Technology, Friend Or Foe?

When an error message bubble appears on my computer, I don't usually panic right away. Something that says, The USB device has malfunctioned and Windows can no longer recognize the device, doesn't make me cry the moment I read it. No, it's usually hours later, when I've labeled myself the fool for repeatedly trying the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

Granted, today there are no tears. There is no major frustration. Not yet at least. I haven't spent hours and hours trying to fix the problem because I knew something like this would happen someday. And thank God I managed to obtain an external hard drive for just such an occassion.

If you're like me, you'd love to own a Mac, but you don't. You own a PC. And don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-PC. Noris (my laptop) has given me sooo much since 2005. And it's pretty amazing that he's lasted this long. I expected him to crash long ago, because he used to malfunction every 6 months almost to the day. The motherboard, the processor, the DVR drive, the whatever needed replacing regularly.

Then something strange happened. My husband recommended I stop paying the warranty, and just let the poor thing die. It wants to die, obviously! So let it, and we'd get something a little more decent. Maybe not a Mac ($$$$) but maybe a better PC ($$$).

I let the warranty run out, and waited. I've waited for about two years now. And God, Noris is alive and well! And he didn't malfunction today, the USB flash drive I bought in 2006 did! Poor thing got bent once, and I probably got more miles out of it than I should have, too.

Because I expected Noris to die, my husband helped me pick out an external hard drive (500 GB, about four times the size of Noris's memory), and I backed up EVERYTHING. Docs, pics, music. So when Noris does finally wave good-bye for good, I'll miss him but it will be okay.

And that little USB drive, the one with every single story and novel and story-in-progress and novel-in-progress and idea and outline and dreams I've typed out, finance info and family addresses, and any kind of info placed into a Word or Excel file that I have........that little drive won't make me cry today. Because it's ALL in the back-up external hard drive.

Do you have one? Those little flash drives might not last forever. I've also heard Google Docs is a good idea because hopefully the Internet will never break down. Unless the machines rise up against us.


  1. This just happened today, the day I did my monthly post, so instead of writing another post, I'll simply comment here: I received an email acceptance for my short story, "Ma Says," to be included in the FWA Collection #3 Let's Talk coming out in October!

  2. Bria,

    Just a quick note about external hard drives.
    Most ExHDs have hard drives in them that are NO different than the one in your computer. This means, if the ExHD is turned on every day, or it is just left on for long extended periods of time, then the drive is no more reliable than the internal hard drive of your computer. For the long-term backup of any irreplaceable data file, I recommend having a hard drive that you only turn on occasionally and then otherwise have it stored in a closet. It will last much longer, and runs less of a chance of breaking down. If you are willing to spend the coin on it, solid-state drives are the most reliable hard drives because they have no moving parts.
    Hope this is helpful.

    - Ian

  3. Wow, good info to know. Thanks, Ian!


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