Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Death of the Laptop -- Praise for Flash Drives

It was a pleasant Monday morning (I know, I know, three words that do not belong in the same sentence, but one can try) and I was still feeling the slight buzz of caffeine when my day went horribly awry. My laptop of 10+ years decided that it wanted to take its retirement early and found a virus that could help it get its way. Enter panic mode.

The virus took the form of a protection program allows a free scan of your system. Having fallen for that ploy before, I cancelled and dropped out of the net. The virus had other plans though. Since I refused to fall into its steely cyber clutches, it was not going to allow me access to any of my programs including Word and my own virus protection program. Every so often, the virus taunted me with a brief glimpse of the net before rearing its ugly head.

After a few hours of trying to get some sort of response from my computer to allow a fully system restore – I gave up and allowed my laptop to go into retirement (I will one day conquer that virus). I bought a new desktop with a large monitor to let my eyes rest easier.

I was still in panic mode even after all of my programs were installed – all of my writing work from blogs, articles to even short stories and novel notes would have been lost EXCEPT for one thing – USB flash drives. Panic eased a little. Yeah, I am talking about flash drives. Years ago before flash drives were even a glimmer in the inventor’s eye, I had a similar mishap, but all of my work, including two novels, was stored on my system’s hard drive. Computer went boom and my work went bye-bye. That was when I learn the hard lesson of not keeping important documents or pictures on your system’s hard drive.

USB flash drives can be found for as little as $10 for 2GB of memory. They also come in a wide variety of shapes, styles and colors. Mine are simple black and I am still trying to fill 2GB with my writing. So some serious advice from me to you – get thyself to a store…be it an electronic store (i.e. Best Buy) or your local office supply store (i.e. Office Depot or Staples) or even your local mega-mart that has an electronic section (i.e. Wal-Mart) and purchase your own USB flash drive. Go home and transfer all of your important work there, then keep saving your work on the flash drive. You will be glad you did if your system goes into its own retirement – you will have lost no work.

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