Please Back-up

Allow me for a moment to speak to a very select audience (except, really, you'll see that I'm speaking to all of you -- I'm being sneaky). I'm a computer support professional and I have a lot of friends, and to some of those friends I'm their computer support friend.

ring, ring
Me: Hey [redacted] - haven't heard from you in a while. What's up?
[redacted]: Well, I'm having this computer problem, and I think I'm screwed ...

If you're one of those folks - awesome. I'm happy to help. But let's work together to make sure that the next time you call me, it's without a audible note of panic in your voice: please, back-up your important computer files.

If you're a writer, pick up one of those USB key drives. You can get a 512 MB one for, like $30, and you can fit hundreds of Word docs on it -- make it part of your "whee, I finished a draft" ritual to put a copy on the little drive. If you're a graphic artist, CD-Rs are seriously $0.20 a piece -- go crazy! I'd even be happy to help you work out a back-up strategy that works for you and your budget. So then you can sound like this when you call me:

[redacted] (cheerfully): Hey Fuzzy, I know we haven't spoken in 6 months, but my computer seems to be a pile of smoking plastic, and I'd like to talk to you about how to set up a shiny new computer and restore all of my carefully backed-up files onto it. Whee!

Please? Thanks.