Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Horror Story

When things are going well for a considerable period of time, complacency normally sets it. Nowadays, we take for granted the numerous comforts (and discomforts) that form part of our daily lives—ice cold water, instant communication, the word processor, the light bulb—and forget that things have not always been as they are. Fifteen years ago, I thought beepers were proof that the human race is on the brink of a major evolutionary change. I have no idea that fifteen years later the technology that could allow Red One to talk to his fellow Biomen through his wrist watch in full color and audio would already be available.

Now let’s talk about the complacency part. Recently, I lost my 3-month old laptop and PDA in circumstances that sound like a bar exam question on transportation law: I boarded a bus, fell asleep (probably snored, was dead tired), then an unidentified bad person chanced upon my moment of weakness and took my entire bag—I still can’t believe it, my entire bag--from me. When I got home, I wasn’t worried about replacing the laptop or the PDA as they are quite ubiquitous and relatively cheap in this day and age. What got to me was the data I just lost. Years' worth of notes, pictures, scandals (i.e. footage of me singing in the shower), unedited keyboard tracks I just recorded, contacts, etc., have been taken from me. I became lax and violated a cardinal principle in tech-fu: data loss is not a question of if, it’s a question of when.

After my parents consoled me, I grieved for the chattels that I lost and fell asleep.

The following morning, I was changed man; transformed into a backup evangelist, a preacher of redundancy. I have learned the folly my ways and have engaged in sharing to others the moral of my story: backup, backup, backup. And forego sleeping when using public transportation.

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