I have terrible handwriting, to be frank. And I know I’m not the only one with this problem. When I was a teenager, I went to the doctor’s for an ear infection, and he had me memorize the illegible prescription he had written for me. He jokingly said that “the smarter you are, the worse your handwriting is.” He more seriously said he wanted to be sure I got the right medication from the pharmacy. Looking back on that as an adult, less enchanted with the humor, I can see the danger is a misunderstood prescription. Now, there’s no imminent danger when it comes to the student feedback teacher’s leave on papers, but there is another kind of danger: frustrated students, illegible critiques and suggestions, and a classroom where writing feedback is never followed for the simple reason that the feedback can’t be read by students.
I’m not talking grammar, here. I’m flat out talking about crashed computers, power outages, Word having an unexpected error, and the dreaded blue screen of death (for PC users).
I, like other writers, have fallen victim to one of the above and have lost pages and pages of well thought-out work. Generally, I hit control+S like a fiend, but once I encountered the blue screen of death on my old laptop, even saving my work didn’t preserve it.
I had to do a whole system recovery to even get my computer working again, which meant a months worth of work was gone and there was no way I could recover it. I suppose I could have done system backups regularly – like after every writing session, but who has time to do that?
System backups take a ton of time and it’s not a very practical way of always making sure your work is backed up because, and here’s the thing, I was lucky that I was even able to recover my computer to an earlier date and get it to work again. Many people who encounter the blue screen of death aren’t able to recover to an earlier backup date.
Fear not! I come offering some easy solutions to always having the latest, greatest version of your work saved and available.
I know some people out there will say “Don’t use PC’s! Use MACS!” but, hey, MACS are expensive. If you can afford one, or an iPad, good for you and enjoy that expensive piece of machinery. I need a simple word processor and for that purpose, PC’s work just fine.