November 25, 2017

Saving your files and updates

First, we had floppy disks then hard disks then CDs and DVDs to backup copies of our word processing files. Then flash drives came along with yet another option. Despite the many choices still usable for the safekeeping of manuscripts, there is a problem: We have to remember every step involved and do it!

Often, I don’t. Or, even if I do think about saving my updates and new files on a flash drive, I might not have a spare one on hand, and the nearest store is 30 miles away.

After investigating DropBox and Google Docs as online storage options, which many people use and like, I uploaded my Word files to Docs and uploaded the digital photos stored on my hard drive to Google Photos.

Eventually I discovered that, with Microsoft Word for my writing projects, the newer versions include OneDrive, which can keep off-line work in sync with each update stored on the Cloud. At first I couldn’t find my off-line files as easily, but I’m very grateful for this way to keep my poems, blogs, books, and bio intact because, a couple of weeks ago, my hard drive crashed, wiping out all of the files and programs stored in my computer.

With a new hard drive ready to repopulate files with the backups stored on Google Docs, Photos, and OneDrive, I considered doing all of my writing online from now on. But then, the Internet went out!

For several hours I could do no work because what I needed wasn’t yet in my Word files. I had to go online to get them, but with no Internet connection, I couldn’t. Nevertheless, I’m glad this happened at my moment of indecisiveness - not as a coincidence but a God-incidence meant to guide me into doing my writing off-line then backing up to a Cloud.

The next decision concerned whether to continue with Microsoft Word as my sole word processing software. Prior to my computer crash, I had Word 2010, which came with my computer. With that program gone, the local technician who fixed my computer installed a retro copy of Word. So I had to decide whether to buy an upgrade or go another route.

The problem with upgrading software is that it’s a never-ending and often expensive choice, but if too many years lapse between word processing versions, glitches inevitably occur with no patches to close the gap.

This may change, but at the moment, I’m enjoying the FREE word processing download from WPS. Not only does it remind me of earlier programs that better suited my needs as a writer, but with each “save,” it asks me if I want to save a copy to the Cloud! Yeah!

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2017
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