BACKUP YOUR COMPUTER FILES!

Many good backup methods exist! Pick one and get it implemented.

A backup is a COPY of your data on ANOTHER volume*. Making a copy or duplicate of a file on the same volume is NOT a backup. Doing that simply ensures that you have a copy in case one file gets damaged. It does NOT help if the whole volume gets corrupted.

Apple’s built-in Time Machine backup software works very well for the average user. It is simple, straightforward and in case you need to restore your ENTIRE system, down to the same desktop picture and Dock lineup, its like eating ice cream rather than breaking rocks! Also, Time Machine helps you easily recover files that have been corrupted, lost or mistakenly trashed.


* A volume is a data recording device, such as hard drive, flash drive, CD or DVD

BATTERY BACKUPS (UPS) AND SURGE PROTECTORS

You have spent a good bit of money on your computer. Whether at home or office, your Mac is a big-ticket item. It has or will become an important part of your life. Your investment should be well protected in its most basic use...connecting to power.

Most people are aware of and have been well-informed about “surge protectors”….the devices used to protect against surges in the electrical current to your Mac. Most surge protectors are built into multi-plug strips. These are good, at a minimum. But your expensive Mac should also be protected from the vagaries of AC power and our over-taxed power grid. What I'm talking about is an "uninterrupted power supply" (UPS) or a battery backup. Surge protectors are only that. They do NOT protect against the other more dangerous and often more frequent occurrences—power outages and/or momentary voltage drops, or "brown-outs".

You understand easily what happens when the electricity to your home or office goes out....everything goes off—suddenly! But there are also voltage fluctuations that occur from time to time. Have you ever seen the lights dim when a power-hungry appliance kicks on? We all have. This is a VOLTAGE DROP and it can be as bad for your Mac as a power outage. A voltage drop can shut your Mac off as “hard” as a power outage. Any time your Mac shuts down “hard”, it is not good. If your Mac turns off “hard”, it can damage files on your hard drive—your data and your Operating System. Anything that was in memory at the time of the shutdown is at risk.
With a UPS in place—set up between the AC outlet and your Mac—then your expensive equipment and your important data is protected. The UPS will protect against power outages (giving you time to shutdown normally) and against the more sinister
brown-out.
Depending on your OS, software can monitor the UPS if the power goes off and shut down your Mac for you when you are away. Most all UPS units have built-in surge protection, as well. Many have protection for an Ethernet cable. APC is an established company making UPS units in various sizes and power capacities. They have a very useful and informative website at
www.apc.com.
Most all electronic stores in the Valley will have UPS units by various manufacturers.
You will want to choose a UPS unit that will give you
at least 10 minutes runtime on your Mac if the power goes out. Also, consider all that you might plug into it. In addition to protecting your Mac, UPS units are good to have in place for your network. Modems, routers, and network switches are usually as essential to your computer-life as your Mac. All can have configuration issues if the power goes off, then on again suddenly.

You spent a good chunk of money on your computer equipment. One more small investment can protect it all. A UPS unit can definitely help ensure its “health” and longevity.

** Laptops do not have this same need due to their built-in batteries.

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