Save Your Bacon - Or Cook Your Goose?

Save Your Bacon - Or Cook Your Goose?

A blog post by Jan Berinstein with those eye-catching words in the title grabbed my attention this morning.  So much so that it inspired me to shake off the blahs I’ve had during these dog days of summer and do a related post of my own.  But first, the original inspiration.

Ms. Berinstein, who is a software trainer and has authored several books on using Microsoft Word, writes at Legal IT Professionals and the full title of her post is New Temporary Backup Files in Office 2010 Can Save Your Bacon – or Cook Your Goose.  The post describes how each of the applications in the Micorsoft Office 2010 Suite automatically saves a temporary copy of every document, spreadsheet or presentation that is closed without saving, provided it has been captured by the AutoRestore feature, which, by default, is active each 10 minutes.  As the title to her post implies, this can be great news if you accidentally close a document without saving it, as the temp file can be accessed for up to four days.  It can also be trouble if you don’t know about it and didn’t intend for anyone else to be able to access and read the unsaved document.  Read her entire post for a better understanding of how temp files work in Office 2010, and the privacy and security implications.

The hole in the utility of this new feature, for me, is the fact that AutoRecover, by default, only kicks in every 10 minutes.  You can fail to save, or otherwise lose, lots of work during 10 minutes.  More work than you can often easily re-create.  This is why I recommend that all computer users go into their program settings and dial the auto save interval down from the default 10 minutes to 1 minute.  Computers process data so quickly now that you’ll never notice the difference, and you’ll greatly widen your safety net in the event of a crash or power outage.  In most programs look under Tools | Options, select the Save tab, and make sure that the option to Save AutoRecover info is checked and the interval is set to the lowest possible setting, usually 1 minute.