Protect Yourself!

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I made a drastically stupid mistake the other day. In case you didn’t notice, I haven’t posted in a week, and it’s because I just finished a class and had to write a research paper. This wouldn’t be too bad if it weren’t for the fact that we have to find sources that back up our research and make absolutely sure that they’re reliable, so that eliminates most information on my beloved interwebs and limits our research to the school online library, which is great but difficult to find anything in.

researchI had pulled an all-nighter on Sunday night, worked most of the day Monday, and was finally writing the conclusion to my paper on wealth distribution around 1:30 Tuesday morning. I was already 1 1/2 hours overdue, but at least I wasn’t going to get a late penalty (more than likely), and I was excited that all the research was done, as the writing part comes fairly easily to me.

Then, the worst thing EVER happened.

My faithful HP laptop suddenly decided that it had been working too hard for 30 hours straight and it just shut down. IT SHUT DOWN. While I was in the middle of writing the conclusion to a research paper.

telegraphI  was suddenly staring at a black screen, my hands frozen over the keyboard they had more recently been pounding away on. (My husband says my typing sounds like I’m sending Morse code over a telegraph.) Hubby noticed the lack of typing and looked up. He knew by the look on my face that something was drastically wrong. I couldn’t even speak…but I let out a small groan.

Then I remembered that I had set the auto-save feature to run every 10 minutes in MS Word…and I had a glimmer of hope – I hadn’t done that much typing in the last 10 minutes of my work, so everything else would still be there!

I rebooted my laptop, waiting long enough for all the processes to finish loading, then re-opened my paper. It was as if I had typed NOTHING for the last 30 hours. Nothing.

Let my suffering be a lesson for you – don’t rely on auto-save or software features to save for you. Save often. OFTEN. As in whenever you do anything that takes any time.

As a former IT person, this is a mistake I haven’t made in at least 15 years, and I still can”t believe I let software lull me into complacency.

Oh, and just a reminder for you – backup your system. I know you think about it every so often and that you are meaning to do it, but just do it. Even IT people forget to do backups, which is why when my laptop is on my desk, it backs up every other night automatically. And no, I don’t trust the software, so I make sure it tells me the backup was successful by having it pop open a window when it’s done.


This is kind of what flashed through my mind when I saw my document empty – a monster had eaten all my data, and there was no way to get it back.


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