If you frequently work digitally, one of your first lessons is to save often.
The second rule you should be taught is to save multiple copies, in the event a file corrupts, get lost, or some other misfortune happens to it.
The third rule is that you should always have a back up copy. In fact, have multiple back up copies. And have them in different locations in case some misfortune should, of course, strike one but not all locations where you keep said files. That way you’ll always be sure to have an updated copy, even in the face of some horrific, data-destroying event. This is particularly so for whatever machine you happen to work on.
Unfortunately, I did not do this. The last time I backed up my computer was in December, when I was expecting a complete system wipe when I brought it in to IT. I never re-established a schedule for Time Machine to back everything up after that, not giving it much thought. Typically I’m very paranoid about making sure I keep everything backed up and secured, but with the calming embrace of Winter Break I chilled out for once and figured I would eventually get around to it. Bad idea.
Last week, my hard drive died. Flat-lined. No hope of retrieving any morsel of data, even after bringing it into IT. I now have to remake two illustrations for my professor by tomorrow. I was lucky I didn’t lose any other work, since I keep most of what I’m working on and finished pieces on a jump-drive…but for some reason these two illustrations were kept on only my computer.
LET THAT BE A LESSON TO YOU.