What started as a typical “Amy” Monday of running errands while the rest of the world went back to work, quickly turned into an exercise of piecing my digital life back together. An hour into my daily Twitter gig, I get an annoying notice to restart my machine. Finally, after I’ve completed all my Twitter-job duties, I restart. To my horror, the 10 month Dell never comes back to life. It sits there with a black screen and no power pumping through the power cord. “You’re kidding, me right?” I’ve already had two motherboard replacements and I knew I had just killed the third.
Yippee! I get to call friendly, Dell Technician somewhere in India. An hour later, I have a service number for a system replacement. Perfect—now how do I get all the crap off my current system? I was totally having a Carrie Bradshaw moment when she takes her computer to the crazy 24 hour tech place and they tell her “did you back-up?” Panic runs through my body and I wonder about every blog post, every photo and every video and song I had saved on that PC. And then there were all those Favorites I had saved…my lifeline to the online world. Could my digital existence be gone that quickly? Not really! For $200-$300, I could have my hard drive extracted and all data recovered. But wait, I don’t have an extra $300! Fortunately, some of my data was saved last week when I upgraded to Windows 7 so it couldn’t be a total loss. It all came down to how much was I willing to lose to put myself back together?
And then it occurred to me. I had a lot of my data stored on the cloud. All my email was on a Comcast server. Many of my photos were on Flickr or Facebook—the others were on my external drive because they were too big for the hard drive anyway. My blog posts resided on my server for all my websites. All my presentations for my classes and student assignments were saved on the Wiki. Even last night I had updated all my writing notes to the Google Notebook. And yeah for me for importing all my Favorites to my new favorite social media site: Delicious. The cloud had saved me.
So by day’s end, my digital life although a little fragmented was recovered. I had survived the crash with minimal loss. Thank heavens for the cloud!