Dang, that’s a fright!
I maintain a tidy computer desktop, with files and folders neatly arranged and positioned to my liking and with one in particular always in its place at the top, the draft of my book.
So my heart skips 50 beats when I go to open the book draft. And find it not there!
I’d just dragged files en masse to the trash so it’s the first place I check. Not there.
Enter a keyword for a global search. Nada.
Oh shit x 10. Calm panic is setting in. Yes, for me, there is such a thing.
I don’t back up with near the regularity as guided by my nature and common sense. More on that momentarily.
Thoughts of the hours and hours and hours of work lost and content that can never be recaptured shake my mind hard like a hurricane a tree. One thought tepidly comforts. The book backup on a CD.
When was the last time I backed up onto the CD I ask myself. Maybe a couple months ago. Not ideal but better than losing an entire book.
I conduct another global search. Voila! The book draft is found!!!!!!! It’d been accidentally dragged along with other files into a folder where it doesn’t belong.
Relief without equal or expression.
I instantly respond by moving the latest draft over onto an RW CD. And now comes why, despite my better nature and judgment, I backup so infrequently.
My laptop’s a 2004. In dog years that’s 42 years, in computer years 7,000.
Long ago the CD drive began behaving so unreliably that I altogether quit borrowing library music CDs to burn. The plastic security label sent the drive into a state of perpetual spin and non-ejection. Even spanking brand-new CDs now fail to eject.
Witness the last dance. Book backup CD is stuck. The laptop (a Powerbook – and no, it doesn’t have that tiny hole that accepts a paperclip end to dislodge stuck CDs) is positioned into all variety of unnatural computer contortions toward releasing the CD.
Since this is a one-man show, a certain flexibility is required on my part. Laptop is balanced on a piece of wood with crooked arm on its side in an upright position for gravitational support. The CD icon is highlighted first. Then fingers of the left hand fly over to pressed the command-E keys (eject). Simultaneously, fingernails on the right hand are poised tightly against the CD slot awaiting the microinch of CD edge that may or may not emerge for a microsecond. When no edge emerges, the CD is sucked back into the computer and the effort begins anew.
For 30 minutes I did the dance! Thirty minutes
Success is finally achieved when the laptop’s held in X upright position at Y angle and nails are posited at Z position at the CD slot, alignments so randomly mysterious that I could neither recount nor recreate them.
THIS IS WHY I DON’T BACK UP!
External hard drive you say? Those words have entered my mind millions of times. Money. It’s about money. Money is for essentials of rent and bills. My gratefulness for these are enormous; not a day passes without an expression in thought or word of gratitude for survival.
Point blank, an external hard drive is a luxury I cannot afford at this time.
Yet the question is begged: Can I afford NOT to back up?
Really. Seriously. Because it’s about protecting the book, a life’s work, as well as the whole of the laptop.
Reckon two breaths remain before the drive gives up the ghost. Don’t wanna be there when it happens; can’t take on the need or expense of a trip to the laptop doctor.
So that’s it for this drive. No more backups. No more contortions. No more shots at the Olympic gold in computer gymnastics. No solution immediately in sight.
That’s the first time my book draft was misfiled. It will be the last.
Same can’t be said for damn stuck CDs!