I work mainly with MS-Windows computers. In the past, I have also used Macintosh, OS/2, Novell Netware and Unix/Linux. I use several Windows PCs simultaneously, which are networked through hubs in different rooms of my office: I use a Fritz.Box router for the primary Internet connection (DSL) and for VoIP phone calls.
I also have an ISDN router for the backup Internet connection through ISDN. I am considering upgrading my Fritz.Box to support a UMTS surf stick.
Data backups used to be done with an HP DAT tape streamer. I then progressed to DVD-RAM and I currently use several NAS hard disks located in different rooms.
So I have plenty of things to play with, update and repair when I need a break from translating and authoring.
I use most popular word processor and layout programs such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe FrameMaker for Windows, Adobe PageMaker 6.5, Quark Xpress etc. and thus you can normally get your text back with your original layout intact, including the graphics.
For developing online help I previously used Doc2Help from WexTech, which makes Winhelp files from Microsoft Word documents. Currently I use WebWorks from Quadralay, which makes Winhelp and HTML help (chm) files from FrameMaker documents. I use various tools for developing websites, for example Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe GoLive, DreamWeaver MX and NetObjects Fusion.
David Long, Hannover * Technical Translator, Author, IT Consultant * Home