On technology, PCs, Macs, and putting the phone down once in a while

Yesterday, I had a quintessentially 2013 moment. It was Sunday, during football season, and my husband and I were watching two games and the Red Zone channel simultaneously, on three devices. We also were both texting and and checking our fantasy football scores on our two smart phones. 5 screens in one room. Constant stream of communication. Definitely the 21st century.

This is particularly striking to me given the technologically challenged week that I had. On Sunday a week ago, my pink Vaio, whom I cherish as much as I do my own limbs, died unexpectedly. A typical PC death, no virus, no warning, just a back screen and some strange white font saying “operating system not found.” This happened in Glasgow, a day before my return to the US for a very important presentation I had to make. No problem, I thought. My friend Josh (who happened to be on the trip with me for our friend’s wedding) is a technology wizard, and a PC lover. He will know how to fix this. That thought delayed my nervous breakdown. Unfortunately, dead PC won, Josh lost. I cried. Tears of frustration, despair, stress. Without access to my files, I had to recreate my powerpoint slides. Without my Outlook, I had to  figure out how to use webmail. Luckily, my husband took pity on me and loaned me his Apple MacBook Air. I am not a Mac person. I have been a PC lover for 19 years, and have a Samsung Galaxy Smartphone. It almost seemed to add insult to injury for me to be reduced to a state of having to use an Apple computer. I have to admit, I got used to it very quickly…

Fast forward to yesterday, exactly one week after the death of my pink Vaio. I am the new proud owner of my own MacBook Air, which amazes me because I can close it and reopen it without having to shut everything down, because there are no moving parts, and because it is so very light. Of course, I still have my Office programs, and I still can’t live without my beloved Outlook.

I will not dwell on the details of the lost productivity this  past week, the lost files, the 8718 emails I had to redownload and sort through because my hard drive was irrecuperable, despite the best efforts of two Pauls and one Bill, and some ice. Luckily for me, I also have a Mike in my life, who set up an external backup system for me. My last backup was August 28. All was not lost. Only 12 days were lost. Let me just say, if you do not have some type of backup system in place, just do it. I am upgrading to a Cloud backup system, tomorrow.

My reliance on my files got me thinking – I should use GoogleDocs more. Same with Google Calendar. These are available even in the case of a computer death. This past week gave me pause and made me realize how dependent I am on technology, yet also how I could use technology much more effectively. I am going to learn how to use Evernote, actually. Then again, I also need to disconnect from technology once in a while, as this video reminded me…

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