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Back it up

I've read a couple of articles about bringing your computer on the road or to sea that state, "make sure you backup you computer and leave a copy at home". That might work for a day trip, or maybe even a week, but it doesn't cut the mustard during extended travel. Don't rely solely on CD/DVD backups. This media degrades; we are at the phase of our journey now (four years) where some of our original backups are failing and can't be read anymore. We're not sure if it is the scratches that inevitably end up on the media overtime, exposure to the sea air, or the limited shelf life of the media itself. They have a new class of DVDs called archival DVDs that are supposed to last much longer than standard DVDs. If you do plan on using CD/DVDs for backup, re-copy the critical ones every so often (yearly) and make sure you invest in a good storage case. Keep the underside of the DVD against the soft side and NOT against the CD/DVD jacket insert. We have multiple friends who have lost their entire DVD and music collections due to scratches caused by constant movement.

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