Sunday, January 6, 2008

Losing Sleep over My Broken Computer

We are too dependent on our computers.

I'm awake this very minute because I'm filled with anxiety over possibly losing all 20,000 of my photos. Oh yeah, I've also got anxiety over possibly losing the chapters I've done on a book....just telling you about it makes me go AARRGGHH.

In the middle of working, after about six hours of tedious research and writing, (I did hit "save" every few minutes), my desktop computer died. Just stopped. It gave a heavy "click," and the monitor went black and my cpu went off. Now, occassionally this happens, and I just
hold down the power button on my computer ten seconds, and voila, it starts up and my dear Microsoft Word auto-recover gets me going again. But this time...nothing.

I'm thinking, well, at least I have everything saved on my external hard drive! Smart me! And I got out an auxiliary laptop and yes, there was my stuff on the external hard drive, was from its regularly scheduled backup three days
before--everything I'd done that day was not there.

OK, don't panic, I tell myself. The hard drive is probably not the problem. It's probably the fan. These mechanical parts go, and so, I'll just get a new fan. I seldom vacuum inside my cpu, and it probably up-and-died of eating too much dust.

The next day I spent the usual wasted hours trying to find somebody to come out and bring a new fan and repair my computer. I found a repair place that could send someone the following day. This was last Thursday.

He came (late, okay, but he did come) and said no, it was not the fan but the power source and he'd have to take my computer back to the shop. The next day he said he could send the chapter I was working on by email...great! It was Friday afternoon; I was cooking all day and didn't have time to check my computer, given that Shabbat came in at 4:10.

After Shabbat, I eagerly went to the laptop I was using as a substitute computer...and, no, there was no emailed chapter. And...what's THIS??? My external hard drive had autosaved the unimportant and minor contents of this laptop--and ERASED everything it had saved from my main computer!

I sometimes use the term, "aarrgghh." This time everyone in my house heard it.

And the computer place is closed today, Sunday, and I cannot sleep. Twenty thousand photos represents my life since December, 2003. Losing the work I've done on the book chapters is arrggghh-worthy beyond belief.

I have a dear teacher who recently lost everything on his computer, too--including books he'd written ready to send to his publisher, needed for his family's sustenance. A friend of his was going to investigate why it was slow on the internet, but the computer fell off the friend's motorcycle on his way home, and was immediately squashed by an oncoming truck. THAT is even worse than my situation.

I know that anyone reading this has also suffered with computer losses. Maybe you have lost sleep over it, too. What to do? External hard drive (don't leave it plugged into a substitute computer) and uploading to internet servers (I know, they charge $50-100/year) and backing up on CDs and sending important files to others as email attachments. But do we actually do all of that? For personal stuff like photos and email that you use all the time?

Anybody remember organizers and typewriters? Oh yeah, I do...guess THAT'S why we still depend on our computers. Our lives are so much easier and more efficient and even more connected because of them. And because there's so much more we create and share, there's also a lot more to lose.

1 comment:

  1. AH!! I feel your pain, madame!

    I had a panic just reading this, wondering if in fact the information on my three old hard drives are actually still on them. All those old pictures...!! :( But your last line is a nice reminder - while yes, there is so much to lose, it is also so much easier today to record and compile yet more memories.

    And of course, best of all, we still have whatever is in our minds. :)