Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The Phoenix Arisen?

With the exception of some holdouts who reject all things electronic, most of us, and anyone reading this, have been sucked into the world of electronics. Like children, we approach our computers with the faith they will boot up in the morning and reveal all those things we depend on them to store. Some of us are more like foster kids on their third or fourth foster family. We want to hope, we want to trust, we want to have faith but at the same time, we squirrel away backup copies because we've had that trust crushed before and just can't manage to come up with blind faith. Yet, even with those backups, they are a precaution rather than a pattern. We might remember for a while after a crash or data loss and then slowly the backups stretch further and further apart as we forget, as we slip into the faith it won't happen again; it won't happen to us.

My computer has developed an odd, intermittent crash problem. I ignored it as long as I could, stiff in my denial, and then finally called in support. Of course, having been on the other end of the support calls in my professional life, I know the shiver of fear and horror they must have felt the minute I said the dreaded "intermittent." This word means no viable way to confirm the problem is resolved. It means no simple way of tracking down potential solutions. It means weeks, maybe months, of trying option after option, only to find out a month later it didn't actually resolve the problem. Hence my denial. I knew all too well what I'd face once I admitted to the problem and knew the loss in time would easily exceed the time I'd lost putting my data back together after yet another hard crash. And yet, what if it got worse?

I did everything asked, including rebuilding my OS, but nothing helped. The next step? To replace the hard drive. Now, I swear they gave this order just to put that shiver of fear back where it belonged--on my spine. There is no way to make sure every bit of data, every file I've tucked here or there, every customization I made on one of my software and every convenience I'd created over the past couple of years would make it to the backup. No matter how hard I tried, I knew I'd lose something in the transfer. I made lists, check off sheets, analyzed the various folders and finally, did the rebuild.

Yay! Yes, I lost some data along with my faith (temporarily) that my computer would always work. Yes, I had to redo all sorts of customizations and stamp out MS Word's special character replacements once again. But, when it came down to it, after the loss of only one full day, I was up and running on a new hard drive, problem solved and with minimal (no critical) files lost.

Then the new drive started ticking. Suddenly, I feel a lot of sympathy for Captain Hook.

No comments: