Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A hazard of working for yourself

So, I blew up my computer a few weeks ago. Not literally of course, but it felt like it at the time.
It was a Monday morning and I was working away -- trying to finish up some writing before an afternoon meeting. And suddenly my computer took on a life of its own. And before I knew what was happening, an official looking Windows window popped up, told me to scan the computer and simply started 'scanning' my computer without the 'ok' click of my mouse.
Yup, I had a virus. And within minutes it wiped out everything. Files, photos, music, software -- it was all gone.
In a state of shock and disbelief, I packed up and went to my meeting. And when I returned I took my laptop over to Staples, practically pleading with the tech guys there to fix it. And while they did, I moved my work life over to my kids' desktop computer in the family room. Not an ideal situation but what else can you do?
A few days and a few hundred dollars later, the virus was cleaned off, my files were rescued and everything was loaded back on. Unfortunately, now I'm having some hardware problems with it -- I don't know if it's related or not, but it's definitely annoying and definitely something I'm going to need to get fixed. And fast.
I have learned to no longer store my files on my computer. Even though I used to periodically remember to back them up to an external hard drive -- why take the risk? Everything I need is now on a cloud drive. 
This experience has taught me yet another valuable lesson about the perils of working for yourself -- you have to be your own IT department. And since I know nothing about IT, it's definitely a peril.

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