Actually I have been using this program for years, but forgot how great it was until this week – when I installed it on three different computers. The program is called Karen’s Replicator, and it is free. Here is the download site.
We all know we should be backing up our data, but most of us don’t do it as often as we should – and in reality, most people don’t back up their data at all, until a hard drive crash teaches them the painful lesson of why backing up is important. This program makes doing your backups a no-brainer, because you don’t even have to think about it.
Ideally, you should have an external hard drive large enough to contain all of your backups. You can get one of these for less than $100, and it just plugs into a USB port so it is very easy to set up.
In the Replicator program, you set up a “job” for each folder of data that you want to back up. For example, most of your documents and pictures are contained somewhere in the My Documents folder. So you would tell the Replicator to do this: every day, at 3 am, copy the My Documents folder from your computer to the My Documents backup folder on the external drive. Of course, the computer has to be left on for this to happen. From that point on, your backups are done automatically for you every night. So if you create a new Word document, you don’t have to worry about losing it if your computer crashes.
You can also have it back up your email messages and folders, but that is a little more complex and would depend on what program you are using for email. Of course, if you use Gmail as I have recommended for a long time, then all of your emails are always stored on the Gmail server so you really wouldn’t have to back them up at all anyway.
Incidentally, Karen has a lot of other free programs available on her site. It’s worth a look.
This week’s video is about a high school football team who came up with an ingenious trick football play: