A good chunk of my life almost went down the drain Friday night. My computer wouldn't boot. Against a bright blue background, the words "Unmountable Boot Sector" or other glowed white. I fiddled with the CMOS settings, as what the glowing white text recommended, but I didn't get the results I hoped for.

After numerous attempts my life flashed before my eyes. At least, that span of life covered by the dates on the files I had in the hard drive. Pictures, colored art, documents, scripts, workout videos, research material, plans -- all teetering at the edge to limbo. Yes, I do back-up files on a regular basis, but that disn't change the fact that I had files left over.

So I called computer-savvy brother, who explained to me the entire concept of "Unmountable Boot Sector," and how I couldn't possibly retrieve my files even if my hard drive was placed on slave mode. If my had my personal files in a separate partition, he explained, then I could save them.

There have been times when I find myself wanting to be independent of a computer which, in this day and age, is like saying I'd like to be independent of my brain. I have friends who valiantly resisted getting celphones, only to succumb because of the gadgets' indispensability as business tools. As a graphic designer, I have to have a computer. It's not just a tool to support a profession; it's integral to it, and I have to learn most of the software related to my trade. Late last week, I forced myself to get used to a Mac (I'm a PC baby) and Adobe Illustrator (I'm a CorelDRAW baby), working for five hours to meet a deadline. Believe me, that one-two punch of a shift isn't easy to do in one afternoon.

But I know I'll always have the urge to fiddle with graphics, so the sporadic urges to separate myself from the tech will remain urges.

Or maybe I could learn some new skill, like car repair. Or maybe I could go back to studying graphology. Or something.


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