There comes a time in everyone's computer life where stuff has to get backed up.
Otherwise you might lose stuff.
All those endless JPEGs, audio files, and digital scraps that litter our hard drives.
They've come to represent our lives. Our memories. Our poor attempts at being photogenic.
Acting a bit like grandma's old photo albums. Or rock wall paintings from ancient civilisations.
Proof that we existed, and may never have looked younger than that last selfie.
Thus preserving them by way of back-up becomes important, if not to archaeologists, then to our nerdy, narcissistic selves.
But not all of us are computer geniuses.
Which is why developers try to make computers idiot proof, with huge storage capacity and even larger external hard drives.
But still we rise to the challenge, as the challenge rises to us.
Backing stuff up is a process that can get your back up if you're not familiar with how to back stuff up. And even then, there's built-in obsolescence to contend with.
While not meaning to labour the idea of backing stuff up, last time I went to back stuff up I had a bit of a stuff up.
The main one being the external drive I used stopped working.
Not when I was trying to back stuff up, but later when I went to get the stuff back.
The external drive no longer "whirred" when I plugged it in. There was no light flashing either, except in my mind.
Just this realisation the external hard drive looked like something from the 80s.
Possibly the 1880s.
The size of a brick and now just as useless.
Never to be reanimated again, except possibly by aliens in centuries to come who may not recognise the significance of the memories, hopes and pointless JPEGs contained within.
And with that, something died inside.
Me, not to mention the external drive.
A chunk of life, it seemed, lost.
It didn't bode well for the Super 8 videos of our wedding day, captured on the ole state of the art camcorder.
Mental note to self: next time I want a lasting record, maybe hire a sculptor.
Anyhow, you move on to the current challenge. Backing up your computer on the latest modern external device. Slim and sexy, bursting with terabytes and possibly prone to the same retrievability issues as "the brick" down the track.
Pathways weren't immediately clear.
Nor means of extraction once data arrived wherever it was going.
A bewildering journey of discovery across platforms, taming Mountain Lions and Snow Leopards along the way.
Ultimately I found find you didn't upgrade the system - the system upgraded you.
To new levels of awareness.
And how this ritual of backing stuff up may well be pointless five years from now.
Still, no point getting your back up, otherwise you'll never get a back-up.