[caption id="attachment_302" align="alignleft" width="287" caption="Artist Ann Rea"][/caption] I’m typing on my iMac after a huge data fire. I’m still sifting through the charred remains of my intellectual property. The digital images that I reproduce of my paintings are responsible for well over half of my annual income. When I bought my shiny new iMac last year I thought that I was smart because I bought the computer system that they recommended to me at the Apple store. I bought an external hard drive to store my huge image files and that hard drive contained another drive that would mirror my data, two backups. But one morning I was getting ready to print one of my images and my hard drive was not in my finder window. What?! Here’s what happened. Despite what they sold me, they did NOT configure the external hard drive correctly. I only had one drive and it was fried. After a whole lot of valuable time, I’m still discovering what creative assets have been lost, and maybe forever. Fortunately, most of the unformatted images were backed up on CD but each one has to be painstakingly reformatted to print. And that’s time that I could be spending painting or selling. To the credit of the Apple Store on Chestnut they tried their best to make it right. One of their Geniuses even walked me through setting my system back up after he had clocked out. What now? I do have an external hard drive, with two drives, configured properly. And in case a tsunami comes roaring through my window off of the Pacific Ocean, I’ll be backing up to Mozy, an online data storage site. For $4.95 per month, I have unlimited storage, which I’ll need for my huge .tiff files. Learn from my pain. Take the simple steps necessary to safe guard your files.