So … I haven’t been keeping up with my weekly posts here, and I thought I had a good excuse in that my home office computer has gone kaput on me. I’ve had that happen to me before of course, and like so many other people out there, I don’t regularly back up my files. It’s true. I am guilty of not being extra diligent with my digital data. That is not to say that I’ve lost everything.
I was not completely deliquent in protecting my information because even though I don‘t regularly back up my computer, I have developed some other habits to make sure that my most important work is saved somewhere. I have around a dozen CDs loaded with most of my photos, word files, and other digital documents, but I hadn’t updated those files in about six months. I also have three thumb drives where I regularly store important (and lengthy or complicated) documents that I may be working on. That means I’ve probably lost anything I’ve done in the last six months, which I didn‘t save on those little drives. Even this doesn’t worry me much though, because so much of my day to day information is actually stored somewhere other than my personal computer, I am not freaking out. Take this blog, for example.
Everything that I’ve written and posted to this site for the last two plus years, is stored on WordPress computers, so none of this information is lost. All of my AOL e-mail (yes, I still have an AOL account) and my school e-mail is still intact, as are any documents I’ve saved on Google documents through my Gmail account. As for the rest of my digital life, so much of it happens through my browser, hopping from site to site, visiting places that only exist in the electronic ether world, that all I need is a basic computer that is connected to the web. (My son kindly loaned me his laptop so I could post this message, and my time is almost up).
As for my software, the truth is that I may still have the discs somewhere in the house, but I probably don’t have the key codes for reinstalling the software. Fortunately, most of the software I use is available online for free. I haven’t bought a copy of MS Office suite in years because Open Office.org offers a powerful and comparable product. I also use GIMP and Paint.NET instead of the more powerful professional product offered by Photo Shop. The real pain for me when my computer goes down is the repair costs and the time lost waiting for the repairs. (And having to give back the computer so quickly).
I am working on having my own computer up and running again soon, and posting regularly. In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy the burgeoning spring and that you find something worthwhile to do with your time.
FIND OF THE WEEK: Here is Time Magazine’s top 50 sites for 2009. You’ll find many familiar names like Google, Flikr and Facebook there, along with some other undiscovered gems. My favorite is “Know Your Meme”, where the “scientists” at a fake institute explain what’s funny on the web, and why. (Like I need to tell you what’s funny.)