Backup, backup, backup, backup, backup, backup, backup.
Everyone says to backup one's data reguarly, but how many people actually do? Besides, buying an extra hard drive, installing it, and setting up a system for regular backups- this can easily become a non-trivial task, especially for non-technically-minded folks. There are a few one-stop-shop solutions, that offer some kind of do-it-all box to cover your backup needs, but these do tend to be expensive. Apple's Time Capsule does try to bridge all these gaps, but no idea how it fares in the non-Mac world, though.
My friend Kevin pointed out a great solution called Mozy that provides network-based backups. Basically you create an account, download a piece of software (for Mac or Windows), choose what you'd like to backup, and then your files are uploaded (encrypted) to a backup server using the Power of the Internet. I just started using it and it seems pretty great so far. Network-based backups just make so much sense to me, and from Mozy's business-case perspective, I would think it makes sense for them too, when considering the relative cheapness of hard drive space and bandwidth for the operations involved.
The free version offers 2GB of backup space, which is just barely enough for me, but I manage to offload the space a little considering that I have my photos backed up on Picasa Web Albums already, and I'm electing not to backup my mp3 collection for time being. The pay version ($4.95/month) offers unlimited backup space. Also, if you use my referral link to signup, we each get an additional 256MB. Woohoo! Signup here!
As it turns out, I know a couple of the folks who work for the company that bought Mozy, so I'm hoping that they'll alert me before Mozy starts snooping around in my backup data, and make millions taking my avant-garde atonal jazz charts and converting them into Top-40 hits.
Mozy (with referral code)