The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

17 July 2013

Of organs and backups

I used to have a line on my resume that said something about having excellent knowledge of, or proficient in, computers.

I had to take it out.

It used to be true.  I used to be the person on staff people would come to for help with formatting, saving, finding, for setting up equipment and simple trouble shooting.  It is no longer true. The world of technology has done a Millennium Falcon leap forward at warp speed, and I was left behind, barely out of training wheels. Not only am I clueless much of the time as to what to do, but I sometimes don't even understand the language. True, modern gadgets are good about asking questions like, "Are you absolutely certain you want to dismantle the network and reboot it in Hungarian?" giving you the opportunity to freak out, yelling, "What the heck does THAT mean?" before having a complete and utter melt down at your cubicle.

A few months ago I went from being a smart phone retro snob (meaning I thought smart phones were stupid) to being a smart phone owner.  I did it because the iPhone was going to be cheaper than updating my unreliable old flip-phone ($40!!  I am a bargain hunter, hear me roar!) and it turned out to be a life saver because at the same time, my old laptop gave up its ghost - twice - so it was put out to pasture. My lovely new toy prevented me from going completely cold turkey with the technology withdrawal. I've seen people in technology withdrawal.... it ain't pretty.

A week and a half ago, I finally gave in and bought me a new laptop. She (I'm thinking of calling it Margaret, after Leo's secretary from The West Wing) is a little slow, and what with the new Windows 8 business, and opting for Open Office rather than Word, I feel a little like a North American driving in Britain-- nothing is where it should be and I'm not sure how to handle the clutch left-handed.

Anyway.  This morning I wanted to set up iTunes on Margaret, and got a message an update should be installed. I kept clicking though the prompts until suddenly there was a message saying the update failed and I would lose everything, and did I want to return to factory settings? All media would be gone, contacts wiped out, etc., but Apple should give me the opportunity to rest those in the process. There was no option to go back 15 minutes and call the whole thing off, pretend it never happened. I would either unplug and have a blank, unusable shell of a phone, or leap into the dark.

I leapt. I could feel my heart in my throat. It didn't feel good. The next five minutes were pretty scary - on par with that time I went bungee jumping. I should have gone to confession first then, and I should have done a back up first now. What is it about hindsight that makes it so perfect?

All this to say, it worked out ok. I seem to have what I need on my phone, and I even signed up for yet another thing I don't really understand and probably will never use - mostly because I don't know where to find it. What a relief!

Honestly. I have discovered that though I label myself a luddite, and mock all this reliance on technology (especially when the computers go down at work and we revert to checking out books by writing numbers on a piece of paper) I admit the potential of losing my phone had me in a panic. I'm sure I could taste my heart it was so far up my throat. I suppose the responsible thing to do is to learn how to use it properly.

And the first thing I'm going to learn is how to make a backup.


  1. Sheesh. I stopped breathing for a second there. Don't scare me like that...

  2. I should have put a "scary true story" warning at the beginning.

    Everything seems to be ok except all my lovely apps and all the lovely music .... gone. Must track it down and reinstall it.

    "Smart phone" my foot. I don't need a smart phone to lose stuff... I do that really well all on my own!