I thought I'd share my plan for backing up my computer and important data. This is really critical since I'll be traveling and collecting my first real data this summer.
Right after I started grad school I wrote a post with the same title. My backup plan has become more sophisticated since then. I still have my 1 GB flash drive.
My computer is a 320 GB aluminum MacBook. A few months ago I purchased a 320 GB iomega eGo external USB hard drive. This hard drive has stayed exclusively at school (less likely to burn down). I'll bring this hard drive with me so that I can continue to back up my computer competely while I'm in Ukenzagapia. I need serious backup capabilities because I'll be working with some memory-intensive data.
While in Ukenzagapia, I'll back up my computer each night and store the portable hard drive in a separate place from my computer. Ideally both of these places will be protected by lock and key. When I carry my computer with me to an internet cafe, I will not bring my external drive in case I am robbed.
Just in case a thief strikes and takes everything, I will frequently back up the very most important data on an 8 GB flash drive and carry it with me when I am away from my computer (e.g. when I'm in the field). I'll also bring my 1 GB flash drive for the same purpose.
Jon is coming to visit for a month in the middle. When he leaves, I may send back data all of the data collected so far in multiple formats (CDs, on his computer).
I also purchased a 500 GB desktop hard drive to keep at school since I'm bringing the other to Ukenzagapia. My entire computer will be backed up to this drive before I leave.
Jon purchased an identical hard drive that he will keep at home to back up his computer. I'll back up my computer to that drive as well before I leave.
This way, my data will be able to survive:
-a fire at my office
-a fire at my apartment
-theft or destruction of my computer
-theft or destruction of my portable hard drive
-theft or destruction of my flash drive
...as long as not all of them happen. I think it's a pretty good plan.