Total Legal Accounting 3
SECTION 0000 - BACK-UP PROCEDURES
No computer is perfect! Anything can happen! Power can be cut from your office; someone can trip over a cord; the computer may break down.
Apart from becoming familiar with the functions of T.L.A., the next most important daily exercise you MUST perform is BACK-UP to create a security copy of your valuable data.
We cannot stress too strongly how important data backup is for the successful running of your computer system.
Your dealer can always provide copies of the T.L.A. programs should your computer be stolen or become faulty, but if your data files are lost, destroyed or stolen, then you will have to re-enter every Client, Creditor, etc. with all their balances. This could take weeks, where as backing up, takes just a few minutes per day.
Proper procedures for copying data on a daily basis from your computer to floppy disk or tape should be shown to you by your dealer. If you have not yet been shown how, contact your dealer and find out!
It is recommended that you keep five generations of daily back-ups labelled for each day of the week. Eg. set 1 = Monday, set 2† = Tuesday, etc. If your files take more than one disk to back-up, each generation should contain as many disks as needed for a complete backup. The cost of disks or tapes is insignificant by comparison to the value of your data. It is important to avoid backing up onto the same set of disks twice in a row so that you keep a history of you data over successive back-ups. It is also recommend that you keep an end-of-period back-up (taken before you run END-OF-YEAR PROCESSING) so that you can replace any lost reports. Preferably, keep these end-of-period back-ups off the premises, eg. at someone's home.
All floppy disks and tapes should be handled carefully, kept away from stray magnetic fields, sunlight, pressure, dust, liquids, caustic substances and heat. Remember that phones, screwdrivers, even paper clips can become magnetised and can damage your disks. If possible, disks should be stored in a fire/smoke proof safe. Never touch the exposed areas of any floppy disk. Always hold a disk by its jacket, preferably by the corners rather than the edges. Remember: there is enough oil, acid and dust on the cleanest of fingers to render a disk unreadable if the disk itself is touched. Although CDís are not affected by magnetic fields, they are affected by direct sunlight. Also rough handling can damage them easily.
Normally, certain back-up routines are supplied with your program disks. You may choose to use these, or your dealer may supply you with others. In either case, all files ending in .DAT and .IDX must be backed up regularly. These are your data files and no one can replace them for you. Generally, these are in a directory called TLA3DATA or sub-directories under this one.
Your computer may have facilities for Tape Back-up (eg Connor) or External Disk Drives, (eg. CD, Zip and Jaz drives). These hardware options are preferred for large files, as backing up to many floppy disks, each day, can become tedious and therefore prone to operator errors. The same back-up schedule is recommended for tapes as was described above for floppy disks. Each tape-drive manufacturer supplies special programs that work specifically on their equipment. It is necessary to refer to your dealer for details for your tape drive operation.