When it first occurred to me that I should have some kind of system to back up all my literary output, rather than having it merely traced into pixel vapor, my friend Walter gave me a lot of good advice. Redundancy was the key. I should have my documents copied on all my computers. I should have all data sucked into an external hard drive. I should print out everything I write and mail it to a friend whose house is unlikely to burn down at the same time as mine. I should transfer all my files onto  a thumb drive nightly and strap it to a homing pigeon. I should engrave my novels onto granite slabs and rubberize them against acid rain.

And I took all that advice to heart and bought an external hard drive, parked it next to my computer, and put new batteries in the smoke detectors. I felt marginally relieved.

What the external hard drive does is copy all my files and jam them into a little box, and it does this faithfully for a couple months, and then it does a big stretch and a yawn for another month and then sends a little oopsie note to the computer, which says “oh, by the way–you haven’t backed anything up for the last month.” This earns the external hard drive a trip to the mothership via US Mail, and another one shows up on my doorstep in a week. The new one does the exact same thing. So does the third, but by then the factory is no longer interested in sending me a new one.

But times have changed. Now it is possible to Back Up To The Cloud.

This sounds like something a good Christian would do to get out of dying. But I am not a good Christian, and I have no confidence that the Cloud will have me. Walter sends new, updated advice and a link to a backup service. Inasmuch as he did all the research for me, I believe I owe him the effort of sorting through the reviews on the backup service. And there I encounter this:

“After many, many kernel panic crashes, trips to the Genius bar, and drive wipes, I uninstalled Crashplan and never had another problem.”

Kernel panic crashes?! I’m unfamiliar. But if it’s anything like suffering an abrasion of the dip-nodule or having your winkle spindled, I want no part of it. I’m totally on board with the trip to the bar and the wiping, so I tend to trust the guy. And the prospect of never having another problem is very attractive to me. So I’m going to uninstall Crashplan.

I’ll have to install it, first.