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The First Rule of Using TiddlyWiki

19th September 2014 at 4:44pm

Horror Stories

Every so often, TiddlyWiki users report heart-rending tales of personal data loss on the discussion groups:

My entire TiddlyWiki has just been wiped out when Firefox crashed during saving a tiddly.

Last time I used it was last night at home on my Windows 7 desktop, hit the check mark to stop editing my last entry, it then saves via TiddlyFox and I eject my USB drive. I came to work this morning, plugged in my USB, enter my TW5 password and it doesn't want to open after several attempts. I browse to my TW5 html file and notice that my file size is no longer 3MB.. instead it is 80KB. This leads me to believe I lost everything.

Don't let it happen to you!

The first rule of using TiddlyWiki is:

Backup your data!

TiddlyWiki is a very flexible, customisable system that puts you firmly in charge of your own data. Every care is taken in TiddlyWiki's development to ensure that it is a safe place to preserve your most valuable data but the ultimate responsibility to reduce the risk of data loss falls to users.

The best way to make sure that your data is safe is to practise a rigorous system of backups:

  • Consider using services like Dropbox to continuously back up your personal data to the cloud. (Dropbox has a neat feature whereby they keep track of previous versions of files)
  • Retain backups before upgrading to a new version of TiddlyWiki
  • Figure out and protect yourself from the worst case scenarios: what if your USB stick or hard drive fails? What if your computer is hit by a ransomeware virus?
  • Be defensive and redundant: for example, take multiple backups and keep them in separate physical locations