Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm back! And I have a cautionary tale to tell...

You may have noticed, I have not been on line for close to two weeks. My computer's hard drive suffered a catastrophic failure. I will spare the sordid details. What I will say is that I was a mess. I felt like half my brain had been removed. I use my computer as a tool, heavily, in a great many aspects of my life. More to the point, I store an awful lot of information, which is quite meaningful to me, solely on my computer!

Computers and the information they store for us are quite vulnerable and therefore should always, always, always, be backed up in some way. Of course, despite this knowledge, I have not backed up a computer in years. Worse, this is not the first time I have had a computer fail. The last time, however, it was the logic board that was fried, the hard drive was fine and consequently all my precious information was retrieved. I was not so lucky this time. This time it was the hard drive that was now toast.

There is much drama to this tale. The short version is this: ten days of coming to terms with the loss of contacts, the loss of conveniences, of photos, of stories and other personal writings, of financial information and business records and mega bite after mega bite of personal records, much that would be difficult to impossible to reconstruct, all gone... But Macs are wonderful machines and they are supported by even more wonderful layers of customer service. Despite all my sins, which in this case were many, including never activating my extended warranty when I purchased it and the only receipt for the warranty and the computer being in electronic form contained in the now nonfunctional hard drive, despite all this, and having never backed up my computer, this story does have a happy ending.

Apple helped me track down the reseller from which I purchased the warranty, I was able to get a copy of the purchase receipt for the extended warranty and the computer and therefore Apple activated the warranty retroactively and replaced my hard drive and my worn out key board at no cost. And, most momentously, due to the sheer persistence and tenacity of a Mac Genius named David at our local apple store, all my precious information was finally coaxed off the wrecked hard drive before it spun no more...

Back up your computers - now!