Just a few days back, I was talking to a friend of mine who is an avid user of the iPhone. He was lamenting about the fact that he had lost a bunch of his data as he had been locked out of his phone. His 18 month old daughter had entered 10 wrong passwords while playing with the phone, requiring him to restore his image from an old back up he had.
This raised an interesting point for me, for a while I had been displeased by the a1b2c3 screen, having entered the wrong pin # on my WM phone (the feature gets activated after 2 wrong entries) but the incident with my friend made me realize that this feature was child proofing the phone against an unwanted wipe/lockout. I wonder why iPhone didn't implement this feature - it probably doesn't satisfy their user experience mantra. The lock out issue leads us to the importance of backing up ones data on a regular basis.
As we are talking about backups, I wanted to bring up the topic of storage solutions in the cloud. This is an easy and cheap mechanism to make sure your data remains available to you in case your hard drive dies. The Windows Azure blob storage allows for terabytes of data to be stored and replicated automatically in the cloud - thus keeping your data highly available and redundant while taking account of disaser recovery scenarios. For more details on Windows Azure blob storage - check out http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=153400
One backup service that I really like is MozyHome, check out http://mozy.com/home. Would love to know what you are using for your data backup needs. Please leave a comment.