Catastrophic Failure

Like many of you, I have become very reliant on technology in my everyday life.  Technology helps me to pay my bills, talk to friends and family, earn a living.  As I said, I’m very reliant on it.  It would be safe to say that my life often depends on it.

And as sad as it may be, no device seems to have a more important role in my daily life than my laptop.  It is my link to the world, conveyor of information, entertainment and instrument of creativity.

Now, for those of you who just shook your heads and muttered “Geek”, remember the saying “those in glass houses shouldn’t throw the first stone”.  For the rest of you, thanks for your understanding.

Anyway, you can well imagine the sense of loss and utter betrayal I felt when my laptop stopped working.  And not just stopped, but unexpectedly stopped.

In hindsight, I should have recognized the signs:  peripherals not working that worked only the day before, sluggish behavior.  A general malaise, you might say.  Those of you who know that I come from the world of supporting these rotten devices might even say that I should have seen it coming and been ready.

I should have, but I didn’t and I wasn’t, thank you very much!

And for you readers smirking right now saying that “this would never have happened to a MAC”… your time will come…

(points to the back of the room) That’s right Aaron, I’m talking to you! 

The good news is, all of my writing is backed up… and stored on a separate USB flash drive… and burned to DVD… and printed on hard-copy.  The bad news is, I’ve lost my email.

“No biggie!” you might say.  “Email is like a virus,” you might add.

You would be right… and you would be wrong…

You would be right in that I can always get more email.  You would be wrong in that I’ve now lost all my email addresses… again.  That’s what really hurts.  Still, I haven’t lost my writing.  THAT would really be terrible.  I could almost see myself packing up my toys and calling it quits.


This particular tragedy has actually had my family questioning the wisdom of letting me support our other computer.  “Why?” you ask.  “These things happen.”

Again you would be right… and wrong at the same time.  See, the week before, my work laptop did a very similar and much worse thing.  It died and I didn’t have a current backup of my information or my email.  Yup, seven years of email history… GONE!

That particular loss may be reversed, but two incidents in such a short period of time is making me wonder who, or what I’ve insulted.  I used to joke that the computer gods are angry… but now I wonder which one (tongue firmly planted in cheek, btw).

I AM starting to think that maybe I should adjust my reliance on technology to nothing more complex than a shovel.  The only problem is, it’s really tough to write with a shovel, so maybe I should give it another try.  I will have 4 – 6 weeks to think about it while I’m waiting for my trusted soldier to come home.  Yup 4 – 6 weeks to fix my laptop.

It hurts right here (points at chest) everytime I think about it.

Still, the lesson is very clear to me… backup, backup, backup and backup.  And when in doubt backup some more.  I’ve come very close to losing all my writing before and the backups have always saved me.  And the cost is pretty darn cheap; how much is a CD or DVD burner, after all?  Or an external hard drive.  Or a USB Flash drive.  Or all of the above.  In this case, paranoia is a GOOD thing.

And there is no such thing as too many backups.

Now I just need to convince my wife to trust me with the TV remote again…


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