Off site can mean a lot of things. It can be something as simple as a few cd's or a removeable h.d. stored in a fireproof safe in the coach, in the toad, or on a server in cyberspace. The key ingredient here is to make a duplicate of your important data/programs on something other than your system h.d. and get it away from the main computer. Ned's use of a removeable h.d. and good backup software (Acronis True Image) is ideal for him because it makes it easy to follow a strict regimen, but the same can be accomplished with the other methods - as long as you remember to do it religiously.
In days of old when folks were bold and the Internet just invented (A favorite form for a first line for me, sometimes I can even get 2 lines)
My mother worked as the head of accounting for a 2-million dollar a year automotive supplier.
her computer had 3 levels of backup.. Every day she backed up important files, which went in her desk drawer on floppies
Every week she did a full backup which went in the fireproof safe in the office
Every month she did a full backup which went in the locked data cabnet in the hallway in her house some 30 miles away
The theory was:
Random failure may get the "Live" but likely won't damage the desk drawer, same for lightning strikes and power surges
Theives may take the computer and desk drawer but likely won't blow the vault, same for fire
Nothing short of a thermo nucular blast will get the computer and all it's backups including the one 30 miles distance and if that happens... She would not care much about restoring the data (Just how much of a friend St. Peter was)
That was an interesting computer. I never saw it, Never touched it, Never saw one of it's make and model (though I had seen a few of the same make in stores) and still, when it broke I properly diagnosed it and though I did not personally repair it I was able to give my mother specific instructions for the service tech... Turns out I was 100% right too.
I just remembered a feature my mother had told me about.... She had forgotten it and did not even know the computer was broke, But I remembered the feature, was able to remind her of it and tell her what part needed replacement (Hibranation/backup battery, the computer was designed like a laptop [even though it was a desk top] in that if it lost power from the mains it was supposed to switch to a battery and write everything to a hibranation file, like a laptop low on battery does. Then when power is restored pick up where it left off... The $60.00 battery was dead)