I was one that came kicking and screaming into the 20th Century when computers were becoming the "latest fad". I told people that this type of technology would never catch on. Who could learn all this mumbo jumbo? I went from computer illiterate with thoughts like No one NEEDS a computer to Wow! I can't live without this thing. While most of us probably don't NEED a computer today, it certainly makes life easier , at least most of the time. When techo gadgets are working fine, life as we know it is great! When something goes awry that's another story all together. How many times have you heard people say, "My computer crashed and my whole life is stored on it!" Yikes!
Just last summer as I was into my third month of book production my computer decided to have terminal mechanical problems that after many office visits, tests, and long-term care at the store even the best Geeks pronounced it DOA. Now in the interim, when I would get the computer back in hopes that a cure was found I painstakingly moved all of my important data onto hard drives. This was painful seeing as my computer would turn off at whim, but luckily I was able to get all my book files safely moved! The result of all this turmoil was a brand new computer that purrs like a kitten. Life was good! I also invested in Carbonite hoping against all hope that if I ever was in a bad situation again, they would truly "back me up"!
Flash Forward 10 months...I was having trouble with some software and got specific instructions from the company on how to remove it fully from my computer before reinstalling it. Well, I've come so far in my computer prowess that after reading the directions I decided how hard can it be. When I got to the step that said:
WARNING: THE NEXT STEP INVOLVES EDITING YOUR SYSTEM REGISTRY. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU EXPORT YOUR REGISTRY BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY EDITING. EDITING YOUR REGISTRY INCORRECTLY CAN CAUSE IRREPARABLE SYSTEM DAMAGE.
I thought... I've installed programs, installed new routers, reformatted computers, how hard can following directions really be? I started by copying the registry on my desktop like was suggested. Then I went to work. As soon as I clicked the wrong link in the registry my heart sank. I knew I was going to end up with "irreparable system damage"! I shut down my computer, restarted it and the first screen, after the familiar Windows Icon, had "wingdings" across it instead of words. That was it! I screamed,cried, restarted the computer at least a dozen times and still.... nothing.
I finally had to go see my favorite Geek and explained my plight. When I was reminding him of all my computer accomplishments thus far, he told me I reminded him of the person who successfully changes their own oil in a car and decides," Sure I can rebuild my turbo engine; how hard could it be?" I laughed because I knew he was right, but it wasn't so funny when I had to reformat my whole computer. Right then I thought, "I screwed up my computer and my whole life is stored on it." YIKES!
This time I read and re-read the steps...I got my computer up and running, but my files were still out there in cyberspace and I hoped they knew how to come home. I ever so carefully reinstalled Carbonite, followed the prompts and after waiting patiently for 2 days (yes, days...)I must say Carbonite really backed me up. Every single file I had was restored and put back in its original place. The computer was mine again and once more LIFE WAS GOOD!
Lesson for the day: Be prepared, expect the unexpected, and always have a back up!