Over the past week or so, I worked with two university students who had issues with their computers (laptops) seriously affecting their school work.
The first student was Lauren, who inadvertently ran over her only power cord with her car, one day before her final paper was due. Unfortunately, her battery did not work well so she was unable to retrieve her already completed final paper from her laptop.
Needless to say, she had few notes so she had to write the entire paper from scratch. She was not only without her laptop but she only had about 4 hours at the university to rewrite her paper. Considering the paper was 6 pages long, she was going to have a challenging time to create a new paper that came close to the kind of quality she had originally produced.
Regardless, it makes me think why did she put herself in this position?
The second scenario occurred a few days prior and were under slightly different circumstances. Marie’s HP laptop would not boot properly. It was slightly over 1 year old which meant it was no longer under warranty and she certainly was under a time crunch. Apparently she didn’t drop it or misuse it in any way, it just wouldn’t load properly. Marie’s PowerPoint presentation for her class was saved on this laptop. In addition, her final paper was also on that machine.
Needless to say, she had no backup. I’m not here to say you should back up your entire machine, we all know that it’s more specific and detailed than that. At the very least, target backing up items that you have worked on for at least 30 minutes.
What are the alternatives? Let’s be honest, laptops can and do break down. Save to the cloud even if you have a laptop and you never think you’ll need to access this information. If you back it up, you have that option if your laptop is stolen, doesn’t boot up properly, or have power issues. Flash drives or external hard drives can be cumbersome – just another thing to worry about although consider the alternative of not having that option and having to recreate from scratch.
Should we learn or consider a lesson from other people’s mistakes?