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How To Back-Up Important Radio Files

While Radio can behave downright oddly at times (topic forthcoming one of these days) - even crashing occasionally - I have heard few reports of Radio ruining someone's weblog posts.

More commonly, we don't have a good understanding of those times when Radio, seeking to obey us, wipes out our data against our deeper wishes and hopes. This happens (for instance) during a complete reinstallation of Radio from scratch - quite distinct, by the way, from Radio's marvelous ability to update itself with new 'parts'.

While Radio is reasonably stable, it is always wise to make sure that we know how to make manual back-ups of our important weblog content. Murphy rules and something will always go wrong at the worst possible moment. More positively, I often encourage you to experiment with Radio and, especially, the Radio desktop application. The happiest way to experiment is when we know that we can recover our content if something goes south unexpectedly.

What You Don't Have To Backup:

You don't have to keep a complete copy of Radio itself. You are entitled to reinstall (including a fresh download if you want) Radio as often as you wish during your annual paid-up subscription period).

To Use Radio's Automatic Backup Option:

1. Go to Prefs from the Radio Command Menu.

2. Select Keep local backup from the Advanced section within the Prefs page (note: the screen capture below may change slightly over time as Userland adds additional preferences to the Radio platform):

      

3. The local backup preferences page is reasonably self-explanatory:

      

You must check the box to instruct Radio to store your files. Note that Userland proposes a storage location based on the folders within which Radio was first installed. You can change this if you wish but I would recommend that you accept the default choice. Why not?

Radio will make a backup copy of a file immediately after you upstream it. You can inspect the Rendering folder by mousing to it within Windows. Mine looked like this while I was writing this topic (use the file path shown in my Address field below to mouse to yours if you find yourself confused):

      

Note the following quirks and oddities which should affect your overall backup strategy ...

.... My 'stories' folder did not contain all of the stories that I have written for my weblog. I don't know why. Possibly, my numerous experiments with my configuration have broken something unexpectedly within my copy of Radio. Nonetheless, this is a useful warning to me ... and should be to you.

.... Not everything contained in my WWW Folder is also backed up automatically by Radio (see screen shot below taken at the time of writing):

      

This leads to the next point.

4. It is always wise to back up your WWW folder from time-to-time (if not daily) but certainly whenever you are about to engage in major Radio experimentation. To do that (Windows only):

4.1 Navigate to the folder on your machine where Radio is installed and select the WWW folder with your mouse. I show mine below. Yours may look slightly different.

      

4.2 Select Edit-Copy from the Edit menu at the top of your Radio Userland folder's menu bar.

      

This places the entire contents of the WWW folder onto the Windows clipboard.

4.3 Double-click on the Backups folder in your Radio Userland folder. We might as well paste our backup of the WWW folder there. Radio will not clobber or overwrite this folder if-or-when you reinstall Radio. I show the Backups folder here after I have opened it.

      

4.4 Select Edit-Paste from the Edit menu at the top of the Backups folder's menu bar.

      

This pastes the entire contents of the WWW folder into the Backups folder as shown below:

      

(Note: be sure you select 'Copy' and not 'Cut'. Otherwise, you will move your WWW folder into the Backups folder rather than make a copy of it. Radio will complain mightily about this at a later point. If you make this mistake, simply copy-paste the WWW folder from the Backups folder to its original location in the Radio Userland folder).

While We're At It ...

I also recommend backing up the WeblogData database within the Radio desktop application. This is the database which contains the actual content for your daily weblog posts - the ones you create on your local weblog home page.

(For some help on the distinctions between where weblog posts and stories are created and stored, let's talk terms).

To back up this database:

1. Select the Data Files folder within your Radio Userland folder (I show a partial view of the folder below with Data Files selected:

      

2. Select Edit-Copy from the Edit menu at the top of the Radio Userland folder (just as you did in 4.2 above).

3. Open the Backup folder again and select Edit-Paste at the top of the Backups folder's menu bar (as per 4.3 and 4.4 above).

4. Done. This will paste the contents of the WeblogData database into the Backups folder. Go look for yourself.

Micro-Tip For Naming Backup Files

You may want to rename the original filename (for instance, weblogData) to something like weblogData040502 (I use today's date here) so you can conveniently store a new file copy without over-writing an old one.

That said, keeping a single current copy of the files described above should be more than adequate. Let's not get overly anal about this.

The Bottom Line

Try to get into the habit of using both automatic and manual backup procedures for your important Radio files daily. Having said that, do I do this? (No). Will you believe me that you should do this? (No).

Okay, let's try again.

Get in the habit of using both automatic and manual backup procedures for your important Radio files weekly.

It's really up to you. How much of your precious content are you willing to risk? The risk is small (very small) but it can never be eliminated.

At a minimum, be sure to make complete backups before you do any serious experimentation with Radio databases or scripting and before you do a complete reinstall of the entire Radio software application.

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Copyright 2002 © Russ Lipton.
Last update: 4/9/02; 8:10:56 PM.
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