I am an appraiser who embraces mobile technology to the
extent that my business is completely digital; but with a paperless
office comes the risk of computer failure. Last Thursday the inevitable happened, in the
midst of a job in the field, my computer crashed and refused to restart. A hurried trip to a repair facility was not
encouraging. To my surprise, the
technicians were unable to restart the computer without first resetting it and eliminating
all files from the disk. After resetting
and testing, it was determined that there was nothing physically wrong with the
computer hardware. The technician
speculated that a corrupted file probably caused the crash.
This misadventure represented a major setback. Not only did I lose the time spent arranging
the repair, I also had to bring a backup computer out of its mothball state. That task was complicated by the fact that the
backup had not been started in over two years.
The resulting wait seemed endless while operating, virus, and appraisal
software went through innumerable updates (150 in Windows alone). The single bit of good news in all of this is
that I subscribe to Carbonite, an
online backup service that only costs about $60 per year. Every appraiser (or anyone with a computer)
should subscribe to just such a service.
Carbonite normally works in the background, continuously
backing up everything on your computer while you work. It provides access to all active files, and
even gives a 30-day look back at files deleted from the hard drive. Note that backup services like Carbonite do
not replace long-term storage for appraisers like a la mode’s Vault. However, with Carbonite I was able to go
online and download everything needed to get up and running again. That included the most recently saved version
of the appraisal file that I was working on, several other unfinished projects,
all saved internet links, every software license, all saved software settings, everything
on the desktop, and anything else that was not duplicated by the file sharing
services I use (like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive). Whew!
Thank you Carbonite.
Oh, and what is my takeaway from all of this? I have learned that now the backup computer is
coming out of the closet on the first day of each month for a little runtime
and update. That way, a future hardware or
software failure will not catch me unprepared.
Did I leave anything out or do you want to join in the
conversation? Let me know in the
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