Well, it's finally snowing here in the middle part of Minnesota and I've shoveled three times. My wife is the avid shoveler in the family but since it's my day off I thought I'd pitch in.
The first pass I pushed it all out into the street since it was just a dusting. The second time I pushed it into the street as well. Now there's a build up that could become an iced over speed bump that I would surely get stuck on upon leaving the drive way. The third time I pushed it all into the 10 x 15 patch of grass we call our front lawn. What the heck does this have to do with the title is what you're thinking right now...good.
As I write, I am transferring images and making copies. Archiving, backing up, call it what you will. But it's a good rule of thumb to do this on a regular basis. You'd hate to have all of your Christmas pictures that you painstakingly moved from your digital camera to your laptop, only to have your laptop fail on you...after you've erased your card from the camera of course...EEK!
The general method is easy to remember, it's the 3-2-1 method. Have 3 copies (one original and two copies), on 2 forms of media (hard drive and a cd/dvd) storing 1 off site (at a friends, parents, work etc) This will be a great way to have "peace of mind" in knowing that if you do encounter a virus or you spill your coffee on your computer...don't ask...that you will have another resource to pull those images from.
I have been lax on this process and right now I'm transferring about 30,000 images around and reworking my archives. Hey, I had nothing else to do today but shovel! :)
If copying files and burning things to disc to move around is too much work, then look into an off site storage place "in the cloud". I'm really leaning heavily towards CRASHPLAN. It's a great way to put things on your computer and forget about them...they back everything up...I mean EVERYTHING, pictures, movies, files...EVERYTHING and all at a pretty reasonable price. If I lost all of this data and brought the drives somewhere to get it recovered...schwew! Mucho bucks!!!
So far it's only taken about six hours to scratch the surface of rearranging my files. Do yourself a favor and start backing things up today, you can thank me later ;)