Thursday, August 06, 2009

Unsolicited testimonial

Today an electric hiccup swept through the hard drive of my laptop and swallowed my address book. Suddenly all nearly 1100 or so folks I've corresponded with or talked with over the last 15 years were gone. The section called "ALL" was simply empty, an 8Kb data shell.

Happily, I didn't have to freak out completely. Over a year ago, I had read about a company called Mozy that performed automated back-ups into online storage. So long as you were connected to the internet, your computer would be backed up. For a small fee, that seemed good insurance, in addition to my sporadic backups to an external drive. So I signed up.

Set up was not exactly a breeze. I was working from a slightly flaky wireless connection at a location where I was a temporary visitor. The instructions said the initial back up might take a while. I have a lot of data...

Soon I was getting this message:

But the connection kept failing. I'd see screens like this:

That is almost certainly illegible; here's an enlargement of the right panel:

As you can imagine, I was not encouraged. What did the electronic demon mean by "this should never happen"?

But I had a lot of time that week, so I kept restarting the process... Each time I'd see this:

Finally, after 13 days (!), Mozy report it was done.

That was over a year ago. Ever since, nearly every day, despite weeks of travel and all sorts of internet hook ups, Mozy has indicated it had updated my backup over night. Once or twice it seemed to have stopped; on each occasion tech support replied to my inquiries promptly. Though I never quite understood what they (or I?) did, it always resumed backing up.

And so, today, when my address book disappeared, I wasn't all that scared. And I was right. Within an hour I had all 1086 people back. Mozy had worked exactly as it claims to.

Now I need to figure out whether this episode means my aging laptop is on its way to electronic obsolescence...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You might mention that you had a bit of technical assistance in this endeavor.

An anonymous Specialist who should keep her mouth shut!