Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I spent yesterday afternoon carefully editing the first draft of my writing project, in response to the first round of suggestions from my client. When I finished, I thought I changed the name of the document, revising the date, and I thought I saw it sitting safely in its folder. Then I downloaded a copy of the original document, which was an email attachment, so I'd have all the original comments for reference.

I had a meeting to discuss the edits this afternoon, and decided to review the draft beforehand. It was gone. Nowhere to be found on my laptop. Not even deep in the in recovery files, not findable by searching, not in the Trash. Nowhere. I must have overwritten it when I downloaded the original version, even though I swear I changed the name and even added an orange highlight so I could find it easily. Hours of extremely picky work down the drain.

Fortunately, I had gone to my super-tough weight-training class today for the first time in nearly a month, so I was too exhausted to heave my laptop out the window.

Sighhh. How do I do these things? It reminded me of the time I accidentally converted my entire creative portfolio to a useless "alias" with a single badly judged keystroke. That happened as I was prudently backing it up, to have an extra copy. I was able to recover some of my work by combing through my email to find attachments I'd sent out to job prospects. Compared to that, yesterday's fiasco was nothing.

So, my meeting is rescheduled. And I have a lot of frustrating work to do, again, for tomorrow. I think that, in 2011, there ought to be an easy way to recover lost or deleted documents from a Mac laptop. (Of course, I was too cheap to try any of the data recovery software out there. I felt it wouldn't have been worth the trouble to sift through the many hundreds of code-named files those programs turn up, assuming they could even find this one, which was not deleted but overwritten. It was only an afternoon's work, but a lot of good work.)


  1. I am SO sorry - and totally feel your pain.

    Pre 'puter, I accidentally threw my master's thesis (only working copy) down the trash chute in my Manhattan high rise. (I had stuffed it in between a paper grocery sack and its plastic outer bag with handles - for safekeeping in transit, of course.)

    The super, sympathetic to my hysterical weeping and gnashing of teeth, stopped the trash compactor and lo and behold - it was still pristine sitting on the top of the pile! (Although climbing in to retrieve it wasn't the highlight of my life.)

    Better success today, APB! Perhaps a wee slice of leftover birthday cake might help!

  2. OMG, aek! I read your comment to my husband, who groaned and gnashed his teeth, too, until we got to the happy ending. Oh, those days of IBM Selectrics and carbon paper! He reminded me that a friend of ours knew someone who left his typed dissertation in his car, which was stolen.

  3. Do not despair! There are easy ways to protect all your hard work, as you are a Mac user. May I humbly recommend Time Machine, which makes automatic backups of your whole computer every hour, 24/7/365. It's painless once you set it up! TM has saved my life more than once.


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