Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Crisis averted

Presenting my new third arm...
Doncha love how life is swilling along like usual, then it just ups and smacks you up the side of the head?

I'm by no means unique...this happens to far too many on a daily basis...but my smack came in the form of a sudden noisy fan on my beloved Gateway notebook this past Sunday. My initial reaction? Froze up with fear. dang, i hate when that happens. (and forgive my shift key failing occasionally, i'll explain later).

last time this kind of thing happened to me, it negatively impacted my life. i thought i had made effective changes, but faced with a pending repeat, i realized that i have not gone far enough. so that second notebook that my hubby has been telling me to order got ordered monday and is arriving tomorrow. (fed x tried to deliver it today but i did not hear their anemic door knock, so i'll have to just camp out tomorrow at the front door).

It doesn't seem fair to put my gateway out to addition to the occasional fan noise, the right shift key began sticking at the moment I ordered the new dell. it was almost spooky. But otherwise, it is still a screaming machine of sorts and plenty useful. note to self: once all of my data is on the new dell, perform surgery on key cap and vacuum out the vents of the gateway.

One thing I did successfully learn from my desktop motherboard melting last year was to not wait to replace your the first sign, act. So, i have done that this time. And, the comfort of Carbonite online backup still feels good and secure in a pinch, but now I am seeing the need for immediate backup restore from a portable external drive. Carbonite took over a week for the initial 150 gig backup and i am assuming it would take as long or longer to restore now.

So I spent Monday morning making a backup to an external drive. That wasn't all, though, I soon learned. Having all of your tech services listed out in a manual place, with serial, model, subscription, key, customer and account numbers handy is a must. also, emails or calls to their customer supports are good for central planning as well, just to run it by them what you plan to do. did that monday afternoon. i had to call avira, carbonite, adobe, and comcast.

I was very struck by how many years in the past i had spent pushing myself to digitalize more records, papers, forms, contacts, yadayada. And now that we are all-in on that, it seems even more important to have the really necessary numbers and papers in physical form...because loss due to computer failure becomes much more likely and injurious the more you are digitized.

Frankly, why even digitize then? or, maybe the lesson is not to rely on either. i dunno. i just know that when my motherboard fried, i learned the hard way to have a physical rolodex of your contacts or have them online like with google, but keep a skeleton list manually. so now i have learned the not-so-hard way to keep my own data backup for easier and quicker restore and program discs i use all in one place per computer.

oh, and i ordered an belkin easy transfer cable, for connecting the two computers, just in case all else fails. one day i feel like i will finally figure it all out...maybe.