Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Back Up Your Data!

Hard Drive - delicate moving parts
There are few things more depressing than being told by a student that their hard drive has died, and they have lost all their work.

This means essentially starting afresh, going back to the beginning to start again the long, slow slog of building up a demo reel.  It's hard to over-stress the importance of backing up your data. It's a pain in the neck, and it takes time, but never forget that a hard drive is a delicate piece of technology filled with vulnerable moving parts.

Hard drives don't last for ever and, like all tech, will (eventually) let you down. The secret is to back up your data. But how best to do this? We take a quick look at some of the options.

1. Buy a Second Hard Drive, or Three.
This is my personal favourite. It's low tech, but it works. You stick your hard drive in your PC or Mac, then add a second hard drive, and transfer all your files to the fresh drive. It takes a while (several hours, for me) but you get there in the end.  Once your done, paste a yellow sticky on the drive to mark the date of the backup.

Do this regularly - at least once a month. Often, when a hard drive dies, it does so slowly, which may (or may not!) give you time to retrieve at least some of the data. Spend a bit more money and you can buy a tougher kind of hard drive, wrapped in plenty of rubber to keep it safe

2. Backblaze
Backblaze is a popular service; it costs $50 per year for unlimited backups, which it does "quietly in the background", promising that its customers will "never lose a file again". 

3. iCloud
Store you data on the cloud, and know that you have everything where you need it. Of course, you need an internet connection pretty much most of the time for this to work.

The important thing is not rely on a single drive, whether it is embedded in your PC or Mac, or an external drive that you throw in your school bag every morning. You must have backup. Don't be one of those students who says "I can't cut a demo reel - I've lost all my data".

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt, now recruiting for September 2018, follow this link.   To apply, visit the offical page here.

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