When I was in graduate school at the University of Miami, I would access the secretary’s Macintosh computer after hours and on weekends. This was right around 1990, so floppy disk drives were standard equipment. While I could not access her hard drive, I could boot the computer off a floppy disk and use the computer, particularly Microsoft Word. I was also able to print to the laser printer.
I converted a multi-page document from a badly-typed and photocopied version to a beautifully-formatted and printed one. I spent tens of hours getting it right. I was proud of my accomplishment.
One day, I forgot to take my floppy disk with me and the secretary now had it. She kept it locked up in her desk. My friend Sergio asked her for it on my behalf and was told that I had to get it myself. He advised me to forget about it, which I did. I still remember thinking about it and weighing the pros and cons of approaching her. I recall saying to myself that it was not really necessary to get the disk back.
That was my first ever lesson in making backups. I should have made a copy of that Word document. Instead, I only had the printed copy. While no more changes needed to be made, I was marked by that incident. I should have backed that document up after spending so much time on it. I wish at that point in time I knew of a carbonite offer code that I could have used to save me money on making the backup.
The secretary is long gone as is the floppy disk. I wonder what she thought about that disk and its owner?
Backups are never noticed until you need them, much like insurance policies and spare tires. But when you need them, it is a great feeling to have them and a horrible feeling when you do not.