When computers attack, they can do a lot of mental harm. They can do physical harm as well, if they are the right kind of computer in the right circumstances, but I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the laptops and desktops that don’t behave themselves. They can drive you crazy. My net book is one of those. It locks up and then won’t boot up properly, insists on having you run the reboot repair, which doesn’t repair it. Then you reboot again, after a half hour of fighting with it, it boots up and acts as though nothing ever went wrong. I swear I hear an evil chuckle when it does that. I usually end up pulling out its battery and rebooting from that.
I don’t know what’s wrong with it. It does that every so often. I would take it in for repair, but then it behaves and doesn’t do it. There’s that evil chuckle again. Sometimes I hear it when clients call the help desk where I work and report that the computer is working fine now that they’ve called us. Some people think there are gremlins that make mischief with computers; others think that bugs do it. I know better – it’s the computers themselves. They simply like making people crazy.
Rebooting usually makes them behave. Swearing and screaming, while releasing tension in a person doesn’t actually make a computer behave, although threats sometimes work. Sometimes computers balk and shudder, losing files and data. That’s often not the computer’s fault but just it trying to do what you told it to and not what you want it to do. In that case, there is not much to be done, except reboot and try again. That’s the reason behind the maxim: save early, save often.
When working with files from a network, it is best to download the file, save it locally and upload it when you are finished. Then test the uploaded file to ensure that it is not corrupted or anything. That way, you can upload it again if you need to. Then, and only then, you should delete it off your computer. You keep it on the network for a reason. Some people try to save time by working from the network and that usually leads to trouble, delays, and computer attacks.
So to avoid attacking computers, work locally whenever you can, save early, save often and don’t try to find the file with the application, especially a Microsoft Office product. That suite of products has a built in safety net that works when the product has an issue, it will shut down. When you open it again, the application should offer you the latest version of its own autorecovery file of you data. If it doesn’t, you probably didn’t save early and your data is gone down a cyber drain never to be seen again. Avoid this, save early, save often. I recommend that you save the file immediately after opening it so that you can find it again when the computer attacks, because you never know when that attack will come.
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