"It's not if, it's when." I have heard that so many times about a computer crash, but I had never had a really big crash happen to me. Until now. This blog is being posted from a borrowed computer. I've been computerless for several days and I'm still not back in business. Maybe today.
So was I backed up properly? I've learned that it could have been better. I have a mirrored hard drive (Raid 1), so hopefully everything is ok when I get it back. The guy just came and installed the 2 new hard drives. The rest is up to me and my pals in India. Deep breath. My second on-line helper, Ravi, who diagnosed the trouble told me I'd have to re-install everything, but they would help me get it back. Then he panicked a little. He panicked a little because I panicked a lot. In fact I began to cry. "Don't cry, mum," Ravi begged, "Please don't cry."
I handed the phone to my husband so he could give Ravi our address. "Tell Mum not to cry," he told my husband. My husband grinned. "Okay," he thought, "but I've been telling her that for 43 years and it hasn't helped yet."
I have my book files in Dropbox, a "cloud" program that syncs my files and helps me when I work with my sister on her Mac and then come home and work on my PC. I use Ancestral Quest, which allows collaborative files that our whole committee can share. I've gmailed docs and photos back and forth to my cousins and those I work with so those files are available to me in gmail's huge storeroom in the cloud. I have back ups on external hard drives. All these things have been helpful to me. But while my computer has been down, I haven't been able to use some of my programs that are on the hard drive of my crashed computer. My friend who replaced my hard drives today told me that it is possible and very handy to install such programs on an external hard drive. Then they are both portable and usable in a situation that I find myself in. Check out Dick Eastman's blog for his expert recommendations. They can be low cost or free. They just take some thinking ahead.