I was sitting here about an hour ago, writing a book report, and .....
I decided to go to the kitchen and refill my cup. Unfortunately, I dropped the cup (thank god it was empty!!) on the laptop! Yep, no liquid damage to the interior, but the cup rolled around on the keyboard and the screen went blank. I tried several things to "wake" it. Nothing was working, and I was in a panic! I thought I'd completely killed it.
After twenty minutes or so of near-tears-panic, I went to the desktop, the one I almost never turn on, and looked up how to force a shut down, you know, just in case it wasn't really as dead as it appeared to be. I did the procedure. There was no response that I could see/hear, and my heart sank. But just in case, I pushed the button to start it again.
I was enormously relieved to hear the comforting "bong" chord that sounds when it starts. I was again, almost in tears with the relief, but still holding my breath, waiting for the screen to light up, the next step toward "computer health." It did! And I began breathing again.
Holy cow! It was so scary to think I'd lost everything in the computer. I hadn't backed up in a while (since June, to be exact). Guess what is going on, right now, as I type??? Yep. It's backing up.
The worst part is that I lost the book report. I hadn't saved it, sadly, so I will start over. It isn't a long one, but my thoughts are scattered now (duh!), thus I'm taking a break here to relax and let it go before I start again. And I'll bet I'm better about saving and backing-up the computer contents! I haven't had to do that in a long time.
Flash back to March 1988. I was in the last semester of grad school. May graduation was SO close! I was sitting at the computer, working on the last few pages of my thesis. It was a report of a research project I'd done regarding measuring change in one of my clients over several months. Lots of material, lots of graphs and charts, lots of supporting notes and other documentation had to be summarized in the report.
At that time, I had an Atari, a very good early computer. There were no hard drives at that time on PCs, only floppy disks. Some of you may not even remember seeing those old 5" soft disks. They were truly "floppy" and easy to bend or scratch, damage that meant loss of the data. Anyway, I pushed "save" as I did often. It was so easy to lose work that I was religious about it. This time, however, everything disappeared immediately after I saved. Yes, everything. My screen was blank. Nothing seemed to be working. I mean, lights were on, but nothing was responding.
I went through several minutes of total terror! Months of work was gone! I couldn't recreate it in time to graduate! I started crying and went to tell my husband what happened. He followed me to the office, and we talked about it.
Now remember that back then few of us who had home computers knew diddly-squat about them. Our "homemade IT" ideas were just wild guesses. But then he said, "Wait. Lyn, we just installed the new word processing program. Didn't it say something about a "recover" feature?" Yes! Yes, it did!!
I grabbed the book to find the method to recover, and to my horror, he started pushing keys on the keyboard!! NO! DON'T!! Any wrong key could forever lose my data!!!
Before I could find the steps in the book, he found the right combination, and my paper popped up on the screen. I burst into tears again, sheer relief pouring through my veins. He saved the document again, just to be sure, then took me out to have a cup of tea or something. Probably "something." I was a mess.
I tried to convince him that I couldn't take the stress any longer. (I'd been in school, still working during most of that time, completing my undergraduate work and being in an accelerated graduate program for the last nine months. I was really tired.) I threatened to quit, then return and finish in a later semester. He gently, but firmly, told me no, I had to go on. I was too close to the end. I was doing really well. I'd have to restart the project that was my thesis, and it was a two-semester process. Yeah, he said it all, and I continued to beg, plead, argue. Finally he said, "No, truth be known, I can't go through this again either. You have to finish, and you have to finish it NOW!!"
I cried and pouted, not becoming for a woman in her mid 40s, but I did. Then I finished the paper (got an A+, thank you very much!) and the semester, and graduated with honors in May. And I remembered to "save" often.
Twenty-four years later, I'm learning again to "save."
It never stops, this learning process.