Friday Four: Practical Preparation

Posted by · December 21, 2012 12:45 pm

Happy Holidays! Your friendly editorial team will be out of the office for the winter holidays and will return on December 26th.

non-apocalypseWith the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse scheduled a mere four days before Christmas and five days after Hanukkah, there must have been a good number of folks whose gifts include the finest survival gear around.
Now that Dec. 21st is here and, well, so still are we, it’s not a terrible thing to have a few survival items around the home and office when there IS a fire/flood/zombie horde. You already know you need bottled water and canned food, but what about for your technology? Preparation is the key to your anything-may-happen tech set-up. Here are four simple ways to prevent and/or recover from technology disaster.

1. Dry rice and a plastic baggie. When your mobile device gets wet, it’s the best way to dry out and get it back to life as soon as possible.

2. Surge protectors. Getting hit by lightning may be rare, but downed power lines from a storm are all too common. One voltage spike and your precious electronics are rendered worthless. I’ve personally had a gorgeous 52-inch television ruined in this manner. It was a sad day for many.

3. Backup services.  The problem with backing up your data on an external hard drive is that you usually store it in the same place as your first machine. In the event of a disaster, it is as much risk of being destroyed. Online backup services like Carbonite, CrashPlan, and Acronis are a reasonable and affordable way to keep your info safe from being lost forever. These are available at a monthly fee, priced in tiers according to how much space you need. Additionally, you could use something as simple as Dropbox to store a limited amount of data for free.

4. Keep the servers running. Someone’s going to have to keep the network up while the world falls apart. So how do you keep track of which servers are down and which are still plugging away? May we suggest Experts Exchange’s new datacenter management tool dRACKula:  you can keep an eye on your racks from your smartphone, plus link to all your monitoring tools from one photo-realistic dashboard.

Now you’re ready for anything.