Thursday, January 10, 2008


I had this great idea for today's Blog having to do with some experiences last night, but they are going to have to wait until tomorrow. I got to school this morning and turned on my computer as usual. It opened up fine, but instead of seeing my family, I saw a stock background and most of the icons on my computer were gone.

That was a little weird, but I continued to try and check my email as I usually do in the mornings and found that all of my Internet settings were gone. That means that I can't even get to one of my accounts and I had to work to get to the others. No big deal, but it's really weird. Then I thought, I hope that all my files are still there. I went down to the start menu and scrolled up the "recent documents" heading. The little pop-out think simply said, "empty".

That is when I began to get a little stressed. Let's recap what was going through my mind. First, I have done about 20 hours of work on a research project that i don't have saved anywhere else. Sure I probably have about 40 hours to go and the data is all still online, but I really don't want to have to redo the first third of that project. Then I thought of all of the classes that I've taken in the last two years of college; the course notes that I have saved, the assignments, presentations, research... It's all on this computer and nowhere else. After those thoughts I was very stressed. (You should all be proud, I didn't say any bad words... at least not out loud).

I took a little time and looked around in different places. "My documents" was empty except for what usually comes with a new computer. I still had all of my programs, even those that I've added fairly recently, but not a single file that I had generated. I checked the C drive. Nothing was there. So I unplugged the computer and took it to the techs on the other side of the building.

He started looking through the places where I had already looked. He didn't find it and i wasn't surprised. He then looked at the hard drive (you know the little pie graph of how much memory you have used and free). I said I thought it looked about like normal. He then asked if I had any music on my computer. I said that I did, but not a whole lot. He said that the amount of used space was not enough to store much music. I had gone to this guy to save my day, but things were not looking good. He then started snooping around in the hard drive and a few files later he found one labeled "desktop" and it contained everything that had previously been on my desktop. He then hit the mother load with another file that contained all of my precious work for the last two years.

So evidently while I was sleeping last night, my computer spontaneously moved everything from where it belongs to one file that can only be accessed a certain way. I have it all back now and I can rearrange it on my computer (except my favorites from the Internet, that is totally gone and I'm upset because I don't remember all of the stuff that was on there and I had some good links on there). So when is the last time you backed up your hard drive? I think today is a good day to do that. In fact, I have already put everything important on my jump drive.

And the link to simplicity... Isn't technology supposed to simplify our lives? I have absolutely no desire to file all of my documents on paper in a filing cabinet, but it bothers me how upset I was about losing information. Is that what is really important in life? (I'll give you a hint, the answer is NO). Sure it represents work and time, but it's not that big of a deal. Losing my family... That would be a big deal and i frankly don't think I could handle that, but a computer or a file is just a little stuff.

So that is why i am trying to simplify my life. I want to get back to what is important, my family. I also want to make positive contributions to the world around me and for that reason I am receiving more education and working to promote sustainable development and healthy living. But when it really comes down to it, the most important thing to me is my family and my beliefs, nothing else really has any substantial value.


Kristin R said...

Hi there, Sans Auto. We haven't met, but I am Bri-onic Man's sister, so I've read your blog a few times since he refers to it/you. Sorry about the waywardness of your computer today. What a lot of unnecessary stress.

But that's not why I'm writing. Really, this is about me and my issue. ;) I want your input as to how to approach this situation, if you'd be so kind to address it...

At last night's PTA mtg, an ongoing fundraiser was discussed where the kids bring in plastic grocery bags, fill a 60-gal container, the school turns it in to Wal-Mart and gets $5. The schools in the region also compete for who can bring in the most and 1st place gets $3000 for their school, $2000 for 2nd, $1000 for 3rd.

I was starting to squirm a little bit and then the principal said, "You know how to get more bags, don't you? I just go to the self-check at Fred Meyer and put one thing in each bag!" Everyone was smiling and saying, "What a great idea!"

I wanted to scream. But, as my daughter is new to the school, I restrained myself. I am still horribly bugged by the whole idea, though, and want to address my concerns to the PTA pres and to the principal. And, maybe even to Wal Mart. The thing is, at heart, it's a good thing to encourage kids to recycle. Better to do that than to throw those bags away. HOWEVER, it would be even better to teach them to use cloth know, as in REDUCE, reuse, recycle?!

I remember hearing that the process of recycling plastics isn't "good..." lots of fuel or chemicals involved or something, but I can't remember the details. Do you have any insight? How would you respond to this situation?

Thanks, Sans Auto Man! ;)

Emily Allan Wood said...

I don't think your computer did any of that spontaneously....if it did, its got issues and I would be very cautious and back everything up. You can get a USB stick or external hard drive to easily back your documents up. I would never trust a networked computer to store all of my data without the possibility of losing it all.

In the meantime, don't be suprised if someone did this to your computer via the network at school. I.T. people have a habit of making changes without informing others about it first. They feel justified because it is technically "their computer" and not yours.

If this happened on your home computer, then I would definitely back everything up and then wait to see what happens next. You may have malware.

Heather said...

I agree with Emily. I saw this all the time in the Library at BYU. The tech guys would load all your files into one file, then re-image the computer remotely. Every once in a while they forgot to put things back were they found them, or forgot to re-install a program. A USB drive is a wonderful back-up source! It's saved Earl a few times.