There is nothing in the world like a loss of your technological capabilities to make you realize that you are completely addicted to it. Not just addicted—down and dirty, dude can you get a hit, would sell your grandmother to get it back addicted. That’s right. For me technology is crack. Not nice clean, high-brow cocaine. Disgusting, street-worthy crack.
For the last two weeks I have struggled with the fact that my marvelous Conversations website was down! My @#$%& hosting provider had an issue and all of my hard work disappeared. Lesson #1—backups are good. Lesson #2—learn how to restore from your backups BEFORE you actually need them.
Here’s the irony: for those who don’t know me outside of cyber-space, in my day job I actually work with computers. I manage an entire network of them actually. So you would think I’d be great at data security. And you would be correct—for the data security of my company. For my personal data security…not so much.
I had actually JUST established a regular backup for my dear website about a week before it went to hell in a hand-basket. Can’t remember what prompted me to do it, but I was very glad I did when everything crashed. Right up until the customer service agent told me all I needed to do was restore my backup and I felt that deer-in-the-headlights feeling. I had no clue how to restore it. I didn’t even remember the name of the program I’d installed to run the backups. I had nothing.
It took two weeks to get the mess straightened out, and even then the structure of my site was back, but all the content had to be re-added. Thank God I’m an obsessive compulsive freak and had copies of everything. Sadly all comments were lost, so if you’ve ever commented on one of my posts, I apologize and hope you will comment again!
So what’s the point here? Other than my relief at having my crack again?
The point, for all of my friends and family who rely on computers like I do, is remember that something can ALWAYS go wrong, and you need a plan. My professional recommendation is this:
Save your data in multiple locations. If it’s something like family photos that can be archived by year, burn a CD at the end of the year, and keep it in your firebox (which you SHOULD have at home with your birth certificates, passports, secret stash of money for fleeing the country, etc). An external hard drive is quick, easy, and can usually be installed with one plug.
Subscribe to an on-line backup system. My personal favorite (which I use at home) is www.mozy.com. It runs in the middle of every night, I never have to think about it, and it actually works.
If you are keeping your data “In the cloud”, beware of Thunderstorms! Supposedly cloud-based storage is safer because it lives on multiple places. However, as I learned in my experience, if ALL those places have a malfunction and you don’t have an easily accessible backup, you’re screwed.
OK, off my technology soap box. Upcoming posts (for those who care) are going to include the following topics (it’s been a busy few weeks):
What happens when you go on vacation and your car decides it doesn’t want to go…after you’ve crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge? Also titled “Why Paying Off A Credit Card Makes Things Break.”
How much can you harass your incredibly macho father for getting his four wheel drive vehicle stuck in sand on the beach?
Instincts vs. Advice…all the reasons you may want to listen to your internal voice instead of the people who love you when it comes to matters of the heart.
Marriage…what is the right reason to jump the broom?
And the number one topic we’ll discuss…
What do you do when your home is broken into and your sense of security shaken?
Suffice to say, my mantra for April was:
There may have also been wine involved.