in the AM if I am toooooo tired at night) I back up the files to an external hard drive.
You may call me paranoid if you wish, cause, yes, mmm, I am very paranoid. I have been dreaming of this research trip for years, denied for a variety of family and personal reasons for years, may never be able to come back, I hope to, but, the Maker decides these things, not I. So, I am doing everything I can to protect the digital copies I am getting here. Nope, not one paper copy, Tana is overweight now.
Due to my love/hate affair with my flash drive I only save larger files to it, like a 20 page probate file. Individual birth, death or marriage records I have been dealing with differently. Those get sent to one of my email accounts, where they happily reside until I can get them downloaded. After downloading so as to clear the decks at that email account I actually forward them to myself at a "trash" account I maintain. That means, that those certificates end up on at least 2 if not 3 email accounts for some time. (All email accounts reside in the cloud, every single email account is a cloud/online account.)
Excessive, obviously, paranoid medicine, you bet!
Now, back to those flash drives. No matter how you feel about them, love or hate, or mix of both, I would like to point out that they should not be trusted with ALL your research from a week or two or more here in Salt Lake City. Let's be even more specific, you should not trust ALL your research to just ONE flash drive. Here is the short story:
Becky met this gal, chatting along this gal tells Becky this story, summarized here.
"I had a week here, I fly home tomorrow, I just lost ALL my files I saved to my flash drive this week."
We don't know if she had a lap top computer with her, but, the way Becky understood this sad tale is that this researcher lost the entire week's work, gone, bye bye, oops.
What we think happened is one of those little error messages came up on the computer she was working on, and it told her she needed to format the drive, and she did. GULP! She does have a nice clean flash drive now tho. SIGHHH. In a matter of a flash (ya, I know, sick choice of words) and one moment of fat finger activity and a momentary brain lapse, she lost it all.
We are guessing, but think that since she flew out, she just brought the flash drive and did not bring her laptop, traveling light. In hindsight, maybe too light.
I feel so badly for her, even tho I did not meet her. What a hard way to learn a lesson - - there are never too many ways to back up your data. If you must travel with only a flash drive, how about carrying two?? How about emailing documents to yourself. Come up with some plan, there are lots of places in the cloud you can store documents, some have free storage. Find one, use it!
Back it up, but, back it up in more than one place. And, no I don't trust that flash drive any more than before my stop here in the research mecca. Yes, Carol has mega paranoid attacks, and I am still not totally convinced my backup methods are sufficient. So, I am continually looking at other alternatives. That said, I feel more protected than that poor gal, cause I won't trust one flash drive with my entire week's work. Poor girl.
* Something else I learned this week about flash drives, seems that some of them only allow 100 files in any given directory. Solution, make another directory and fill it with files. Who knew??
Flash drive graphic courtesy of cksinfo.com
'Tears a many' graphic courtesy of clker.com