Tragedy Avoided – A Computer Story

Anyone who I’ve talked with enough about computers knows that I will pester you with the virtues of backing up your stuff.

Yesterday my computer started acting flakey. I would get some odd twitches, and then just blank screen crashes. This, as we say in the geek world, is not a good thing ™.

This morning, amidst reading, it went out again, a twitch and some screen babble first. I have seen this behavior before, and I know this isn’t good. If I am lucky we are talking just bad RAM, or a failing hard drive. If we are not, we are talking a new computer.

I’m still working on what’s wrong, but that isn’t the intent of this post. You see, when that screen came up, when the first fleeting thoughts of “I think it is really dead” came through my mind, there was something else as well, or should I say a lack of something. No panic.

I have two back up hard drives, one is Time Machine, which is Apple’s built in back up software, and the other is one where I manually dump things. My writing files and most of my LampLight / Apokrupha files live in Dropbox, meaning they are synced not just online, but on at least two other computers as well.

You see, my laptop isn’t just a computer, it is my most valued tool in these ventures I have, between writing and editing and publishing. A failed hard drive is more than an inconvenience, because without preparation, it is the loss of months and months of work on LampLight, on all of my writings, my photos.

If I had not been prepared, a hard drive failure, quite simply, could have been the end of LampLight, the loss of thousands of photos, and the loss of nearly twenty years of writing. And that, friends, is not a risk I am willing to take.

So, my writer friends, editor friends, even just normal ones… what is your back up plan? If your computer was stolen or fried this very second, what would you lose? What story or photo could you never get back?

Backup. Backup. Backup.

Remember, it is not Apple or Microsoft’s fault if you lose stuff. Not Google, dropbox, not Western Digital nor Matrox. It is not HP’s, it is not Dell’s, it is only and always yours. These are your files, your digital creations, keep them safe.

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