From the Editor

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Will technology and backup smarts save you from one?

While some deadlines go smoothly, others leave your nerves as frayed as a rug. This time, for me, it was the latter.

I’d been working steadily on this edition of ISS for a couple hours that Wednesday morning … and things were taking shape. I decided to brew a cup of hot tea to steady myself for the journey into layout, which is always a trip through documents, photographs, word counts, page numbers and algebraic equations—seeking the perfect balance between articles and advertising.

When I sat back down to my computer, something was strangely amiss: The screen was dark. Was it asleep? Unplugged by a cat slinking behind my desk? Power outage? No. It was the unthinkable. The worst imaginable. It was … dead.

My computer had crashed!

Like many in the publishing world and every other business, I’ve seen the transition from typewritten pages and filing cabinets to e-mail, Adobe and disks. What I’d never personally experienced—but often heard about—was the deadly “crash.” My hot tea and contentment had suddenly turned into a fingernails-across-the-chalkboard kind of day.

An hour later, after trying every cord and configuration imaginable (even turning my hard drive upside-down), I levitated myself out of denial and phoned our IT guru. Sure enough, John confirmed, there was little to be done except say my prayers. And believe me, I did.

Some have been answered: Our suave server has saved most everything I need to carry on with my duties. Those are the lucky backed-up files. Unfortunately, I had worked on dozens of other files that I brazenly never backed up. Having never had a crash, I didn’t think it could ever happen to me. (Isn’t that what everyone says in the face of disaster?) Ironically, the very topic of backing up files is echoed throughout numerous articles in this issue, articles I’d already read and edited, seeing as this month’s features all focus on technology. I guess it was my time for a taste of the medicine.

Many parents tell their kids, “Do as I say, not as I do.” I’m going to play “mom” right now and tell you to smarten up and back up your files. And don’t stop there: Let all of today’s newfangled technologies (read about them all in this issue!) make your life easier—and safer. Be smart and techno savvy.

You don’t want a computer crash. If it does crash, rest assured you will survive … but there’s no guarantee that your business will.


Drew Whitney
Managing Editor
dwhitney@vpico.com

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