Travel: Getting Ready to Be Away from Your PC for an Extended Trip
Last updated: 7/6/2002; 4:48:38 PM
 
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Travel: Getting Ready to Be Away from Your PC for an Extended Trip

IN 7 1/2 days (now 6 1/2)  I leave for the first long trip I’ve taken in almost 4 years.  What’s worse is that I have had repeated laptop instability in recent months and a high degree of desktop crashes.  And, this isn’t pleasure, it’s mostly work (more on that and why I’m visiting Paolo in the next few days).  So what do I do to get ready to be away from my PC for 8 days?  How do I handle being away from my data?  Well, the rest of this story focuses on exactly what I am doing.  A lot of it is fairly basic.  Some of it isn’t and reflects a fairly geeky approach to computing since I can administer almost everything from anywhere in the world – except for my home PC, of course where I have 99.9% of my data.

Step 1: Backup

That’s right.  Backup all your data as painful as it is (and it will be painful).  Do it now.  At least 1 week before you go.  Why?  If you wait, then it just won’t get done.  At least this way you can be sure that you are no more than 1 week out of backup. 

Step 2: Store the Backup Offsite

I actually know that you won’t do this until just before you leave.  I’m putting the thought in your head now so you can think about what “offsite” means.  Here’s a tip – Your car is offsite by definition.  I have a fireproof chest where my 160gb FireWire backup drive will be going while I am on the road.  That chest will be going in the car. 

Step 3: Add Everyone In Your Inbox To Your Contacts Folder

There’s no question that this one is painful.  Agonizingly painful.  Go into your Inbox.  If you use Outlook then use Group messages by the Sender (a very cool feature) and then go through the entire Inbox and add everyone to your contact list.  Yes it’s a pain.  It’s very worth it since this brings us to Step 4.

Step 4: Sync Your PDA With Your Contacts

If you don’t have a Palm or other PDA then print out a paper list of every person, every domain name, every phone #, every cell phone # and every email address.  Printing out a paper list is probably good anyway.

Step 5: Burn Your My Documents Folder to a CD-R

 

And what if your My Documents folder is larger than 640 mb? 

Step 6: Move MP3s onto Your Laptop

Step 7: Unsubscribe From All Mailing Lists

 

Step 10: Backup

Step 11: Store the Backup Offsite

 

 
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