Friday, September 26, 2008

Data Loss: The Thing That Makes Us Lose It!

I'll admit it: perhaps I invest too much of my life into the computer. My whole life is on it, really: this blog is my diary now, I haven't developed a single photograph in 3 years (since getting my digital camera), and I don't have a single handwritten letter to savor in my hope chest.

I'm not complaining, really. It's thanks to all this technology that I keep in touch with the friends that I do. And I absolutely am addicted to Facebook, YouTube, and--although it's fading a bit--MySpace. And of course, Instant Messenger clients have been my friend since college.

But the darling of my software programs right now is the video-chat client Skype. I was introduced to it a year ago when my friend Nate and I attempted to use it while he was in Africa, and although we ran into some snafus then, my school just gave me the hottest little laptop that Mac has out right now, and--as a result--Nate and I chatted in crystal clear Real Time for several hours at the start of this week.

My colleage Jess and I will Skype each other during study hall, and together we'll do goofy things on-screen in attempt to make the other person burst out with laughter. I won last time when I held my stapler close to the camera in order to pretend that a giant flying stapler was biting off my head. But today she made me lose it when she affixed to her nose a metal ring used to hold notecards. (As you can see, when you hang around middle schoolers all day, you kind of become like one of them!!)

Even all my lessons are on the computer now. Last year, I must have made a gazillion PowerPoint presentations to complement the activities we did in class so that we could use the interactive SmartBoard every day. But right now, I'm kinda bumming that my new, state-of-the-art, school-issued laptop is having software issues with my SmartBoard. It's almost October and I still haven't been able to use it the way I did last year with my old computer.

So yeah, my life is pretty much invested in my computer. That is why, around this time last year, I called my parents sobbing (waking them up from a sound sleep), and begged them to come over immediately to console me. It's the second time in my life where I've had to call them in a moment of great personal tragedy, and while the first time had nothing to do with computers, the second time seemed just as devestating and had to do with nothing else.

Data loss sucks. Last year, my Entourage email program crashed and I lost every single saved email and contact that I stored up in the last 3 years. And just a few months ago, I partially lost 3 years of photographs when my iPhoto application corrupted. I could go on an on about how I dislike how Macs embed their files within applications (making both the files and the applications less stable, I believe), but I won't bore you.

So you can imagine the empathy I felt when Nate called me this week, his voice jaded by the apathetic numbess that follows hours of panic upon realizing that your whole harddrive has completely konked.

Memories matter so much, and they are what makes us HUMAN. So when we lose that which helps us to recall memories (like special emails or precious photographs), we feel so devistated!

No wonder Apple is promoting Air. It has no harddrive, so since we can't save to it, we shouldn't have to worry about data loss, right? Let's just pray that Mozy has good stability; that's where I sent all my important files last week.