The Translator’s Tool Box - © International Writers’ Group, LLC
Backing Up Files
Though we had to say farewell to floppy disks as a backup method, we are
once again in the golden age of inexpensive backups. With prices of CD-Rs
and even DVD-Rs only slightly higher than floppy disks, and CD/DVD-RW
drives as standard equipment on most computers, it is very easy and
convenient to make regular backups of the projects you are working on.
Because it often takes a little more time to write very large files to a CD/DVD,
I have found it most convenient to make a daily backup of my current projects
on an external drive, and a backup on a CD/DVD once the project is finished.
I usually store the CDs/DVDs at a location separate from my computer.
Another increasingly common way of backing up your files is through cloud-
based systems. Translators are using a variety of available systems, though
they tend to differentiate between highly confidential files (which they back up
on local storage options) and other files that they back up on cloud services.
I’m sure that this differentiation will begin to vanish once we and our clients
become less squirmish about using cloud-based services for translation and
Services like Dropbox (see www.dropbox.com), Carbonite (see
www.carbonite.com), SugarSync (see www.sugarsync.com) or the Windows-
internal OneDrive allow you to set up an automatic backup schedule so you
don’t have to worry about manual backups, and you can even access those
files from any number of devices.
As far as an automated Windows-internal system for offline-backups, nothing
really anything worthwhile was available for all flavors of the operating system
until Windows 7 (in previous versions, the more advanced backup systems
were limited to the more expensive Ultimate and Enterprise versions of the
The only drawback I have encountered is slow upload times for very large files,
such as translation memories or email folders.