Last week the hard drive on my computer failed. If this has ever happened to you, and it has happened to most people, you know how devastating it can be, especially now that everything is digital. I haven’t printed a photograph in years. My digital camera downloads onto my computer and with a click of my mouse I can look at any picture I want; no dragging out albums.
Two years ago my daughters gave me an iPod for my birthday and I made the decision to download my 200 or so CD’s onto my computer. I gave away my CD’s and I now carry over 3000 songs with me wherever I go on my iPhone. I love it. Now when I go on a road trip I don’t have to carry a dozen CD’s with me, in case I want to listen to a certain artist. They’re at my fingertips.
All my finances, personal correspondence and hobbies are stored on my computer. My life is scheduled by my iCalendar; I rely on my digital address book to keep in touch with the people in my life. Losing my hard drive could have crippled me for weeks and devastated me for months.
I once lost the hard drive on my PC and it took me weeks to restore everything, partially because I wasn’t diligent in backing up my computer. It was such a hassle! Burning everything onto CD’s and eventually DVD’s took hours and it wasn’t something I thought about doing regularly. I had to reload all my programs, which took hours with constant shutting down and restarting. I never did recover everything.
When I took my iMac into the dealer last week, the first thing they asked me was if my data was saved. “Yes! I use Time Machine!” and they smiled knowing this would be a very pleasant experience. And it was!
Time Machine is a program that backs up the whole computer to an external hard drive, which cost me under $100. Every hour, Time Machine searches the hard drive of my Mac for any changes I’ve made and backs them up onto the external hard drive.
When I brought my repaired computer home, I simply plugged in my external hard drive. The system asked me if I wanted to set up as a new computer or restore data from an external drive. I chose the restore option and about an hour later, my computer was back the way it was, complete with every program I have ever installed, including updates.
My email was all there. I didn’t have to scrounge through drawers and boxes for back up discs and try to remember who has my software. I didn’t have to sit in front of my screen answering questions and making selections about how I wanted things installed; my Mac already knows what I want. I saved myself many hours of work and a heart-attack-worth of panic by having a Mac and this wonderful program, Time Machine.
If your PC is nearing the end of its useful life as it inevitably will, I urge you to consider purchasing a Mac. It will cost a bit more than a PC but the time and money you will save, just not having to fiddle around with anti-virus, and having Time Machine, makes the extra cost well worth it.
Converting is a bit of a learning curve but Apple has a web site full of video tutorials. I was also able to attend free classes for a number of programs at my Mac store. Most software has a version that will run on Mac and if you really need one that doesn’t, you can get Windows for Mac and run part of your hard drive like a PC to accommodate that program and use Mac for everything else.
Now that I’ve had Mac, I will never go back!
(Neither Apple nor any associated company has compensated me in any way for this endorsement).