In the summer of 2014, I bought my friend some online backup software. Had I known about the Carbonite offer code for home backups, I would have used it. I urged her to get it set up, because she had a large number of valuable audio recordings.
Instead, she procrastinated on installing it. She had some difficulty in setting it up, so I told her to contact support. Since she was a busy grandmother and working alongside her husband in their work from home job, she never got around to it.
On New Year’s Day, 2015, I got a text message and voice mail from her – her computer stopped working. It failed to power up due to a bad power supply. While waiting for my response, she and her husband went out and bought a new computer. It was a tremendous upgrade over her Windows Vista machine.
I picked up her old computer and opened the cover. I was overwhelmed by the years of dust, particularly dog hair, that coated the insides. This was why the power supply had failed. She had never cleaned out the dust over the many years of computer ownership. I had never seen so much dust and dirt accumulated in a computer before.
I extracted the hard drive but did not have any hardware with which to connect it to my computer. So I sent the drive back to her with instructions to buy a docking station.
For the next three days, she mused on her Facebook account about how her life’s work was trapped on a hard drive that might not come back to life. She had been writing a children’s book but had no recent backups of it. Friends consoled her with prayers and advice to use online backup programs.
Ironically, she was a prepper or survivalist, and had been preparing quite well for storms or an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). She had several weeks worth of food stored away and even kept her flash memory drives in an EMP-resistant bag. But she was not prepared for this.
The docking station arrived and she connected to the drive to the computer after some initial difficulties. She was able to access her documents, much to her relief. Since the power supply was the bad component, I was confident that the docking station solution would work. But you never know.
We are all like my friend. We all procrastinate on backing things up, whether they be pictures, documents or other projects. All of find the time and energy to do other things but when we suddenly need to restore a backup, it is not there unless the backup has been running all along.
We don’t use our insurance policies very often but we pay for them to be there when we do. Does that mean we should buy insurance policies for everything? It depends on your budget and how much convenience you want when making a claim. It also depends on how replaceable the insured item is.
Memories cannot be replaced. They are one time events that only exist in our memory. If we lose a picture or old document, it is gone forever. Online backups, like Carbonite, prevent those kinds of disasters.