Working On Your Files

Save Everything

Perhaps the most important precaution to take while working on anything is to SAVE. You must save anything and everything that you work on both early and often. The more you save, the less you have to rewrite or redo if your computer suddenly fails.
Some general things to remember:
  • Make sure to save your file somewhere you'll remember. It does you no good to save your file to some obscure folder that you've never seen before. Take the extra time to find and save your file in an appropriate folder that you will be able to find later.
  • Don't save files in the temp folder. The temp folder is meant for temporary files only. A temp-file is a file automatically created by a program, often during the program's installation. They are meant to be temporary (i.e. eventually deleted). Saving anything in this folder is a bad idea because, should you empty the temp folder (as you should on a fairly regular basis), you would subsequently delete your file. Also, see the above bullet point.
  • Files are not permanently saved to the lab computers. This includes all computers in the Library, Science building, Maxey, Olin, and all other labs on campus. If you save a file to a folder that you would use normally (Documents, Pictures, etc.), it will be deleted when you log off.
    • Note: Files saved to ThawSpace remain accessible on the computer, even if a user logs off. However, any file saved in ThawSpace is accessible to all users on the computer, removing any shred of security. Anyone may access, edit, or remove these files.

Backup Your Files

When working on anything, it is always a good idea to create a backup. It is very easy to somehow delete or otherwise lose a file that you are working on. If you've created a backup, you won't lose the file should you accidentally delete it. There are several different ways that you can backup your files:

  • Saving files on netFiles is always a good idea which comes with the added benefit of being able to download and work on your file anywhere with an active internet connection. This and other similar services are described under Moving Your Files.
  • Using an external hard drive, USB device, or another storage device kept outside of your actual computer is recommended as well. See our page on backing up your files for more information.

Passwords and Encryption

To further protect your documents while you are working on them, you may wish to require a password to access them. If your file is particularly important or confidential may also choose to encrypt it. These measures ensure that no one other than yourself may read or make changes to the file. For more information, see our pages on Passwords and Encryption.