To USB or not to be

Did you even notice this somewhat clever (or maybe not) play on words?

(Sigh) I suppose I should explain.

William Shakespeare wrote ‘To Be Or Not To Be,’ correct?

I wrote ‘USB Or Not To Be.’

However, unlike Shakespeare, I can’t remember the rest of the speech in the play, which is of course ‘Hamlet.’

The reason for this is, Shakespeare wrote the play.

But I didn’t.

Let’s be serious.

This article explains how  to avoid the problem some authors who are writing a novel have because they didn’t save their work in a reliable storage system after they have finished editing it, and it includes a photo. of the storage system that I use.

Firstly, never, ever, trust a computer to save your work, in other words never save it to your computer’s internal hard disk drive.

The reason for this is, if the computer’s operating system fails, it will be nearly impossible to retrieve your work.

I state nearly impossible and not completely impossible because software is available that might be able to retrieve it.

But why risk it?

You could save your work to what is often called the cloud, a website that can store your documents for you.

Alternatively, you could save it to an external hard disk drive, which you connect to your computer.

This way, if the computer’s operating system fails, you can access your work from this drive, because it is independent of the operating system.

Even so, external disk drives sometimes fail, and then what do you do?

This leaves USB drives, which sometimes called USB sticks, flash drives, or pen drives.

I recently realised that I have been using the same USB drives to save my work for the past three, or four, maybe five years.

I’ve written and re-written thousands of words to them in this period and they’ve never failed me yet.

As I recall (there’s no company logo on them,) they aren’t even a reputable leading brand, they’re just unbranded.

So why don’t I keep using them?

It’s simple.

Fear, verging on paranoia.

I fear that they might not work for much longer.

I bought these USB sticks from a well-known online retailer today, so they’re brand new.

They’re kind of branded, but it isn’t a well-known brand, so they aren’t top branded, if you follow me.

I like to save my work to at least three USB drives, so I bought a pack of five, as it was cheaper than way.

I also use a USB hub, and put my USB sticks in this hub.

It’s easy to lose USBs, at least it is on my desk, which resembles a major accident, so I looped a  cable tie through them, to keep them together.

To save my work to each USB, I’ll probably name each USB using its colour; for example USB yellow, USB black, etc.

Please note, you can only use the cable tie system of keeping them together if you buy the kind of USB drives that have a kind of ring at the end.

One thing occurs to me.

If they don’t work I can use them as a necklace.

Maybe discover long-lost tribes and amaze them with my necklace made from USB drives.

Years later explorers will discover a strange tribe that worships USB drives.

That might or might not work.

Author: Paul Gresham