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I Remember the Time I Lost My Data (Part 1)

I document everything. From photographing my daily commute to scanning and saving every receipt I acquire, it’s important to me that everything I’ve done or seen is somehow on file. I’m a private eye, and I believe in impeccable organization, and keeping records of everything I see and do. As I learned in detective school, anything can lead to a clue.

Every day, I create a new file on my enormous hard drive titled with the date. There are over 4,000 files. Over the last 11 years, I have diligently documented everything. I can pull up information on any hour of any day and remember exactly what I was doing then. I have traced that data back to robberies and kidnappings and used it to solve mysteries. For example, by snapping photos of the muddy animal tracks on the sidewalk, I helped the bakery discover that it was a fox who was breaking in and stealing cookies. That’s just one example of out of a thousand where my record keeping came in extremely handy.

It was under unfortunate circumstances when I realized how important it is to back up my data. It started out like any other Thursday morning. I was reviewing my data collection from yesterday, including a few photos of the groceries I purchased, a pigeon hopping on a giant scarecrow, an abstract figurine my nephew constructed out of Silly Putty, a recorded conversation with my accountant, and the list of songs I had listened to that day. Yes, minutia to most folks, but details that I consider important.

It was a beautiful, sunny morning. I opened the windows to let the warm breeze in. The birds were chirping, and a family of blue jays seemed to be in perfect harmony. I poured my cereal and was brewing some coffee when I heard a crash. I looked over to my laptop and saw that my new puppy had gotten tangled in the power cord and had innocently pulled the computer to the floor. The external damage to my laptop was obvious. What wasn’t so obvious was the internal damage.

After successfully getting my laptop to turn on again, I immediately heard clicking noises. I would eventually figure out that my hard drive was the culprit. It became obvious that my hard drive was experiencing mechanical failure. Eventually, it would also become obvious that all of the data I had accumulated over the past few years was gone. Unfortunately, nothing was backed up. It was a lesson learned the hard way. Now I’m an advocate for people to back up all of their files to the cloud. It’s what I call a data-saving solution. You don’t have to be a detective to figure that out!

Back up and protect your important files with Mozy by Dell. Case closed!

Check out how another Mozy customer combined his detective work with the reliability of Mozy cloud backup to track down the thieves who stole his laptop. Watch video.

What if there were a real-life data protection superhero?

Silicona sinks down in her leather armchair, and throws her feet up on her creaky wooden desk. It’s been a long day. Nearly 1,000 terabytes were recovered today. Her phone buzzes with texts: You saved us, Silicona and We are eternally grateful for your work. She watches as her screen lights up rhythmically with new messages. Her skin is sunburned, and her combat boots are dusty from the dry Nevada desert. Her fingers are still shaking from inputting so many different coding strokes. Back home in Oakland, California, none of that matters now. She just saved one of the most highly protected government programs from detrimental exposure.

This wasn’t the first time Area 51 had called upon Silicona. Back in 2013, the United States Air Force facility had asked her to stop a totally different security breach. A hacker had siphoned nearly every top secret file on a new aircraft aimed for extraterrestrial territory, and the Central Intelligence Agency was on the brink of being fully exploited. The National Security Agency had their own team of highly-trained technologists who could trace and capture cyber culprits, yet, none of them rivaled Silicona.

Raised in an airstream in a remote town on the coast of North Carolina, Silicona was far from your typical tech geek. She was born with the innate ability to interpret computer language at lightning speeds. Graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at 16, Silicona soon became  primed to save governments, businesses, and individuals from data hacks. Time and again she reversed malicious data infractions and kept information that could set the world on its head safe and secure.

This time a hacker had nearly released hundreds of documents depicting Area 51’s latest venture, a fighter jet with speeds up to 3,000 miles per hour. Silicona had used her self-developed detection software to pin-point the hacker’s exact location, and powered up her interloper to permanently shut down their computers. Silicona never gave away her software or protocol. This is what made her so valuable to government agencies across the globe.

Text messages continued to cascade through her phone, including one from United National Secretary, General Siobhan Gutierrez: Amazing work, Silicona. Please call when you’re able. We might have another situation on our hands. Although it was late and Silicona was exhausted, she was worried about what Gutierrez meant. She had no idea Gutierrez even knew about the Area 51 hack. In her pajamas, Silicona made a vermouth cocktail and gave her a call.

“Hello, Ms. Secretary-General. It’s Silicona.”

“Thank you for calling me so late. We have a dire situation on our hands. I’ve been hacked. All of my files are gone.”

“Ok, did you search through any external hard drives?”

“Everything.”

“Let me see. What’s your computer’s serial number?”

Gutierrez read over her computer’s information and Silicona locates the problem.

“Ms. Secretary-General, you have too many files. You computer’s overloaded. When this happens, your computer freezes over your data to prevent you from adding anything else.”

“Oh. This is embarrassing.”

“You know, Mozy by Dell has a cloud backup solution to protect all of your information just in case something like this happens again. It’s what I use to back up my data.”

“You’re the best, Silicona. Thank you again.”

 

Note: Silicona is make believe. Mozy by Dell is for real. Real data protection for real threats to your important files, including ransomware.

 

A Technological Twist on the First Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 21, 1621 — Governor William Bradford wakes up on a cold, crisp morning in Plymouth to the sound of a text message. It’s from Tisquantum, one of the Wampanoag who helped him harvest corn yesterday. “Are you up?” it reads. Bradford slides out of bed and his feet hit the freezing dirt floor. I’ll respond later, he thinks.

Bradford changes into his linen shirt, stockings, and cloak. The sun is slowly starting to rise as he boils water for tea and listens to the news. His desktop is streaming KJBC, or King James Broadcasting Corporation. Cornelis Drebbel has just launched his submarine. Bradford laughs as the leather-wrapped underwater boat chugs along the Thames. No one’s going to have any use for that ship, he thinks. He opens up the shared “Treaty” document on Google Drive. Ousamequin Yellow Feather— aka Chief Massasoit—made several comments. John Carver countered nearly every single one of them, and in many instances, made the language even stronger.

Bradford adds a comment: “This is a treaty between two nations, Wampanoag and England. We need to protect each other from harm and violence, not create it. Please, let’s try to live together peacefully.”

He presses “Enter” and immediately his cell phone rings. It’s Carver.

“Good morning,” Bradford says.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Carver demands. “Why are you trying to wreak havoc on these people? Let’s not make things more tense than they already are. This is our land now, Bradford. Let’s just get this meal thing over with.”

Bradford sighs and hangs up and walks outside to see his wife, Dorothy, preparing the table with a massive spread.

“Is this really going to fill 113 people?” Bradford asks.

“I’m doing the best I can,” Dorothy says. “This article I read on Henrietta Maria Living says that when you throw big dinners like this, it’s rare that every single person is going to be eating at the same time. Usually people tend to dine in shifts.”

“If you say so. Have you seen Tisquantum?”

“He just went to join the rest of the Wampanoag to hunt for deer.”

“Sounds delicious.”

“Indeed, his grandmother just texted me an amazing venison seasoning recipe.”

“Can’t wait. I loved that photo you posted of you two picking berries.”

“Really? How come you didn’t ‘like’ it then?”

“Sorry, I’ve been too busy for social media. I’m just trying to negotiate this Treaty thing.”

Several hours later, dinner is nearly ready. The Pilgrims pile their plates with pumpkin, squash, fruits, clams, and fowl stuffed with herbs and onion. Chief Massasoit and his warriors are carrying five deer—all cooked, seasoned, and read to eat.

“We’re starving. Is there going to be enough food for all of us?” Massasoit asks.

“I made forty batches of that chestnut casserole you helped me harvest.”

“But there’s over a hundred of us!”

“In that case, I’ll place an order on that catering app.”