On a Monday morning close to a month ago, I got on the BART for work and took out my (personal) laptop to do my daily Bible reading and prepare for a Bible study I had to lead. When I arrived at Pleasanton I quickly finished typing some notes and hibernated my computer.
After I left the office, I got back on the BART and took out my laptop again to resume. When I pushed the power button, after the BIOS loaded, I was jarred by an obnoxious beep and a terse message on my screen that said: “Read failure on internal drive.”
Long story short, I had to get a replacement internal drive from Dell.
Thankfully, I didn’t lose very much. It just so happened that the night before, I had decided to back up my recent files (mainly photos, music, random documents,and some programming stuff). It could’ve been much worse, so thank God.
But when I realized what I did lose, I was a bit sad. This next bit might sound kind of pathetic, but bear with me.
Since two years ago, I started avidly using e-sword. I only have NKJV on my computer and not in print, so consequently I’ve done most of my Bible reading on the computer. I also started making use of the study notes to annotate short reflections, thoughts, cross references, etc. on a bunch of verses, as well as markup like highlighting and underlining. The study notes and markup are stored in two files under Windows’ Program Files directory. Because of that, unfortunately, these files were not included in my automated backup the night before my hard drive died.
When I checked my most recent manual backups of those files, they were from the beginning of June of this year, 2009. I essentially lost an entire summer’s worth of Bible study notes, cross references, and short reflections. That may not sound like much, but considering I went to EWR and NYTS, it’s a pretty sizable amount.
I tried very hard to recover the files. I spent everyday after work for a week running various tools and utilities, but to no avail. Eventually, I decided to give up.
What did I learn from this (besides that I need to back up more often and more thoroughly)? I learned, to my dismay, that my heart was not first and foremost set on the Word of God. To my shame, I remembered to back up all my files the night before except the ones that were spiritually much more important.
I learned that I would rather spend many hours trying to recover random bits from my hard drive (which I never found), than to spend those hours reviewing my non-e-sword notes (I use OneNote as well) and perhaps manually re-add the study notes and reflections based on them.
To all you who are like me and extensively use computers for Bible study – be careful that you’re not unwittingly substituting your heart with your hard drive.
Also, buy Mac if you can