When I started a presentation for a brand new term of students a few days ago, I got a series of squiggly, vertical lines on my computer screen. The presentation I planned was shot, even after the techiest student in the room tried to help. We had class the old fashioned way with what are still two of the best upgrades to classroom technology – the dry erase marker and whiteboard.
During my appointment with the tech staff the next day, I asked the question they hear every day, “Will I lose my work?” They lost me at the words “logic board”, but they make no guarantees.
The class presentation was the furthest thing from my mind. No committee or IRB would be involved in any do-over there.
Would my dissertation be okay? My IRB letters? My notes from my Chair on the dozens of drafts? The work with my editor? The whole folder that says “Dr. Craddock?” (I am one for visualization. It will happen!)
I began to think of all the people who would have a copy in the cloud, and tried to understand the cloud. The tech staff took apart my computer, and I am writing from a loaner with my hard drive installed. It was kind of like changing out the SIM card when with a phone upgrade. But my dissertation is not on a phone.
Then I began to think how embarrassing it would be to notify someone that I am on chapter FOUR, and my work is not backed up properly.
My work has been backed up all this time due to an amazing service that I never paid for or noticed called Box.
When I looked into backup storage online for cloud access, I went to box.com. It remembered me, although I not it. I entered my email address, a reasonable guess at a password, and I was Ali Baba at the cave, “Open Sesame!” Success!
I don’t remember signing up or putting my work into the open sesame site aka box.com. But that is also the beauty of the service and site. They never bothered me, spammed me, or did anything weird to my computer. I never had to go to their site and upload anything. It is all just magically there, all the latest updates to my work.
The site is easy and you get 10 GBs or MBs, whichever is bigger. That is better than Dropbox, which is only 2 GBs or MBs and I have to log in and upload every time, at least when I use it. You may notice I am not getting my doctorate in human-computer interaction, but thank you to those who are! That kind of degree is open sesame on the world.