"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that, in truth, you are weeping for that which has been your delight."—Kahlil Gibran
This past week, I suffered a professional tragedy that I hope few of you will ever experience. While en route to a meeting, a portable water thermos snugly packed in my briefcase gave my beloved MacBook Pro a bath. When I opened my briefcase at the meeting, my laptop emerged glistening with reverse-osmosis-filtered water. My professional associates gathered around the dripping silver remains, offering words of comfort. One of them gave me the name of a man—who hereafter shall be referred to as the Data Retrieval God—to see if the entirety of my business could be saved.
There were also some quiet yet tasteful suggestions regarding online backup systems and additional hard-drive backups I might want to consider for the future.
He lived 25 miles away and if I wanted to come over that evening, it was fine with him. I put on my coat within milliseconds after hanging up the phone. It was a dark, rainy night with a new moon and my night vision is extremely poor—such was my determination to learn if my business data were alive or no more. The computer, itself, would not start and was surely in a coma, if not dead.
"For some moments in life there are no words."—David Seltzer, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
A half hour later, I stood on the threshold of the Data Retrieval God's door and rang the bell. A tall Englishman answered the door. I thanked him for seeing me with so little notice. He smiled knowingly. He had seen many a feckless laptop user humbled in his presence. Within five minutes, he had the machine completely stripped down with the guts of my computer resting in an electronic life-support device that extracts data. Like a skilled surgeon, he displayed the beating heart of my data on his diagnostic computer screen. I sat in hushed awe. All was not lost.
|My newly beloved MacBook Pro.|
So what have I learned from this unfortunate and expensive experience? There are Data Retrieval Gods in this world who wield the power to reanimate the data of dead computers. DropBox and Carbonite are the holy altars of data backup. And most importantly, it is better to die of thirst than to pack a container of liquid with a laptop.