Backup blues are resolved in a flash
As a rule, Digital Slobs aren't well equipped for a crisis. Ask a Slob if he subscribes to the "always be prepared" motto, and you can be sure he won't even be ready for the question.
But when it comes to the Digital Age's shaky house of memory cards, we know an ounce of backup prevention is worth a pound of why-even-bother.
If an asteroid were hurtling toward you during a morning stroll, would it make you feel better if you'd remembered to take your umbrella?
Last week, 18 months into my two-year Verizon contract, my Motorola RAZR spazzed out -- just like TV screens in every alien-invasion movie ever made. Flicker. Freeze. Off. On. Buzz. Bzzths. Fizzznthth. Zap. Dead.
This has happened before, and I rarely recoup my speed-dial losses. If you're my friend and I haven't called you in four years, it's not because I'm mad at you. It's because I dropped my Samsung A650 in a rain-filled pothole in 2004.
"I told you to buy insurance. Then you could get a new phone for free," a friend of mine said for at least the third time.
C'mon. At $5.99 a month, cell phone insurance is little more than a long-term layaway plan for your next phone. At some point, it's a waste of money NOT to leave your RAZR in that McDonald's restroom.
There are, however, exceptions to the "Backup? Why bother?" rule. Also last week, my computer turned off and wouldn't turn back on.
Unlike my phone, the thought of losing everything on my hard drive filled me with unease, and there's a lot of space to fill since much of me was long ago transferred to my hard drive.
Sure, that digital video file of my wife and me whale-watching is valuable, but is it $800-for-a-new-motherboard valuable?
Then, somehow, my guardian angel rebooted my computer, and I seized the backup moment, thanks to a USB flash drive that takes the "why" and "bother" out of "why bother backing up?"
The new Corsair Flash Voyager 32-gigabyte USB flash drive (corsair.com) is about the size of a rabbit's foot yet has enough space to hold 16 high-def movies. It has roughly 20 percent of the storage capacity of my whole computer. All I had to do was plug it into a USB port, then drag-and-drop all my files into its window on my desktop, all the while begging my computer to avoid the light until the whole process was over.
USB flash drives have been around for a while, but the early ones could only hold a file or two and had the structural integrity of a PEZ dispenser. But the Voyager is shielded by an all-rubber casing and is water-resistant and drop tested.
But best of all, its sheer capacity meant I could quickly transfer almost everything of importance (along with much of no importance) in one swoop, no culling required. I got our whale video. I also snagged 516 photos of my sister's Pomeranian, which even my sister would find to be one or two photos beyond necessary.
My point is, USB flash drives are getting bigger and easier for those on the fickle backup fence.
Now all I need is an asteroid-deflecting umbrella, and I might be able to sleep at night.