DOWN HOME: Hard lesson learned from an old laptop


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At first, I thought I was losing my mind. But all I really lost was my memory, or at least part of it.

John, our intrepid indefatigable webmaster, also doubles as our tech guru. When we run into a problem with a computer, we all run to John.

Not long ago, I got a new phone, and John helped me transfer data from my old phone into my computer, so I could “sync” it to my new phone. (OK, that’s not accurate. John didn’t help me transfer the data. John transferred the data. My part was saying “please” and “thank you.”)

Moving the calendar and phone book went smoothly. John did some research, figured it all out, and soon I was making calls and booking dates easier than ever. The new arrangement thrilled John, because he figured out how to make my old phone work like a mini-computer, which, of course, I should’ve done years ago.

After my new phone started working like a phone-directory-calendar, I got greedy. I wanted my tunes in there, too.

For years, Joanna and I stored all our music on her computer at home and updated our iPhones from the same list. We finally agreed I should grow up and figure out how to do all that stuff on my own computer. (Actually, this will be a great thing when the Baptist Standard starts producing podcasts sometime next year, and I can monitor them myself, since, after all, I am the editor around here.)

Jo downloaded the contents of her computer onto a portable hard drive, and I took it to John. Then John figured out how to find the tunes and moved them to my computer.

In the meantime, however, a very important digital folder disappeared. I called it “holder,” because it’s where I held the projects and documents I wanted to find easily. Like all the work our staff and board has done to plan our new business strategy, and notes from a search committee I chaired, and good articles I might publish in our “2nd Opinion” column. It was like a huge pile of important papers stacked on top of my desk. Only it was on my computer screen.

Then it vanished. The only reason I didn’t tear my hair out was because I didn’t have the patience to find tweazers. And the only reason I didn’t change my clothes was because I couldn’t find any sackcloth and ashes.

When I started breathing again, I checked our network server. Fortunately, I backed up that folder. Unfortunately, I backed it up in July. Fortunately, I’d e-mailed most of the really important documents to other people, and I found them stored with my e-mail.

This embarrassing little episode reminded me I really should back up my computer more often. More importantly, it reminded me how foolish it is to take things for granted. A folder in a computer isn’t that big a deal. But beautiful fall days, health, friendship and God’s love are huge deals. Cherish them, because you can’t back them up.


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