Welcome. This is Terry Ewell and in this video I will be talking about file management. I notice that many students at Towson University do not have a systematic approach to saving their files and backing up their files. As a result some of my students have lost their homework due to some sort of problem with their computer. You want to be a student that doesn’t have this happen. I must tell you that I have been using computers for a good 30 years. In all of that time I have had a couple of hard drives crash on computers and a couple of external drives crash. However, I have lost minimal amount of information because I have always had the practice of backing up my files.

So the question is to you is, “Where do your files go?” Do you know where your computer files are and how you can back them up? For instance, many times when we download files, they will appear in a directory that is under (this is for PC computers) UsersàYourNameàDownloads. It will be in this area called “downloads.” Sometimes, however, it may be saved in “music,” or “pictures,” or “games,” “searches,” “videos,” or something like that. Therefore not all your information will be saved in the same location.

Same goes with a (MS) Word document. When you open a Word document, type an assignment, and then you save the file by clicking on the save button; where does that document go? Let’s save it and see if we can find out. You can see if I save my document in Word (I will call it test_M105) it is saved in TerryàDocuments. This is a place that is found under UsersàMyNameàDocuments.

Well, I suppose first it is the rebellion in me that doesn’t like to be told where my file will be saved. But also I find that to make backups, having my music files saved in one location and my Word files saved in one (other) location doesn’t make a lot of sense. I want to save all the files I have for one class in one location and for another class in one (other) location, and so on.

So the way that I would do this, the way that I have done this for all sorts of subjects, is thus: I go to my “C” directory, my main computer directory. I create (you can do this by right clicking on “C” you can get a dialogue box that gives NewàFolder. You can see that I have a new folder here. Let me rename this folder. Let’s call it MUSC105. Now I have a folder where I can put all of my information. It is a good practice in that folder to create subdirectories. For instance, Assignment  1: “Assign1.” “Assign2” etc. That was I have things nicely laid out here and I can update my assignments.

Now if I go back to my Word document here, FileàSave As. Go to ComputeràC:àMUSC105àAssign1. So I can save my assignment 1 there. Let’s say I also want to download this file, “flight of the Bumblebee,” for assignment 1. Right click, save link as, then once again look for my directory, MUSC105, Assignment 1, and then I can save it there. Now it is saved there in that same directory.

That is wonderful. If I go to look in that directory, go look at Assignment 1, there they are. There are the two files. They are all neatly packaged in the same place.

I want to emphasize this. If you have not saved a file in two locations, you have really not “saved” your file. It is not safe. Now, if you want to, you can use Google Docs, Carbonite, some sort of online back up service,--that is great. I personally don’t like those because I would rather keep my files private. I think that anything that goes up on the web is then eventually is going to be in the domain of some company or some person that I don’t have control over. So I use an external hard drive. I back up to that.

I can, for instance, in my C drive (you might have a thumb drive where you can do this) first find the precious file, MUSC105.” I can then find my external drive, which here is Passport F. I can then copy it over there.

OK, so now let me talk about the other thing. That is to save multiple copies as you are working on documents. OK, I have made one save of this, but what I do is each day when I open up the document -- let’s say it is now tomorrow—the first thing that I will do is I “save as,” find my location in assignment 1, and I will save my next edition of that. I will add underscore 2, “_2,”  for my next edition. That means that I haven’t overwritten the first edition. Now I can add more materials. If I make signification changes during my time on this, I may then save it as a new version. Save asàComputeràMUSC105àAssign1  then save it as version 3. Computer memory is very cheap. There is no reason why you shouldn’t save 10 or 15 editions as you continue to work through the documents. This ensures that if a later file is corrupted in some way that you have an earlier edition that is saved for you. Also you may find that you make some later changes that you don’t really like. For instance, in a musical composition –“I wish I had kept that earlier edition.” Well if you keep backing up with different numbers, you will have a systematic approach with those files. Because I use numbers in mine, I know that the highest number is the last one that I worked on. However, you may want to save with dates or something else. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you have a systematic approach to saving files, you have an idea of which file was the most current or most recent edition of your file.

Last of all, when I am editing documents I do this frequently: I save the files to the file (name) I have already created. I do this very quickly by pressing “control” (cntrl) and then “S.” Pressing these two together, first “control” and then “S” is a quick keyboard command to save your files. Of course you can go to FileàSave (or Save as) but that is a bit more clumsy.  I that command “control” “S” works very quickly. Every few minutes I will use “control” “S” to back up my files in case there is a sudden power outage or something like that.

So, anyhow, if you adopt these methods, you have files that are much more secure. Oh, by the way I actually back up files in three places. So I have an external hard drive with my computer . I (save files on those) daily as I work. At home in an entirely different location once a week I will back up all of the other materials. That way I know that if my computer or external hard drive were lost or stolen, at least I have the materials at home on an entirely different drive.

I encourage you to be safe with your materials. Your time is valuable. Just a systematic approach to gathering all your materials together in one location make it easy to back up, and then periodically (in another location) backing up those other materials. This will make sure your materials are secure. Thank you, bye.