Monday, May 6, 2013

Public Safety Message: Please, Please, Please save your papers/assignments!

We're winding the semester down, with reading day and exams just a few days away.  It's also time for all of those last papers and take home exams to be finished up and turned in.

We had the power flicker on and off briefly today, and one of our students lost an 11 page paper.  Keep in mind that the PCs in the library have software that wipes any new files (or settings) made while you've been logged in.  Any saved files are deleted.

Please take these precautions to keep your assignments safe:

1. Backup your files in multiple locations.  Most experts say in three places, but I recommend at least two.

2. Print out a hard copy frequently.  This serves two purposes: you have a hard copy in case your digital copy fails and the printed copy is easier to proofread.

Backup ideas: 

1. A flash drive is easy and convenient.  The problem is that they often get lost or damaged.  So I would combine it with other services.

2. E-mail: Your Coker e-mail is an excellent cloud based service.  You can use a personal e-mail account if you prefer, but it works the same.  Every few minutes, e-mail yourself a copy of the paper you are working on.  Keep in mind that "sent" e-mails are also kept separately, so even if you accidently delete an e-mail with a copy of your assignment, it probably will still be available in the "sent" folder.

3. True cloud services like Dropbox.  Dropbox is a great, free, storage service available from many different devices and computers.  The desktop client can be installed on your personal PC (or Android, iOS, or other device) and acts as a Windows (or Mac and Linux) folder.  It can be your default save location - so each time your document Autosaves, it saves into your Dropbox folder.

Good luck and keep your stuff backed up!

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