Watch yer back(up)!

It’s silly how much we rely on technology these days. There was a time where a pager seemed like something that only surgeons and generals needed and having one made me feel like my clients had me on a leash. Yet now with my primary phone being my mobile I am not only reachable anywhere and anytime but I can send immediate e-mails to the client with contracts, search the web and have a tiny portfolio all on my phone. Pretty kuhl, huh?

Then there is the down side: when our lovely technology goes awry things tend to not go more slowly but rather stop suddenly. Now that almost every editorial photographer is digital we have a load of machines that are critical to getting things done. Last night I was doing my weekly file backup to my external mirrored drives humming to myself how nice it is that should something happen to my main workstation I can take all my files to any other computer and work on them. I was pitying the poor guys who dump everything onto an internal drive so that they would have to dig it out and install it into another computers drive bay to get things rolling again. Foresight friends … always a good thing.

So backup completed time to play. I fired up Call of Duty 4, a very hip (read as violent as all get out) game if y’all like that sort of thing, and half way through a rather hairy round of playing "hey … catch this grenade!" the system shut down. Wham-o! Hmm … tap-tap-tap … uh, … not good. Yep – nothing. She tried to reboot but wouldn’t do it. Now being the total geek that I am I did a "happy dance" thinking: 1) I just did my back up … every thing’s fine!, and 2) Yeah baby! … now I can justify my system upgrade!

Well I had a feeling that it wasn’t a big deal since my system is rock solid. I easily diagnosed the problem and went about my evening sans main workstation. Fast forward to today with one new power supply bought and installed and I’m up and running again. But it made me think of all the folks who would have been totally shut down for a few days while they took their workstation to "the doc" to fix the problem.   What if a drive failed? What if the CPU died? Those things happen. If anything like that did happen last night I have all my work and important files backed up in a way that in 2 minutes I could be working again on the other desktop or my laptop.

It makes me feel good that I’m such a nerd that I think about that kinda stuff so that I can sleep at night. Besides, a client never wants to hear that you can’t get them what they paid for because it’s stuck on your broken computer. That tends to make them allergic to hiring you again.

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