Thursday, July 14, 2011

Having a complete copy of your data elsewhere

Yesterday I mentioned my friend who experienced the sad passing of her old laptop. Fortunately we had made copies of her genealogy database and all accompanying photos and scanned images of attached source documents on flash drives when I visited last May. But what if she had added lots of data in the interim? She would have lost all that work without a reliable system for keeping complete copies of her data elsewhere.

With all the earthquake and tsunami struggles we've seen the world over, having a copy of our data at a place other than our homes is all the more urgent. It isn't practical to manually make CDs and send them to distant relatives, when there are reasonable alternatives, using the internet.

Unlike backup services where data must be "restored", Dropbox is a folder with sub folders that exists on the web in a private area, exactly duplicating (syncing) with every file placed in the Dropbox folder on my computer. I've previously written about how Dropbox actually works.
I especially like that all my data file (genealogy and otherwise) are there at, readily accessible from ANY computer. When I got my new desktop computer last year in Virginia, I merely downloaded the Dropbox program, and then sat back and watched as the files quickly filed in from my original computer back in Utah.
My only mistake is that I FORGOT to place my June and July Organization Checklists in my Dropbox, and so I cannot access them until I get back to that computer in Virginia. <sigh> OK, so usually, I am pretty good with this technology stuff.

Invite your friends to Dropbox!

For every friend who joins and installs Dropbox, the Dropbox folks give you 500 MB and your friend 250MB of bonus space (up to a limit of 16 GB)!  This means if you use Ol' Myrt Dropbox sign-up link, I'll receive 500MB of addition space, and you'll receive 250 MG of free space on top of your free

Always have your stuff when you need it with @Dropbox.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.