I’m sitting in front of a time bomb. No, not a real bomb, but I can practically hear it ticking away.
I’m talking about my computer. It’s not that old, but almost from the day I purchased it, that imaginary bomb has been ticking away. I first realized there might be a problem when the computer was set up in South Haven. All at once, for no discernible reason at all, colored lines would appear on my screen, sometime in horizontal bands, other times in vertical bands. The only way to get rid of them was to physically turn off the computer, either by holding the on/off button down or pulling the plug.
While in Florida last winter I bought a new, touch-screen computer (no need for a tower) and decided to take it to South Haven when we returned. We did, and in turn, we brought the computer I had in South Haven down to Florida this winter…which was probably a mistake.
Most of the time this is a wonderful computer. Lots of memory, fast, and the monitor is easy to read. Most of the time it works great. But every so often, it goes crazy, and last night was one of those times.
Which brings me to the topic of this blog.
Ever since I started using computers I’ve backed up my files. I’ve told others to do the same. “One of these days your hard drive is going to die,” I’d say. “Make sure it doesn’t take your manuscript with it.”
And I do back up as I type. Whenever I pause, I automatically hit Control S (I started with DOS, so I still use those key strokes), and I also have Word programmed to do automatic saves. But that really isn’t enough.
Sitting in front of me are three flash (Thumb) drives. I actually have four. When I reach the end of a day’s work, I save to a flash drive as well as a hard drive, and I try to rotate those flash drives. Often I have one in the purse I carry. Another one goes with me in the car. I even have an external hard drive that I take back and forth between Michigan and Florida. Am I overly obsessive about this? Maybe, but I remember a Mid-Michigan Retreat I attended several years ago when one of our members returned home after the retreat to discover her house had burned down and she lost everything, her computer and the files it held, discs, hardcopies, books, etc. Everything.
I’ve also heard too many news reports where robbers have broken into a house and stolen the computer.
So I have a flash drive in my purse, a flash drive in my car, and one in the computer, ready to use. Except, last night I wasn’t quite finished for the day, and it was when I returned to my computer, prepared to look up something and then save my day’s work, that nothing worked.
One hour and several SYSTEM RESTOREs later, my computer did come back to life and the first thing I did was make back-ups of everything I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose, cause who knows when this computer is going to do it to me.