Everyday Computing, Features, Technology

All About The Data

By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

WHAT makes a computer valuable to you? When shopping for a computer, the cost is usually determined by the speed, the screen size, the amount of memory, and other hardware details. In other words, the capabilities of the computer hardware. From the perspective of the manufacturer and the retailer, better capabilities mean a more valuable computer, and therefore a higher price. What about your own perspective? What gives your computer its value?

You might be surprised to learn that the most valuable aspect of your computer had nothing to do with its impressive capabilities. If you gave it some thought, you would realise that the data stored on your computer is the most valuable thing about the computer. It’s all about the data — the various documents which you have produced when using the computer. This means that a brand new computer that is chock-full of hardware goodness, is not as valuable as the older machine being used and which holds all of your data. Any old machine with your data is more valuable than another one without your data.

If any aspect of your computer hardware malfunctioned tomorrow, but you had a backup of your data available, then you would only be concerned about one problem: obtaining a new computer. After a trip to your favourite computer store to purchase a machine, you restore the backed-up data to the new computer and you are ready to resume working. Easy! You could similarly recover from a lost or stolen computer in exactly this way. Alternatively, if you did not have a backup, so all your data was stored on the damaged/lost computer, then you would have to deal with two problems: (1) obtaining a new computer to store the data; and (2) trying to recover your data. Anyone who has suffered a computer failure without having a backup tells the same sad tale of difficulty and distress. You do not want to fall into that category.

Fortunately it is easy to be protected from this nightmare scenario. A lost or damaged computer should not mean that you have lost your data too. If you make regular backups of your data then a hardware fault or the loss of a machine should not cause you undue distress beyond replacing the computer.

In earlier articles (“Is your data secure”, and “Backing Up”) we looked at the importance of backing up you computer, and the frequency with which these backups should be made. Let this article be a reminder to you about what makes a computer valuable, and how we safeguard that data.

When you look upon a computer system, try to understand that what makes it useful is separate to what makes it valuable. Furthermore, you should be making regular backups of your data and files to protect you from loss and hardware failure. Focus on the valuables, not the capabilities.

Please continue to share your valuable views on these articles. Contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The Voice.

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