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Back Up, Backed Up, And, Whew, My Mail...

Posted on the 01 August 2013 by Jlipnack @jlipnack

Four weeks (it all began on July 3), a new hard drive (OWC solid state replacement of solid state that failed in 8 months), a new logic board, and $420 later, my adored MacAir is working again, thanks to Craig Marin at Computer Loft and Carbonite. 

Incredibly, all of my files are now restored from Carbonite including such a large amount of mail that I cannot bring myself to reveal the number. OK, I can bring myself: 12K messages. Please hold all comments on why I'm not a better deleter. I also have every letter that anyone wrote to me from the time I was in fifth grade forward.

Once all the hardware was fixed (it was a cascade of failure, lucky me), the restore took a very long time.

As in over a week. And not just because of the messages. I had approximately 500K files. Is this a lot for a person? A person with a business? A person with a business who is a writer. Hang on, anyone wanting to bust into my machine. Financial files are elsewhere so, snoops, go elsewhere.

My files have accrued just in the normal course of being a person who works. Documents, meaning research, reports, memos, articles, books, proposals, contracts, etc, stuff I write or that I've gathered in the course of writing or doing business or that others have written (somehow I also end up editing a lot of other people's writing) or, you know, the endless stream of attachments. Spreadsheets to keep track of all manner of thing, from how much time I spend on projects for billing purposes to data for OrgScope many things. Pictures, but not an excessive amount by some people's standards. Very little music by anyone's standards (thank you, Rhapsody). And on and on but...500K? That seems like a lot.

But regardless of the size of my backup, over a week seems like a painfully long time to restore especially because the backup was being done via a direct connection, not wirelessly. Is there a faster way to do this? If not, BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY AWAITS YOU!

Just a few more words and then I'm done and I hope I'll never have to post on this again. I do also have a nifty little portable terabyte hard drive backup. I used it religiously (well, regularly). Until about two months ago when I put it somewhere when I was going on a trip and didn't want to have to schlep it along. Of course, I put it in the perfect place such that I wouldn't ever not know where it was and... I haven't been able to find it since.

So now I have a second terabyte hard drive. I have now attached it to my wrist. I know. I look funny but you'll never heard me screaming again, WHERE IS MY G.D. HARD DRIVE!?!"

Finally, and perhaps the most important lesson from all of this: I was lucky to have an old computer that still works, a MacBook Pro, purchased in 2007 or 2008 that I used until Feb 2011 when I got my MacAir. It is still working pretty admirably when I moved to the Air, which I wanted for its speed and its weight (details included in many posts from that period). Between downloading files from Carbonite on an as-needed basis and being willing to kludge together emails based on memory, including some guesses as to people's email addresses because I was unable to access my old mail through Carbonite during the restore, I kept working. I'm not sure my colleagues would have known that I was taking the bus everywhere rather than the bullet train.

And, oh, why am I including this picture of Daughter #2 with her two nephews who happen to be my twin grandsons? Because as frustrating and swear-inducing as situations like this are, they ain't nothing, really, when I stop to think about the wonders of life. This picture was taken at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art just days before the crash. The boys became enamored of a film that was being shown on a loop alongside the Barry McGee graffiti show, which they watched three times. The room was a little cold so we threw this scarf around them.


E, L. F at ICA


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