We all know it's one of the hazards of this wonderful, amazing age we live in: a computer crash or a hole in your anti-virus protection can cost more than money.
So last night, it happened to me. I've had this laptop for a year and a half, and it's been "afflicted" with something ever since I made a stupid decision to download the Google browser in beta in the summer of '05. I uninstalled after a week and my computer has never been the same. I think it had more than one problem, really, but it had finally become so annoying that I was at my wits' end. So a dear friend of ours whose computer IQ is higher than Ty Cobb's batting average (without the decimal, of course) came over last night and nursed it back to health and speed and all those things you get with a brand new computer.
In the process, sadly, a lot of valuables, which I had not backed up and had not warned him about, have disappeared. My collection of recipes, hundreds of family favorites and holiday specials and gifts from friends, is now "gone." My book database, with more than 3000 entries and telling me which of my books are loaned out and to whom, is "gone." I use the word in quotes, because my knowledgeable friend as well as my brilliant son-in-law, who's been known to save a few lives with his computer smarts, both tell me that nothing is unrecoverable and that with patience we'll be able to recover the information.
I can't tell you how many times in the past 12 hours I've heard the gasping question, "You mean you didn't have it all backed up?" As if I would be apoplectic right now if it was all on a disk somewhere :-) My bad...I know better and this has sure taught me the lesson in an unforgettable way. I'll be taking my friend's advice and getting an external hard drive on which to store the stuff I think I can't live without.
So...in the meantime, I'm trying to reconstruct a list of what seems to have disappeared while I take measures to avoid hyperventilating.
Isn't the computer age great?