Monday, December 08, 2008

a Christmas miracle!

Last night, our computer was making more noise than usual. The fan seemed to be working harder than it normally does, and there was some sort of high-pitched beeping. It was disconcerting.

This morning, it appeared to be dead. It sometimes spontaneously turns off and then refuses to turn back on, so I hoped that this might be another case of a finicky power supply... but then even Marc couldn't turn it on, and he usually has the magic touch (a la the boy who can talk to machines on Heroes).

He took the computer to work and had some tech services guys look at it. It turns out, the power supply seems to be fine. Evidently, it's the hard drive.


Please back up your computer. 
I heard that so many times, but I never seemed to find the time, plus I wasn't sure how to even do it properly. 
Boy do I regret not doing it now!
Don't make excuses.
Just do it.

Did I mention I spent 9 hours yesterday working on a Blurb book? Yeah, all the changes seem to be gone now.

Fortunately, I keep almost all of my photos on an external hard drive and on smugmug (so I only lost a few).

But right now, I am heartily mourning the loss of all of my data!

-- Primary talks my kids have given
-- Birthday/Christmas tags
-- Party invitations
-- so many many .pdf files I downloaded over the past 4 years
-- tons of ideas to keep for later
-- all of my lovingly compiled bookmarks!
-- software that we don't have the disks for and therefore can't reinstall
-- the many, many, many CDs we have loaded into iTunes (we still have most of the CDs, but that was a lot of tedious work!)
-- that blasted Blurb book, which now will not meet tomorrow's submission deadline for being ready in time for Christmas...

Max is sad about his games that he downloaded and registered over the years. Also his budding computer programs he has been writing.

We haven't given up all hope yet, but it is not looking good for that hard drive.

I must have walked over to the computer desk 25 times today, wanting to check something or other. (Why would my brain refuse to retain the information that it was gone??)

All day long I wondered what we would do if the computer was beyond repair. We can't live without a home computer! And we certainly don't have a big chunk of cash lying around.

Despairing, Max added this to his Christmas wish list.

So imagine our enormous surprise when Marc came home tonight with a new iMac!

Apparently he's been planning for the last 6 months to surprise us with a new computer for Christmas -- what the? It's not financed, it's paid for. Seriously, what are the odds? He wanted to save it until Christmas, but I think he knew we couldn't be without for that long. I think it was even better this way, because we were right there in the midst of our computer-less pain, and it could not have been more unexpected.

The screen is bigger, the keyboard is super-sleek, and it came with a new mighty mouse that is fully functional!

So, to sum up:

Losing data = so sad.
New computer = very happy!
Having a blog + smugmug (online storage) = endlessly grateful.


wende said...

i'm so so so sorry for you. it's a painful lesson to learn. but, i'm excited about your mac! that keyboard looks absolutely delightful to type on!

Kelly said...

Wow! Marc had no idea the hero he'd be with this fabulous idea 6 months ago. Hooray! My imac will not turn on, and the people at the apple store think it's just a power switch (that would be $1100 to fix!!), and that we can just buy a new computer and transfer everything over. I don't know how without a power switch, but I'll let them figure that out. It has been a big lesson to me. I have a lot of photos backed up on CD's, but not all. I am definitely doing the smugmug thing.

Sorry for all your lost details!

Diana said...

I hope you're able to retrieve all that is lost.
Lou is good about backing things up, thank goodness since our computer crashed about 2 months ago. Linc helped Lou retrieve a lot of our stuff. You should have Hannah talk to him to help you guys.
Sorry about your blurb book.

Diana said...

oh congrats about the new computer and that's extra cool that it's paid off already.

Amy said...

That seriously makes me feel sick to my stomach! I'm so glad you have a new computer, though! I'd probably go into life threatening withdrawal if I lost the use of my computer! Oh, and just so you know, there's a great service out there called Mozy ( that we use to back up our computers. It works great, and everything is off site and not on discs or a hard drive that can crash. It's not very expensive either, like $5 a month.

Alison said...

Yay new Mac!

I bet the Mac Geniuses can retrieve your old data... take the old one in!

patsy said...

I love this Christmas miracle!

marc truly saves the day- and already paid for?! he is a hero!!

I bet someone can dig that stuff up- really. I've seen it done before. It will cost you but not a lot. this time of year some computer guy could use the $ I bet.

lelly said...

it's so pretty!!

Amy said...

That was heartbreaking, then beautiful. Though I would still be most grieving the lost Blurb book. Nine hours yesterday?! Ouch.

Jill said...

That monitor is ginormous! Does it even fit on the desk? Wow, wow, wow. It's a Christmas Miracle indeed! I'm so psyched for you. It's very sad that you lost all that other stuff, but this gift has got to cushion the blow!

amy m said...

michelle I am mourning with you. What a loss and at this time of year. I'm so sorry. Yes, backing up constantly is the only way to go and have also learned my lesson the hard way.

Of course the imac more than makes up for the stuff you lost, right? A big monitor makes everything better. Wow!

melanie said...

I swear you wrote this post just for me! Our old computer is so slow, noisy and on it's very last leg. The dumb thing is I have one sitting in my living room waiting to be set up but the copying and transfering on that slow thing make me give up. NO more, I'm taking this public service announcemnt seriously!

I hope you get at least some of what you lost.

WooHoo for a new imac. Love that new monitor. Marc is a hero and a genius!

Michelle D. said...

Thanks for the warning - I backed up all of my work computers after reading this! And Yea!!! A new computer...if only it magically came with everything you lost.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

This post ended up so much happier than I expected. My stomach got a pit just reading about your losses--obviously it recognizes those indigestive sorrows--so I was so happy to hear there was a bright spot.

Susan said...

Happy endings- so good.

Great gift, good going Marc! And it looks very stylish, for sure.

Kim Sue said...

I think we have most things backed up but I haven't ever thought about our iTunes and all those hours that we spend loading music from CDs. About to add that to our external hard drive right now!

carlo said...

yay for marc! what a great gift

so so sad for your lost data though. it puts a pit in my stomach.

perhaps i should stay up and smug mug tonight...

i do love the "this defies comprehension" tag though...

Robyn said...

Wow, does that make you grateful for a husband who saved and planned ahead? Way to go Marc! Talk about saving the day. I can't even begin to imagine my pain if this had happened to me. Merry Christmas! Enjoy the new computer!

Liz said...

Seriously??!! That is the best early Christmas present ever!! I bet Marc felt like Santa bringing home that awesome surprise!

TX Girl said...

We also learned that lesson when we lost all our photos and spent HOURS upon HOURS of recovering them. So sad for you. We now have an external hard drive and back up our computer weekly! Although- I haven't done anything with mine.

What an AWESOME husband. He totally rocks! And that screen- shesh.. it almost looks like a movie screen.

Barb said...

Well, Marc was inspired. I'm sure that was a much better way to get it than waiting till Christmas morning.

charlotte said...

That is most definitely a Christmas miracle! Such a bummer that your hard drive crashed, but woohoo for a brand new Mac! Marc sure knows what he's doing.

Denise said...


Anonymous said...

Marc is so awesome! I love that he showed up and saved the day. MUCH better than waiting for Christmas :)

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