3. KEEPING DRAWINGS ON "FLOPPY" DISKS
Most computers now come with very large hard drives. Your pattern drawings will be small in the number of bytes in comparison to many other types of graphics files from other software. It would probably be possible for you to store thousands of pattern files on your computer hard drive. Computer hard drives are vulnerable to all sorts of causes for damage. You do not want to take a chance of losing your patterns.
You have already set, under PREFERENCES, your AUTOMATIC SAVE function, which SAVEs your pattern drawing to your hard drive at regular intervals as you work. Additionally, you will want to make sure that you manually SAVE your pattern drawing every time you complete a major task in the pattern making process.
C.P.M. also automatically creates a BACK UP file each time you SAVE. This file has the same name as the primary .DWG file except that the tag is .BAK. This file contains the version of your drawing file as it was the previous time you SAVEd it. It will be saved in the same folder (directory) as your primary drawing file is saved in. You will find this feature to be a life saver on some occasions. If your primary drawing has gotten out of control (ie. You cannot Undo something that is totally wrong) then you can DELETE your primary drawing file and RENAME the .bak version of the file to .dwg. (See your Windows HELP files for how to Delete and Rename files.) This way you will only have to start over from the point you were at when you last saved your drawing.
It is very important for you to also store your patterns on a "floppy disk" or a ZIP disk that you can take away with you. The best practice to have a floppy disk inserted in your floppy drive while you work and also SAVE your pattern drawing to the floppy disk each time you complete a major task in the pattern making process.
NOTE: Good computer operation practices include backing up your system on a regular basis. Running computers is similar to sewing. Just as you always seem to run out of thread 3 inches from the end when you are in a hurry, the computer always seems to crash just when you are in a hurry or on a deadline. However, backup drives large enough to handle a large hard drive full of software and files are an added expense and are often not part of the equipment people on a tight budget have. Having the automatic habit of always keeping a backup copy of each pattern drawing is the safest practice. (Most hard drives are only expected to have a 3 year life span.)
Like the hard drive, computer floppy disks and ZIP drives are also vulnerable to damage and need to be carefully cared for.