My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #505: Backups and Maintenance Today

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-28-2011 11:52 AM 5334 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 504: Some Mistakes are Just Plain Stupid Part 505 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 506: It is Just One of Those Days . . . »

Well, I got an early start today in hopes of getting a lot done. I am in the process once again of backing things up on my computer and before I do that I like to clean house and get everything in the right place. It has been a while since I did an entire back up and it is amazing the amount of new information that I have added here. I suppose I am a busy girl.

My partner just expanded his computer by adding a couple of new hard drives and some memory. His computer is the ‘host’ on our network and it holds all the major stuff, including the shows and movies we watch so there is no way we can ever have too much storage space. What is nice is that it is all shared and I have access to everything there so that exchanging information and backing up things is very easy. It is just a matter of doing it.

As with anything else, maintenance is an important factor in keeping all these things organized. With all the changes we make each day, it is very easy to get sloppy and lose files. While Windows 7 has an excellent search feature, it is still better to have the files tidy and in place rather than to have to waste time to go searching for them. I have several temporary folders where I keep my ‘work in progress’ as I call it until projects are completed and then they are put in a more permanent location. There are also the transition folders where stuff is sitting while waiting for publication, which can take months. Those projects are in a kind of limbo and I frequently forget about them if I don’t stay on top of it.

It has been probably almost a year since I did a deep cleaning and organizing of my computer and it was a time to do so. After seeing Keith streamline everything on his side, I felt it was time I do the same. Not only on the shared drives, but also on my own personal drives. It just feels good to know where everything is and have it in its place.

A bonus from cleaning things up this way is seeing files and reference photos of things that I had forgotten that I had. I am always collecting pictures and photos of things that inspire projects. I have thousands and thousands of graphics and I must say I am really good at tagging everything before I put it away. I bring the pictures to a temporary folder and when the folder starts to get full, I tag and file the pictures in the proper places. Tagging is very time consuming – especially when you first decide to do it. A couple of years ago when I got Windows Vista, which offered a search box all throughout explorer, I decided to tag every photo in my computer. It took me a couple of months to go through them all and I spent a couple of hours each night renaming files so that they would be recognized properly when searching for them. It was a huge task but well worth it as now if I am looking for say ‘bears’ I type in that keyword and everything tagged ‘bears’ shows up. I even went so far as to sub categorize them as ‘grizzly’ or ‘polar’ so I can have a more specific search results. It is sweet.

Yes, folks. I have no life. :) It keeps me out of trouble anyway. And once it is done properly the first time, it is only a matter of keeping it up with all new added files. Once you are in the habit, it is not too difficult to stay with it.

There were some problems that Keith encountered with his new configuration of his computer. One of the new drives he purchased worked for a couple of hours and then yesterday decided to die an early death. Of course it was the one he had put the Operating System on and it was several hours of frustration trying to figure out if it was the connection, the slot or the drive that was faulty. He has six hard drives in there now and it isn’t as easy with so many factors being involved to pinpoint the problem. It is a matter of being patient and going through one change at a time to see where the offending part was.

So it was back to square one and he had to reinstall Windows and make arrangements to return the hardware. After watching this go on for a while it inspired me to really get my own house in order on my computer and I spent the majority of the day doing so. There was really no risk of us losing information because we do constantly back things up on other drives. The patterns are also backed up on disks, so even if the entire system is lost, we will still be OK. I learned early in my computing career to back important things up in several places.

So it is not a very exciting post today I am afraid. But doing this necessary maintenance is something that needs to be dealt with on a regular basis.

In my travels on my computer, I also came across some wonderful music that you may like to listen to. It is Vivaldi and I find it is great background music for writing or working or just listening. I found it on YouTube and I hope you enjoy it also.

I have also thoroughly enjoyed MsDebbie’s series called Tree Inspired Photography if you want to check out some beautiful eye candy. After all – trees are wood, aren’t they? There are some beautiful pictures there from areas where members live. It is nice to take out a few minutes and look at them.

I wish you all a wonderful Friday.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

5 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4004 days

#1 posted 10-28-2011 01:45 PM

Hi Sheila;

I wish I had organized my computer a bit better. I have trouble rememebering where or what I have.

Excellent music to work to! Something about classical music lends itself to getting things done in a relaxed manner. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Have a good day.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#2 posted 10-28-2011 02:46 PM

My organization was getting pretty ratty with some folders, Lee. Keith has been ‘reminding’ me to back up and I didn’t want to until I was done organizing. So I got motivated.

I love the music too. I have to write instructions today and music without words is the way to go. If I have songs that I can sing to it goofs up my writing! I liked this guys choices on YouTube. All good stuff. I really like the Vivaldi Violin concertos too. Although he is most known for the Four Seasons, all the concertos are really amazing. They are deep and interesting pieces. I am glad you enjoyed it. I was hoping I wasn’t being dorky putting it up here. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10118 posts in 4077 days

#3 posted 10-28-2011 05:19 PM


Sorry to hear of your computer problems… it CAN be very frustrating!

I like your music by Vivaldi … there are similarities to my Beethoven No.9 aren’t there?
Thank you for posting it… It’s really COOL and comforting… and exciting too!

I’ve heard that a good painless system backup is as Leo La Porte says… He’s prety good.

Have a good one & thanks again!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#4 posted 10-28-2011 06:35 PM

Yes, Joe! They are quite similar. I truly enjoy listening to layered music such as that. There is a reason it has lasted for hundreds of years, I think!

Our backups are pretty painless. The hardest part is actually doing it! I just like the files to be in good order when I back them up. The more often I do it, the easier it is to do.

I hope you have a wonderful day too. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 2793 days

#5 posted 10-29-2011 12:02 AM

I have automatic nightly backup to an external drive. I doubt that I would remember to do it consistently. I bought my son an external backup drive for his laptop. All he had to do was plug it in and press the button on the front and it backed up all changed files. He rarely remembered to do it. You have to wonder why is something so simple so hard to do.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

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