By Kiki Lowenstein, star of the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series, including READY, SCRAP, SHOOT (Midnight Ink), and "Kiki Lowenstein and the Purple Passion" with author Joanna Campbell Slan
This past week two of my computers crashed. Yep, two. There is no feeling more frightening in the world -- okay, save one: The babysitter called-- than hitting that power button, seeing gibberish on the screen and not being able to access your treasure trove.
And it is a treasure trove. More and more of us are storing our entire lives on the computer. I, personally, have more than 3,000 photos on mine. I also have portions of my personal journal, my invoices, my entire address book, and all sorts of correspondence.
As the screen continued to scroll "Start Up Menu" (which was a lie, since it never started), I felt bile rise in my throat. I'd recently logged several projects, because I often do the journaling on computer. I had photos I needed to print. I couldn't see my calendar on Outlook, and worse yet, I couldn't pull up any phone numbers to call someone I thought I had an appointment with.
After running around in circles like the proverbial chicken without a head, I collected my senses, and unconnected the computer from the power source.
"I'll be back," I shouted to my boss, Dodie Goldfader. Luckily, she was reading an Ellery Queen Magazine and didn't much care.
I raced across town to the office of my buddy Eddy. You know Eddy. Everyone has an Eddy in her life. The sweet guy that no one noticed until they had a math problem. Well, I not only notice Eddy, I worship him these days. He answered my frantic banging on the door, let me in, listened, told me he'd call me in a couple of hours.
What a long 120 minutes that was!
"Come pick it up."
"Some error on your hard drive. You did have a backup, didn't you?"
He sighed. "Then I have one word for you, Kiki. One word only..."
I braced myself. I could hear his lips forming the word: STUPID.
"Carbonite," he said.
"Carbonite," I repeated. "Amen!"