I am here - long enough to tell you that... well, I am here!
Believe it or not, I had been creating an *epic* blog post - one that would carry you, Dear Reader, through all of the twists and turns that my life has taken these last 7 months or so. It was nearly complete too. I was going to post it.
But TW had bought me a new computer - 17" top of the line laptop, made for music and gaming. i7 quad-core processors, stuffed to the gills with memory. Gorgeous LED screen. Built-in subwoofer, slot-load Blu-Ray burner. In fact, I am typing on it now! It is so shiny, and pretty... and fast!
I was in the process of moving everything over to the new laptop. I knew I should have backed up the "old" laptop first, but I was excited, in a hurry. I decided to do the backup the next day, after everything had been moved over.
And then my hard drive crashed.
I lost *everything*. Literally In the blink of an eye. I had data, programs, even email that went back to 1988. Some of my first scanned images - made with a handheld Logitech B&W hand scanner... Email correspondence between my Mom and I... some of Twinks first attempts at writing... and photos. So many, many photos. Passwords for websites. Contacts, phone numbers, addresses, email addresses... And digital video and audio of Mom's last three years with us - mostly her playing the piano.
All gone. In an instant.
I grieved. I cried - it felt like such an enormous personal loss. Someone asked me why I was so sad over "just data". It can all be downloaded again, right? And you never went back through all of those emails... you were just being a digital packrat.
And on the surface, that made sense. But my heart could not forget the twenty+ hours of music - of my Mom playing the piano, the old standards she used to play for Daddy, the songs that she and I used to sing together... gone. The music of my childhood, the one thing that had proved to me for the last three years that she was still "here"... gone.
Because she can't play anymore. She will likely never play again. And I lost those files.
And so, I grieved for my lost data, and for all that my Mom has lost. All at once. It wasn't very pretty. In fact, I was so depressed and upset that TW and Twinks were truly on the verge of an intervention when I finally pulled myself together again, and started the work of rebuilding my digital world.
I sent the drive off to a very reputable company, with a heartfelt letter telling them that anything - anything at all that they could recover would be gratefully accepted.
They sent the drive back, with a note that said that they were very sorry, but the head had crashed repeatedly into the one area of the hard drive that rendered all the data on it useless. In other words... the data itself is still there, but there is no way (with current technology) that it can be recovered.
It now sits on my desk, a silent, daily reminder to BACK UP YOUR DATA.
I was fortunate, in that the owner of the company told me about a small program that I could run on any/every computer or hard drive in the house that I had ever used. And while it tied up each computer for nearly a day, I was able - in the end - to recover more of my old "deleted" data than I thought possible.
While I didn't get the email back, or some of my old client data from my (now defunct) web design company, I did recover about 90% of my photos, and probably about 95% of my music. I'm still missing most of my email addresses and snail mail addresses, and lots of phone numbers; none of that was recoverable. But, I was able to restore more than 500,000 individual files. Rescued my ebooks from the iPad (oh yeah - got one of those. Best. Toy. Ever.) and my most recently purchased music from my iPhone4 (oh yeah - got one of those, too. Buh-bye to Windows Mobile. Haven't looked back!) And I also recovered about half of the "Mom" files.
I now have a new 1.5TB external eSATA drive to back up to. Daily.
So, here I am. Still. That epic blog post? It's on the way - soon. I promise.
But before I post it, I am off to catch up with all of you at your Blogs.
I missed you, Gentle Readers. Each and every one!