A Broken Computer, A Broken Heart

New Macbook Air

New Macbook Air

A moment of silence for my recently deceased laptop. She was good to me, stuck by me. She never complained when my keystrokes were too rough or when I shouted at her screen, taking my frustrations out on her innocent, unflinching facade. After surviving college together, she was as scarred and battered as I was, her once glossy interior rubbed dull beside her trackpad by our hours spent together, cover nicked and scratched, each imperfection a new facet of her personality.

My 2010 Macbook Pro, may she rest in peace, gave me four and a half beautiful years. Now I lay her to rest in my desk drawer, not yet ready to part completely (or abandon the data still hiding in her hard drive). That she was cut down in the middle of my open Graduate thesis document was awful, a wrongful end to such a good friend. I tried to hide my bitterness at her untimely passing.

After a week, my mourning period is coming to an end. I have picked up my new laptop, a sleek Macbook Air that will hopefully stay with me as long as my previous technological relationship. Air, as I will refer to her, has proven to be up for the challenge. I spent last week furiously catching up on my lost novel word count, now back near my 6,000 word goal for this week.

What Was Terrifying and What I Learned

I was only computerless for a little over a week, my Pro collapsing on Wednesday and my new laptop arriving Sunday of the next weekend. Yet in those days, I languished for lack of ability to work.

When the laptop crashed, I had been in the middle of working on my Graduate Thesis, better known as my novel. I had a Word Document I worked out of, a collection of what was to be the first 50 pages, that I routinely backed up on Dropbox, external hard drive, and email. Unfortunately, I had been on a roll that Wednesday, deep in a scene and had yet to back up the over 1,000 words I’d accumulated in the past hour or so. I reached the end of a paragraph and hit ctrl-S, like all writers do by need and habit, when my bestest best friend sais “Sorry! Can’t save! Something is wrong!” And promptly shut off, never to rise again.

My heart stopped. All that work, all those words, the emotions and moments and character development GONE, shattered, wrenched from my grasp and flung into oblivion.

A friend was in my office at the time, saw my face, and knew the end was nigh. Or not, Steve was just kinda worried, then sympathetic.

I realize now that I had made a fatal writer’s error, I wasn’t using the correct writing platform in which to guarantee the safety of my work. Since that fateful day, I have begun using Google Drive. This way my work is always saved and is accessible from any computer or device with internet. Thankfully, this new paranoia was brought on my a minimal loss that was quickly made up, but the lesson was learned.

Thank the powers that be that I’d already saved all my pictures, previous writing files, and other important documents onto my external hard drive, otherwise this would be more tragedy that cautionary tale.

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