Technology is a wonderful tool. Particularly when it works. This is a story of a time of great despair that eventually turned out well, but taught me a valuable lesson in the process.
From an early age (technology-wise) I was taught to back up my data. Not that I always did that consistently, but I do currently have two different backups of my data. Of course, the fact that it is December and one of the backups I found out was last modified in July makes me wonder about its usefulness.
My computer held all the research and notes for a paper that was due for a graduate class I was taking. One day I realized that I could not access any of my applications. Not that I was panicked, but a little anxious as the paper was coming due quickly. I went to my trusty zip drive to retrieve data and found out that I was unable to use it in either my computer nor a desktop that I had at home. Now, for those of you more technologically savvy than myself, there may have been much less anxiety than I was feeling. But the thought of having to find all the research for the paper again in such a short time frame had me less than fully confident in the prognosis.
To make a long story short, I did manage to re-install the operating system, run some updates and have all my data available and working in the span of half a day (our technology expert is wonderful and extremely helpful.) Of course, the lesson I learned was that REGULAR backups of data are imperative. Had I backed up to our server at school, I would have had no worries even if the computer and zip drive were dead. A little paranoia has set in as I contemplate saving to a 3rd backup. Which reminds me, and please excuse me - I need to go back up some data.
(cross-posted at Superintendent's Blog)