Crikey, Calvin, what were you thinking?

There are lots of fiddly little rules surrounding backup and disaster recovery, but some of them are, to be frank, blindingly obvious. At the top of my personal list would be this one: don't check your notebook PC as hold luggage when you get on a plane.

There are lots of fiddly little rules surrounding backup and disaster recovery, but some of them are, to be frank, blindingly obvious. At the top of my personal list would be this one: don't check your notebook PC as hold luggage when you get on a plane.

Scottish pop star Calvin Harris clearly doesn't share my way of thinking. Harris, who scored big hits with Acceptable In The 80s and The Girls last year and who has written songs for Kylie Minogue (the pop equivalent of elevation to the aristocracy), was one of the many victims of British Airway's recent disastrous move to Terminal 5 at London Heathrow.

A combination of software faults and human error saw more than 28,000 items of luggage misplaced.

The BBC reports that amongst the lost baggage is a notebook PC which apparently contains the only copy of new material Harris has been working on.

"This is not good news for me," he wrote on his site in what might be the biggest case of understatement since Steve Ballmer admitted that Windows Vista had not in fact generated consumer excitement.

It should be said that putting a notebook PC into hold luggage was not acceptable in the 80s, or indeed in any decade. Quite apart from the risk of your airline losing the blighter, there's no guarantee that the endless trips along conveyer belts won't turn the entire hard drive into digital guacamole.

Just check out the luggage choices of insiders like pilots and flight attendants: serious reinforcement is the name of the game.

Harris' rather good debut album is called I Created Disco. Evidently, creating a backup was a somewhat lower priority. Music files can chew up some serious space, but a pocketful of 4GB USB sticks would have saved some serious heartache. What can we learn from this?

Simple: fear the worst, don't ever let your notebook out of your sight, carry a backup on your person, and don't emulate Scottish DJs in the datacentre. Even Minogue-driven royalties can't be much compensation for losing all that work.