Thursday, December 04, 2008

I'm an Idiot (or why I've been so quiet)

Thanksgiving came upon me somewhat quickly this year. We traveled down to Houston to visit my in-laws for a long weekend the week before and returned home Tuesday. We had a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house (she loves doing all the cooking and I have no inclination to object, LOL!), but then came my "surprise."

I was walking up the stairs and heard a strange clicking noise coming from my home office. I didn't think much of it until I tried to check my email and my computer wouldn't respond. I tried to shut it down, but eventually had to unplug it to reboot. I'm sure some of you are guessing what had happened: my hard drives (I actually had two) had crashed. While I was happily eating turkey and the trimmings everything on my computer had turned to electronic dust. All my documents, pictures, itunes library, outlook folder (with ALL my contacts, emails and calendaring) gone.

Of course I backed up, right? You've probably guessed the reason for the title of the post: not so much. I have an external hard drive that I had backed up to in May and I send important documents (like manuscripts or anything I'm working on) to a Yahoo email account (my main email is POP, i.e. not web-based). I did have some pictures still on my camera, but for some reason I hadn't uploaded all of them to Shutterfly (which I also usually do immediately). I hadn't backed up my itunes library or my outlook folders (the latter because it's not all that easy to do--hidden files and all that). Basically it meant that except for a couple of key documents I was missing almost 6 months worth of info. NIGHTMARE.

But surprisingly I was pretty calm. I'm in between books so I didn't lose any work. The pictures and outlook were what I really was worried about. But this kind of thing happens all the time, and I knew there was a way to recover data. A few phone calls later quickly cured me of that idea. Estimates ranged from $500 to $3,000, but all the data recovery people I spoke with said it would likely be on the higher side because of my particular disk configuration (Raid 0-striped). Needless to say, I decided to try to piece together what I could before putting that kind of money into trying to recover my data.

With a little legwork I managed to reconstruct most of it, including the pictures. The outlook and itunes library are the only things I will have to reconstruct. I've already missed one appointment, I'm sure I'll miss a few others before the dust has settled.

I guess the only good thing to come out of it all is that I've decided to take the opportunity to do something I've been planning to do for a long time: switch to a Mac.

I've been a PC girl for over twenty years. My father was an early computer and intel believer. Now that Macs use intel chips I decided to give Apple a shot. I LOVE my ipod and the idea of being integrated really appeals to me. Everyone that I know who has a Mac loves it with almost an evangelical fervor. I hope to be joining the cult, but I admit I'm nervous about the transition. I'll keep you posted...