This song keeps going through my head,  “Nobody knows… the trouble I’ve seen…”  well, maybe that’s a bit self-important because I know that things could have been MUCH WORSE and much more inconvenient than they have been.

Let me tell you my cautionary tale, it began on Sunday…

I was having a wonderful day babysitting my niece and listening to all the funny things that come out of 2 year old brains.  We had tried to Skype with my parents but they weren’t at their computer – their loss! – so we put the computer to sleep and went back to building with Legos.  Later that day, we thought we’d try again but when I tried to wake up my computer, I had a blank screen, some clicking and scratching noises and nothing else.  Hmmm… not good!

I ended up taking my iMac to the Apple Store Sunday night and they diagnosed it as making “unnatural sounds” for a Mac.  They kept it over night and Monday I got it back – complete with a brand new hard drive.

I wasn’t too worried because I thought my backup and workflow systems were really good.  Well…

When I started my “new” machine I chose the option of installing from Time Machine. (For you non Mac users, that’s the program that you schedule to automatically back up everything from your computer, every hour.)  No worries!  Let it do it’s thing and thought I’d be back to go. Well…

I was back to go, circa JULY 2010!!!  What on earth???  I thought Time Machine was up and running and doing it’s job.  However, this iMac was purchased in July – I guess I didn’t set it up or didn’t notice that it said there was a “Tara’s Computer” folder from another machine and never set it up for the new one.

This is better than just losing everything all together of course.  But now I’m having to update all my software and restore from Backups.  THANK GOODNESS I regularly back up things like QuickBooks to external drives, that are mirrored each night so I have duplicates, otherwise I’d have lost all accounting since July.  That’s just one program…

So… although I have a lot of “real work” to do, I am left spending hours getting my digital life back to where it was Sunday morning.

I URGE YOU to make sure the systems you think you have are working or stop and decide if what you do with your computer, your art and your data would be adequate if your hard drive just decided it was done with no warning.

Here’s to your creative – and uninterrupted – success!

– Tara Reed