Thursday, January 12, 2012

In which I am reminded again how old I am

The hard drive on my work laptop is suffering a slow and painful (for me) death, so I visited our most competent and helpful IT guy a few days ago for advice and resources.* After a long discussion of replacement drives, backup strategies and potential disasters, we somehow ended up talking about online services.

The two twenty-somethings in the room were quite surprised to find out that there was a life online before everyone had access to the internet. They knew that there had been a thing called "dialup" but were unaware that AOL was essentially a huge online bulletin board. Then I had to explain about online bulletin boards. Neither had ever heard of CompuServe or Prodigy. One started googling immediately, and probably spent the rest of the day researching the ancient days of the early 1990's.

It was an entire day later that I remembered that millions of people in this country, mostly in rural areas, still don't have access to broadband. Millions of others don't have the money, the motivation, or the perceived need. I assume their lives are lived much differently from mine, since I spend a great deal of time sitting in my living room logged into another machine somewhere, streaming video, or looking up random things I see on television. It's what the punditry likes to call the "digital divide," and those on the other side are increasingly excluded from society. Many businesses, publications, and other activities are now primarily or completely online.

But I digress. Yesterday was about fresh backups and modest but low-risk repairs that I was pretty sure were not going to work. Today I bite the bullet, erase the drive, confirm that it is bad, and replace it. Back up your data kids. Remember, there are two kinds of hard drives -- those that have failed and those that will.

* We have a help desk, but their helpfulness is somewhat ... irregular. I haven't read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but I assume one of them is "find an IT person that will help you."


  1. Timely reminder. This is the kind of barn door I always leave until the horse has bolted. Sorry to hear this has happened to you too (but nice to know I'm in good company).

  2. i just back up photos and documents about once a month onto an external hard drive. honestly? i don't do anything all that important any more, so if i lost my hard drive, i'm not entirely sure i'd miss it...

    irrelevance has it's merit...


  3. ha ha..that's funy, the ancient days of 1990.
    We actually have internet, but I still feel like my knowledge of "what's out there" is limited. I can't keep up.
    and my old brain, just doesn't seem to grasp the concepts as easily.
    and my poor 83 year old dad gets soooo frustrated with his computer, It is almost Impossible to help him through some of what he's trying to do.

    But, thank goodness I have what I do.
    Nice to hear from you again.

  4. I find that the older I get, the more reminders of how old I am are around. The music I listened to brand new as a teen and young adult is now "classic rock" or even *shudder* "oldies". And the other day, I saw a car that was the exact same make, model and year as my first vehicle, and it had an "antique auto" specialty license plate. Geesh!

  5. I'm so old I don't care that I'm aging out of things...

  6. Oh, I was supposed to scroll. I am so out of the internet loop.