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R.I.P Stan

Yesterday was scary for me.

As a writer, my world can easily fit into a laptop. This is why the best advice anyone can give a writer is to back up files--as much as he or she can.

The night before yesterday, I noticed that my Acer Notebook, Stan, wasn't charging. I mean his battery wasn't charging when I plugged him in. Thinking this was a hardware problem and not software, I didn't back up my files before going to the place I had purchased him.

Seeing that I only had a few days before Stan's warranty was up, I quickly went to the store expecting they would give me a new battery. Confidently, I walked up to the Tech Counter and handed Stan to the guy I bought him from last year.

First lesson here: Ask what the guy will do to your laptop before actually having him do anything.

I didn't do this and was content to watch, thinking it was his job to fix laptops all day so he should know what he was doing. It's like, ask me to write something and I should be able to come up with something written since that's what I do.

Second lesson learned: Start being suspicious when the tech guy is fiddling around with the software when the problem is clearly the hardware.

I had brought a memory stick with me so I could back up my files in case the tech guy needed to do something drastic to Stan. Since he wasn't being communicative (which I really hate, FYI), I sat down and waited.

This is when my gut started telling me something was wrong. Like really wrong.

I started getting nervous and agitated.

And then, the worst thing that could happen to a writer happened when laptops are involved: Stan died. He suddenly died and the tech guy couldn't understand why that happened, like a surgeon watching a patient just expiring on the operating table.

This is where I felt my world turn on its head, and I lost it.

I kept asking him about my files. Could he get them back? He was visibly shaken, but he said he could get back my files by removing the hard drive from inside Stan. I totally lost it then, close to tears.

So, I did what any sane customer would do, I called for the manager. I was hysterical at this point because not only had I suddenly lost Stan and was still in shock, but I would have potentially lost ten, count them, TEN novels in various states of being written.

The manager came and I told him what happened. The tech guy was pale at this point and was trying desperately to unearth the hard drive from Stan's body. It was a gruesome sight even without blood. The manager assured me they would get my files back. Having once lost my files when Fred was reprogrammed, I wasn't convinced until I actually saw my files in the "flesh," so to speak.

The manager (whose name is Emmanuel), bless him, guaranteed the files would be retrieved, and he did me one better. He gave me a new Notebook in replacement for the now gutted Stan. Seeing him dismantled was the most heartbreaking thing I've ever witnessed. It's like staring at a car crash. I just couldn't seem to look away.

Having my mother there was a big help because her calm presence grounded me. Once I saw that my files were all retrieved, I took a deep breath and moved away from the edge of the cliff.

I'm sad that Stan is no longer with me. Even if we spent close to a year together, we still had good times, and have written a few WIPs.

Lessons learned from this experience?

1. Always back up files. (Seems simple, but easily taken for granted)

2. Always ask the tech guy what he's about to do.

3. And before he does anything, ask if you can back up your files just in case.

4. Don't be afraid to talk to the manager because he or she is the one who can really help.

So, with that, I would like to introduce everyone to my newest guy: Elvis.

Let's make him feel welcome.

I expect to be creating magic with him for many years to come.

*the pictures all over this post is of Elvis and various states of coming out of the box. 

7 comments:

  1. Yeah for saved files! Also, you can use things like Google Drive and (my favorite) Dropbox. It automatically backs it up to a secure server off sight, so all you have to do is install the software (Dropbox or Google Drive), connect to your account, and then it automatically downloads the files. Any changes to the local files gets automatically uploaded. Dropbox works really well with Scrivener if you use that too.

    P.S. I'm a huge tech nerd. Ask me anything. :D
    -Andrew (@DyadicEchoes)

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  2. Oh no that's such a nightmare! At least your files were saved though :)

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  3. Oh, Kate. Sorry to hear about your computer- but so glad and relieved to hear your files are okay. Especially your book files! My computer was starting to act unstable...so my husband had me start backing it up. I started with my bookmarks and then he uninstalled and reinstalled my browser (Firefox). Somehow, my bookmarks got saved as the wrong format and now they won't reimport. So, I can't imagine what it would be like to lose your WIP. I hope the rest of your week is much better!

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  4. My heart stopped. Thanks goodness you were able to retrieve your files. I back up like a crazy woman, which saved my work when my computer died last month.

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  5. Ugh, that's just awful! I had a similar experience when my Sony Vaio kicked the bucket 13 months in. I now own a Mac and would NEVER go back to a PC. I'm about 15 months in and it works as well now as it did the day I bought it!

    Good luck with Elvis (I love that you name your laptops! lol).

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  6. My Acer just did the same thing and stopped charging. Good thing I saved everything or I would definitely cry my eyes out. Glad to see Elvis. Sorry to see Stan go.

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  7. Thank you so much for commiserating with me. *hugs*

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