Monday, February 18, 2008

Why You Should Ignore the Laundry...

“Do you want to push F11 or should I?” my husband asked.


The one that would completely reformat my hard drive and erase all my files. This is the second serious hard drive malfunction I’ve had in less than a year, and with two different brands of laptop computers. My latest offender is a six month old HP Pavilion that I love with an affection usually reserved for fuzzy puppies. It has served me quite well.

Until it didn’t.

Now, I’m blessed to be married to a man who has a successful career in computers and technology, so he quickly volunteered to spend way too much of his time trying to diagnose the issue through a variety of methods before coming to the informed conclusion that we simply needed to start over.

I had just signed up for an online back-up service, and we have a litany of DVDs and external hard drives in our office, so we had two back-ups of my data before erasing my drive. Even with all that insurance, pushing THE BUTTON was still an unnerving experience.

The concept of ‘Long Term Photo Care’ is something I covered in my book, Digital Photography for Busy Women, so I’ve spent the last couple of years fairly immersed in topics related to keeping digital photographs organized, protected and preserved. This is a good thing since I’ve had to call upon that research several times already. I wrote the book specifically because I knew the impact losing many years of precious photographs could have on a person. It was one of the most common issues raised by my peers, and yet there weren’t many books that covered photography from a ‘post capture’ perspective. It is a topic that will touch many of us at one time or another.

I’m happy to say that I’m back up and running after just one day; the fact that my delay in productivity has been extended to having yet another sick child at home is a topic we’ll reserve for a (trying to balance) work/life blog post.

If you can’t remember the last time you backed up your favorite photos, I implore you to ignore all other items on your to-do list until you can at least copy some files on a couple of DVDs as a first step.

Not having my laptop for just 24 hours reminded me how reliant I am upon the data housed inside its shiny silver casing. Imagine what it would be like not to have access to your most precious digital pictures.

‘Bummer’ just doesn’t cover it.