We are taught in Bram Stoker's Dracula that "love never dies." Perhaps it doesn't. But hard drives occasionally do.
As faithful readers will know, I switched to Macintosh over the summer and have been very much in love with the new machine, just as Vlad the Impaler was in love with his Princess Elisabeta. But last weekend, the Mac's hard drive seized up. I got a flashing folder with a question mark on the screen, and no troubleshooting would help. (This did not cause me to renounce God and swear vengeance while drinking the blood flowing from a cross, although the thought crossed my mind.)
I brought the Mac to the Genius Bar at my local Mac store and was told that the hard drive just up and died. It happens. The guy at the bar told me, "When you've been behind this counter as long as I have, you realize that hard drives are miserable." They just have too many moving parts and will eventually fail. Mine failed earlier than most, but failure was inevitable.
Let this be a reminder to back up your work regularly! I didn't lose too many documents, since I'd backed up within the past two weeks, but I lost about three months worth of e-mail and calendar appointments. I could have saved the calendar appointments if I'd occasionally synced with my PDA, which I've been lazy about doing lately.
I would be grateful for any suggestions readers have about good backup systems, ones that will function almost automatically and not require me to be constantly vigilant. I'd also appreciate suggestions for naming my Mac once it comes back from the store with its new, very empty hard drive. Maybe Elisabeta. Or Mina, since it's been reborn.