You see, my home computer, a PC, once had a lovely memory. It held onto everything for me: photos of family, friends, students, and pets; household documents like tax information and addresses, both email and home, of friends, family, and clients (I am also a massage therapist); and, of course, school documents: lesson plans, unit plans, handouts, research, flipcharts for my Promethean activboard. You name it (because I can't remember everything), it was on there.
Did you notice the use of the word "was" in that last sentence?
Wait. Let me back up a bit (because I can't seem to remember to do that when I should).
I spent a lovely few days over Christmas at my mom and dad's house in the California foothills. We even had a white Christmas! My first in many years. I took my laptop with me because I wanted to do some organizing of files, and my dad is the King of Organization when it comes to All Things Mac! (he's a really cool guy, that dad of mine! Something I don't think I've ever told him.)
Dad and I spent some quality time in front of my MacBook, and he gave me lots of wonderful ideas on how to organize my files and photos. He also reminded me about the need for regularly backing up EVERYTHING! I've always been really good about backing up my laptop; well, at least since it crashed last year and the hard drive had to be replaced. Lucky for me, that our school computers are regularly backed up to the school server. But, after that experience, I went out and purchased an external hard drive which I use with my MacBook on a weekly basis.
The same could not be said for my PC. While talking to dad, I made a mental note to purchase a second external hard drive to use with the PC. The Sunday after Christmas I went down to Fry's Electronics (I love that place!) and purchased a 500-gig external hard drive. When I got home and started looking at my severely cluttered desktop, I thought it would be best to unclutter the desktop and do some organizing of files, photos, and various other documents.
I spent a good deal of Sunday afternoon doing just that, and was actually feeling pretty proud of my work. But it wasn't quite finished, so I shut down for the night and planned on finishing the clean-up Monday morning, after which I would hook up that lovely new hard drive.
Any guesses what happened next? I woke up Monday morning, turned on the computer, and stared at the large Windows icon on the screen, the one that's supposed to stay there for about two seconds while Windows is starting up. "Hmm," I thought to myself. "Why is it not moving past this screen?" Now, I wasn't quite awake yet, and I was in desperate need of caffeine, so I didn't quite process in my own internal hard drive what was happening. "Must just be slow today."
Unfortunately, it wasn't the computer that was slow...it was me. Slow on the uptake, slow on the back-up. My computer is currently back at Fry's, where I purchased it, waiting its turn in line to be serviced. I'm fearing the worst: loss of everything not backed up recently (I would define "recently" for you, but I'm already depressed). My brother suggests looking at this as an opportunity to start anew with a clean, fresh hard drive. I could do that.
[Yes, that's me...back in the day.]
I guess for now I'll just share my sad story with you and leave you with one question:
Have you backed up lately?
P.S. As Alice mentions in one of the comments below, Cheryl Oakes has a wonderful post on the techLearning blog called It Is Not a Matter of If...