There was madness on the campus. Flood waters raged, a deep computerized voice commanded “Seek higher ground!” and women everywhere were frantically entering futile log-in information. The Great Agnes Scott College Email Wipe Out of 2009 had officially begun. Despite the valiant efforts of our IT heroes and heroines, much was lost in the onslaught of the mysterious corruption, which crept, like flooding, into all our saved essays, treasured notes from professors and friends, payroll calendars, and the endless “The Week at Agnes Scott!” emails. Alas, it was a hard time for all.

However, from the hard times, a bitter lesson was won, which this enterprising blogger feels must be brought to light. Get ready folks—The Importance of Backing Up Your Work. Besides the obvious flash drive, disk, and sundry other storage media, there are a few options you may not be aware of, which could stave off the effects of another disastrous Wipe Out. On all the computers in the library (including those in the Center for Writing and Speaking) exists a drive called “Thawspace.” While it is cleared every Tuesday night, it can be a perfect short-term solution to having left your flash drive in Hopkins, with nine pages of brilliance sitting on a library computer. You can save your document to Thawspace and retrieve it in the morning, flash drive in hand, and a smile on your face.

Another nifty feature, for all you Gmail lovers out there, you can import all of your Agnes Scott emails to your Gmail account where they will remain, nicely labeled, should you need them. No more deleting emails to free up storage space. Gmail is free and offers more storage than you can shake a stick at. Once you have an account there, just go to “Settings,”  “Accounts and Import” and “Add a POP3 email account.” It will change your life. You can even reply to ASC emails as if you were still on Outlook Web Access, so no one will know that you have beaten the system.

An additional benefit of having a Google Account is Google Documents. Google Documents allows you to upload your writing, presentations, and spreadsheets to a reliable, online host. You can access your files from any computer, and you can even make them accessible to other people. This option is invaluable for that dreaded group paper. Simply "share" the file with other people (it doesn't matter if they don't have Gmail), and they'll be able to view edit the file without the endless back-and-forth emails. Google Documents is also handy for dealing with different kinds of files. When someone sends a file to your Gmail account, it asks if you want to open it in Google Documents. Even if it's a .docx file, Google Documents will convert it so that you can read it instantly.

Whether you back up your emails and documents on Gmail, your personal computer, a flash drive, Thawspace, an external hard drive, or by inscribing them neatly into hundreds of spiral notebooks, please, learn from the Great Email Wipe Out. This is our chance to begin anew, literally. Take it.

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Molly Saunders is a sophomore at Agnes Scott College and an English Literature major and a Classics minor. She's a tutor at the Writing Center.
Caitlin White
9/29/2009

This is hilarious, Molly, thanks! :)

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9/29/2009

SERIOUSLY, GMAIL HAS CHANGED MY LIFE

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10/1/2009

informative AND funny? love it!

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