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    Thursday, July 01, 2004

    A lesson learned

    I know it's The Week of the Monkey, but I'd just like to interject here for a moment. I learned a horrible lesson yesterday. What do you do when a terrible virus sweeps through your computer and you don't know how to stop it? How do you react? I don't even know the name of the virus that hit my PC, but I know the damage it caused. It wiped out my hard drive -- completely reformatted it and I was helpless trying to stop its progress.

    I learned a horrible lesson about backing up files, or in my case the failure to back up files. I lost basically everything. My resumé, job leads, all my contacts, emails, hundreds of digital photos including our Hawaii vacation (aside from what's left here on this site), my music, my freelance work, my website development for a client (actually all my work for the client), and a development environment that was built for a subcontracting project, not to mention various settings I created and software I installed since buying the computer. You know, all those little tweaks you do to make your computer your own, the way you want it.

    I can salvage a few scattered files from my work computer and servers. But, for the most part, I'm starting from scratch. In short, I lost my digital life from the last nine months. There must have been a way I could've avoided this calamity. Sure: Perform frequent back-ups. I guess I never thought losing everything was a possibility. Well, now I've learned my lesson. I'll begin burning files to CDs to keep in safe storage; and I'll even look into external hard drives. It'll be a busy (and likely frustrating) holiday weekend to get things off the ground again.

    My advice to you: Stop reading this post, and start backing up your files. Even if you did it last week, the extra effort it takes to perform the back-up will be nothing compared to the work you'll need to do if tragedy strikes. Don't make the same error I made. Happy saving.