Thursday, February 9, 2012

Well, well, what have we here?

A few weeks ago we had an exceptionally severe winter storm, with snow, freezing rain and high winds. The combination caused many trees to come down, bringing overhead power lines with them. One casualty of the storm was our desktop computer. A series of power surges, as the electricity went off, on, off, on for an hour or so before going off altogether, was too much for the mysterious inner workings of our machine. When hydro was finally restored a day later, the computer refused to turn on.

I'm pretty self-sufficient when it comes to software problems, but dealing with the hardware is quite another matter. I wasn't at all happy about taking the machine somewhere to be fixed. What would strangers find on the hard drives? Why hadn't I cleared my browser history? What about all the shortcuts to spanking blogs? The browser would probably open up to my Blogger account for the blog. Eek!

But really, I had no choice, and I consoled myself by deciding that anyone who repairs computers for a living has probably seen it all. So as soon as the roads were cleared and safe for driving, I disconnected our computer - carefully labeling all the wires and cables so I would know where each one went - and we drove off to the nearest repair shop.

Our problem was a common one caused by the violent storm, and the technician had seen several cases exactly like ours in the previous 24 hours. He promised to fix it within the hour, so we went for lunch then came back to pick it up.

When we returned, it was ready to go.

"It works fine," the technician said. 'I turned it on. I like your desktop!"

My desktop? What on earth was on the desktop? I couldn't remember. Did I have shortcuts to spanking sites? Blog pictures? My mind was blank.

"Thanks," said Ron, and he looked quite pleased. Then I realized that they were referring to the wallpaper on the desktop. Ron has a series of satirical political cartoons and photos that he likes to display, and obviously his latest was a hit with the guys in the shop. I breathed a sigh of relief!

Our computer worked better than ever, and the first thing I did once it was up and running again was back up all our important files and pictures, and move all blogging-related items to a flash drive.

Update: Sadly, our hard drive collapsed a few days ago, and in view of its age, we opted to buy a new machine rather than spend any more money on the old one. We went back to the same shop and bought a brand new computer with much more capability and a newer operating system. Again I had a moment of panic when I asked for the data to be transferred from the old machine to the new, but I really didn't have any choice.  I felt mixed emotions when I received a phone call from the technician later that day, telling me he had been unable to retrieve any files from the old hard drive. Once again I had escaped detection, and the backup from a month ago meant that we had lost little.

From Hermione's Heart


Spanky said...

I'm glad it worked out for you. There's always a worry in the back of my mind that someone might log on my computer (or steal it) and find something I'd rather they not. I think the flash drive is a good idea; I'll have to think about that.

Susie said...

Ugh...yeah, that's a little nerve wracking for sure! I have my own personal IT department and need to remember to not take that for granted. Glad it all worked out!

Anonymous said...

Ah, the mixing of technology and our kinks. While the computer age has made our kinks more enjoyable and easier to share our stories and desires. It does present some unique challenges especially when it comes to keeping our desires hidden from those we rather not have knowledge of what we do. The challenge becomes even harder when making sure our little ones don't accidentally run across our saved material. I go to such length to ensure our spanking material is hidden from unwanted viewing that I often forget where I saved it to. Sometimes I think I need a computer tech just to help me locate all of our stuff we have saved. I am always envious when someone gets a new computer, I hope you enjoy it very much. Thanks for your great blog as we both enjoy reading it.


PK said...

You have done a great public service here. I need to get things backed up. My nephew usually works on my computer for me and I know that panicky feeling about what may be found.


Aimless Rambling said...

I use flash drives to back up some things but not often enough. My laptop even reminds me to back up once a week but naturally I don't pay attention.

I never thought about someone finding all that "stuff". Oh well, if it happens I'll just take it to another town. Haha.

Have a great day.

ronnie said...

Worries me the computer geeks will find something I don't want them to but have taken my laptop in twice to them and no problem. Glad that everything went OK for you.

Thanks for the back up reminder Hermione, that's something I really must do.


Dee said...

I haven't backed up any files either. I think I might now though! Lol!

Dee x

Michael said...

Good luck with the new computer, Hermione, and glad you didn't have an embarrassing "Gotcha" moment at the computer store. Good reminder about backing up our files. Thanks.

sarah thorne said...

TRUST me, they HAVE seen it ALL!!!!


sarah thorne said...

BTW, we have external hard drives where we have backed up tons of files. Every now and then I get them out and put more stuff on them!


Hermione said...

Spanky - Yes, it was all right in the end (pun intended:)

Susie - In out house I'm the IT go-to person, but I know my limitations.

VBB - The trick is to store it all in one place, but not give it an obvious identifier like "My spanking pictures". Passwords will keep out some young prying eyes, but don't make it and easy one that they can guess. A flash drive that you can carry with you is best.

Sunnygirl - Good excuse to move and have a change of scenery:)

Ronnie - You were lucky, but I'm sure they would never say anything and confess they might have been snooping.

Dee - There's no time like the present.

Michael - It's super-fast, and doesn't make strange grumbling, rattling noises, so we did well.

Sara - I though they might have. I think an external hard drive is an excellent idea. The new computer has a built-in backup that recommends using one.


Riley said...

I'm glad it worked out okay for you! I'm always worried what will happen if I have to take my computer in. It's half the reason I was apprehensive to start a DD blog. But really nothing I have on here is toooooo too terrible and as you said I'm sure computer technicians have seen it all!

Lea said...

I hope you recovered everything you need. I'm happy my husband works in computers so I don't have to worry about those things. Lol. But I'm sure that computer people HAVE seen it all.

Hermione said...

Riley - I think you're probably quite safe.

Lea - And then some!

Anonymous said...

For anything that is truly irreplaceable, one form of backup is not enough (though obviously better than nothing).

While I use an external hard drive for my weekly backup, and flash drives for daily, I also use DVD's for off premise critical files / movies/ photos /records.

An external is great, but what happens if you have a crash in the middle of your backup. You could lose both the original hard drive as well as your backup copy.

Multiple flash drives can ameliorate that problem to a degree. However, flash drives (as well as DVD's) have limited capacities.

As for security on your own hard drive, a strong password and keeping all important files under the administrative user can help.

Other "tricks" include having a partition with a strong password and then you transfer those items ONLY you want to see (after they are backed up of course).

As for backup, I use Second Copy. It's $29.00, but it has saved my ass, literally, on numerous occasions. It is more or less, set it and forget. A couple of times a week, I check the log to ensure that backups are going normally.

Five minutes a day can save a lot of grief down the line.


Unknown said...

You are one lucky friend.... I had a hard drive once that need to have the files recovered, and the drive contains all my juicy pictures and articles. The guys eyebrows were a little raised when he said he was able to retrieve everything and reformat the drive and put everything back... I just smiled and thanked him... Fortunately I live in a large population area, so will never meet this person again.
Advice of the day: Move south where it is warmer...

Hermione said...

OTKRob - Thanks for all the helpful advice. I'll look into Second Copy.

Red - Oh, how embarrassing! That's the benefit of living in a big city; no one will ever know (I hope!)

The tech guy told us we could take the hard drive to a forensic retrieval place if we really had to have it restored, but I'll pass on that.