Backup Your Data!
Having spent the better part of the last two days reinstalling everything on the computer I use for PhotoShop and other imaging work, it seems appropriate that this week's tip is simply "Backup your data!"
It's hard to say what really happened, but for a while it looked as if I had lost two drives, one with the Operating System and all applications installed on it, and the other filled with scanned and other digital images. In the end, I did lose virtually all the contents of the boot drive, but thankfully the image drive is safe after all. That was a relief, let me tell you.
Many years ago, floppy disks used to be good enough to backup all the data I cared about. Then came a series of tape drives with ever-increasing capacities. Unfortunately, hard drive capacities have grown even more rapidly and I have stupidly been without a viable backup strategy for the last couple of years. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has been in this situation, but that really doesn't provide me any comfort now that I've run out of luck in the hard drive failure department myself.
Things are getting close to being back to normal again, so I've taken some time out to buy an external drive with an astounding 250 GB capacity that can connect with both FireWire and USB 2.0. I think the likelihood that I'll be doing regular backups just went way up.
Before own luck runs out, I'd strongly suggest you figure out what will work for you and start doing regular backups. Believe me, the alternative is not pretty.