Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Close Shave....

For those of you who have kids you might recognize the title of today's post as a saying from the Thomas the Tank Engine books and TV show. Whenever a near disaster occurs, which often occurs in the Thomas series, the author always calls it "a close shave". Well today I had a close shave. No - it wasn't anything too drastic. I wasn't nearly impaled by rebar falling from a construction site, nor was I nearly electrocuted by a lightning strike. It was much simpler than that - I dropped my laptop on the ground so hard that the battery popped out and all kinds of dust and crud flew out from the fan. I have had this same Lenovo Thinkpad laptop for the last 3 years. We have been through thick and thin together but it has always kept on working. I was afraid that I had really done it today and finally broken the thing. After picking the laptop off the ground and putting the battery back in, I gingerly turned it on. I wasn't sure what to expect. At first nothing happened. I began to curse rather profanely. But... I wasn't about to give up. I pushed the battery pack back into the laptop harder and I tried again. This time - there was success! A light lit up on the front panel and I could tell it was going to start booting up. Yippee - I was saved! Though the first signs were good I watched with trepidation as the boot up process continued. Finally it entered Windows and I was ever so happy. A quick check of Windows Explorer proved that my data was intact. I was elated! A broken laptop might seem like an insignificant thing and in reality it is. However, what would be the true cost to me of a damaged laptop would be the potential for data loss. On this computer I have files and records that I have maintained for the last 15 years. I have a Quicken file that has recorded everyone of my financial transactions since 1995. I have a spreadsheet in which I have recorded all of my work outs, hikes, bike rides and 5K races going back to 2000. Luckily for me I do tend to back up this old laptop fairly frequently, but the thought of losing all that data that I have created over the years is horrifying to me. It is funny how our lives become attached to this gadgets. Prior to 1992 my life ran fine without a computer. I used Franklin planners and paper files. Now without my laptop and my iPhone I am utterly lost. Now that I have added a Mac to the mix I have another device that I can't live without. Oh well - I am sure as the years pass more devices, gadgets and data will become important to me. We had a busy day today. We were up very early as I needed to get Zack to WCCK and get on the road to Boulder by 7:15AM. I spent the entire day in Boulder in a variety of meetings and project reviews. Since so many people were in town for these review meetings we had a project-wide get together at the Westminster Dave and Busters. It was a good event as I got to spend a lot of time talking with my counterpart from the client. Once the project outing was done I stopped by and visited a friend who lives in Thornton since I was on that end of town and didn't have to be home right away. Zack on the other hand went out of state today! The daily field trip from WCCK took him to Wyoming this morning. The kids travelled by bus to a Bison Ranch in Wyoming where they got a tour and had a BBQ. I wasn't sure how Zack would like it given the travel time, but when I asked him this evening he gave the trip a big thumbs up! Thanks and peace to all! - J.

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