You can’t get a cloud in your hand

With iCloud appearing on the horizon, I was reminded yesterday of just how vulnerable you become when you trust all your data to a third party to store for you online. I made a simple change to my Blogger template and pressed Save. Some bug in Google’s software then rendered my blog as a complete dog’s dinner of code. My instinct was to revert to the previous version and put this down to experience. Surely, there must be a copy of my template somewhere. After all, I’d been using it for six years. I had links to all my favourite blogs, assorted badges, and code snippets to Google Analytics, Technorati and all sorts of other stuff. Stuff that would take ages to re-assemble. I decided not to both. Vanilla will have to do.

I had a similar experience a few weeks back. An automated upgrade to M/S Office on my Mac for some reason deleted all my contacts. Unfortunately, my contacts, along with my calendar, are synched to my laptop, my iPhone and my iPad using MobileMe, which means all four copies would soon be emptied. I just managed to make a backup on my laptop before that moment came and restored my Mac. Now losing your contact list is more serious than losing your blog template, so I resolved to make regular backups offline.
Some time ago, I realised my vulnerability to third party online storage and copied my whole blog archive to my trusty Evernote. No problem there. Except, of course, that my Evernote database is … er … online.

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