For many singles the canine makes the best companion. A partner to walk with, sleep next to, share meals and even shop and watch movies in places that permit. I, on the other hand, have grown attached to an inanimate object – a sleek and shiny silver Dell Inspiron 700m. Like my first pet, a miniature schnauzer named Schultz, it coyishly hums upon rising and sits with me on the breakfast table as I make my way into the day, then keeps me company while I work solo from out of my home.
Last week my loyal companion was attacked by an infectious lethal virus. In what seemed like an instant I was disconnected from my connection to a web of information and friends from around the world. I hurried its sickly body to the emergency unit at the nearest Best Buy where a Squad of Geeks began performing diagnostics and recovery operations on my machine. Over the next 8 hours, as I sat anxiously awaiting the test results, I recalled all the brunches, 3:00 a.m. chats and airplane rides we took together. In all the times we shared, it struck me that I never shut it off to rest, defragmented its hard drive, protected it from infection or even backed him up for future generations. How could I have been so careless and insensitive?
The prognosis, thank goodness, came out positive. My computer will never be the same, but thankfully it is purring again and all of its chips are still in the right place. Apart from a new found appreciation for my significant other, I vowed to take the following actions to ensure better care in the future:
1. Save Data: I will set the auto save function on each of my software applications so that documents I am working on are saved every 3 minutes, automatically. Plus, I will invest in a flash or external hard drive and back up my system at the end of each day (ok, maybe once a week) in case of infection.
2. Protect Against Infection: Now that I have the latest anti-virus software installed on my laptop, I promise to update it once a month and scan my computer regularly so that it is protected from any new viruses that spread.
3. Defragment Disk:I will make sure to defragment my hard drive once a month to make it easier for my computer to sort through thousands of scattered files.
4. Let It Rest:I will turn off my computer when it is not being used so that it gets the proper amount of shut-eye.
5. Make Pre-arrangements:Call the restaurant in advance or discretely ask the server for individual bills upon arrival, says Liz. Most places do not see this as a difficult request just as long as everyone pays the proper gratuity.