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    USB = Universally Stupid Backups

    | SC, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I have just solved a customer’s virus problem.)

    Me: “That should do it. I got it all before it was able to do any major damage. Do you keep good backups?”

    Customer: “Backups?”

    Me: “Yes, copies of your important files for when—and I do mean when, not if—something happens to your computer. For instance if this virus had not been kept in check.”

    Customer: “So I could have lost all my music and wedding photos, and pictures of my grandma who passed away?!”

    Me: “It’s possible, if you do not have copies somewhere else, yes.”

    Customer: “Oh my God! Can you show me how to back them up?!”

    (I spend another 30 minutes showing her how to backup to a USB thumb-drive I have with me, as she does not own one.)

    Me: “You will need to get your own USB drive. You should be able to get one of adequate size for around $10 to $20.”

    (Three months later, I am at the same customer’s house.)

    Me: “Sorry, but it looks like your hard drive has crashed.”

    Customer: “What does that mean?!”

    Me: “The part where all your information is stored has gone bad. Anything on it that was not backed up may very well be gone for good, unless you wanted to send it away for costly data recovery.”

    Customer: “Oh yeah… I remember you telling me to backup the last time you were here so I went and got one of those things… let me get it.”

    (She leaves the room. I hear some rummaging and she soon returns holding the UNOPENED USB drive.)

    Customer: “Sure am glad I got this!”