This is a good news – bad news story. I have a friend that recently invested in a MacBook Pro, based on my recommendation. One of the things I told him was that if you have an Apple PC, one feature that is in the OS that should be used is TimeMachine.
TimeMachine backs up your PC every hour without you having to think about it. You never know when trouble is going to strike. You do have to invest in an external hard drive, but other than that, it is pretty much plug it in and go.
If you have a hard drive with books in progress, tons of photos or other information that is critical to you, and it crashes, you will say, “Why didn’t I back my system up?” Of course that is after you uttered 5 minutes of expletives.
With TimeMachine, it remembers to back up for you. You will still utter the expletives, but at least your data is safe.
My friend reminds me of Joe Btfsplk from the old Li’l Abner comics. Remember, he was the fellow that always walked around with a black cloud hanging over his head.
As I said, my friend, a writer, purchased the MacBook and loved it. He would toss it in his backpack and take it wherever he went and was finding it very dependable. That was until the day he tossed it into his backpack along with a thermos of hot coffee. Apparently he had not made sure the top was secure on the thermos and coffee ran into the MacBook.
He learned that Apple’s warranty does not include bathing with a laptop, washing it in a washing machine or pouring coffee on the keyboard. To make it worse, the cost to repair (at least in Panama) is as much as buying a new MacBook. Yikes! Since I had recently upgraded my MacMini, my old Mac Mini was available and he is now up on it.
Now here is the good news of the story. We set up the Mac Mini yesterday. Signing on to iCloud immediately restored all his contacts and calendar. We plugged in the TimeMachine backup and restored all his files (documents, works in progress, and photos).
He did lose a very expensive piece of equipment, but more importantly he did not lose any of the data that he had spent years and many hours creating. Many items on his laptop were irreplaceable.
I can’t emphasize how important it is to backup your data. It is not that hard to do, but if it is something you have to remember to do, you will remember to do it after it is too late and something will be lost.
I know many of you coming to Panama may be using PCs more than you ever did back home. Storing photos of this beautiful country, writing your experiences on a blog, using Skype to keep up with kids back home, banking or what not. Learn from a resident Panama “Joe Btfsplk”. Back up your friggen PC before it is too late!