Tech Advice for Students going back to College

Now that I can hear the voices of excited Law Students in the hallways of the Fraser Building, I thought I’d take a moment to pass on a little bit of technology advice to help students avoid the most common laptop disasters:

  1. Install Automatic Backup software for your Laptop Computer!
    If you take no other advice from me, at least promise me that you’ll start to backup your laptop on a regular basis.  I recommend Mozy’s 2GB Free online backup service for all your school work at least.  The great thing about Mozy (besides being free for it’s basic service) is that Mozy automatically backs up your computer so you don’t have to think about it anymore.  If you combine this with an external hard drive backup system, you have implemented the gold standard in backup: The 3-2-1 Backup Rule.
    – 3 copies of all files (1 original, 1 on mozy, and 1 on the external hard drive)
    – 2 different backup formats (1 on the Internet at mozy and 1 on your local external hard drive)
    – 1 copy off site (this is important if there is a fire, or natural disaster that destroys both your laptop and external hard drive. This happened to a student in the Fall 2009 semester. Her laptop and external hard drive were destroyed in a basement suite fire).
  2. Install up to date Free Anti Virus and Anti Mal-ware software on your windows computer!
    a. This is a lot easier than in sounds.  First make sure that any other anti-virus software has been installed from your computer, and that you’ve rebooted after uninstalling it.
    b. Download Microsoft’s free anti-virus software from their website: Microsoft Security Essentials.
    c. Install Microsoft Security Essentials, and you’re done.  Wasn’t that easy?
  3. Use Google Docs for collaborative document creation and editing.
    If you need to participate in any group projects, then Google Docs will be your friend. It makes collaborative document creation and editing so much easier than emailing Word documents back and forth it is not even funny.

Enjoy the fall semester, and I hope your laptop, web browser and word processor server you well!

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