Save early, save often
There's an old saying in the IT world that there are two types of people — those who have lost data, and those who will.  The hard drive on our main computer at home died a sudden and untimely death yesterday.  Every photo, document, movie, download and song suddenly gone.  No amount of rescue work would retrieve it and the disk is reporting a nice fat hardware error.  Luckily we have unattended backups the newest of which is from only a few hours before the hardware failure.

Let me take this moment to remind you, all of you, that if you have anything of value saved on your computer that you need to be backing up regularly.  Whether you're on Mac or Windows, hardware failures can and do happen — almost always unexpectedly and without warning.  If you're using a Mac then backing up your data is as easy as plugging in an external USB drive.  The OS prompts you to use it for backups, and the rest is automatic and painless.  If you are on Windows I honestly don't know the procedure, but it's worth your while to figure it out and do it.  For about $100 for a massive external drive, this is the best insurance you can buy.  Much better use of your money than any extended warranty ever will be, because that won't save your data.

So, when you call me to say your computer died and you need help getting your files back, my first question will always be: "Do you have a recent backup?".  No sympathy if you don't......