RIP My Hard Drive, 2008-2012

This morning, I woke up to find my MacBook barely functioning, frozen, and plagued by a near-constant spinning rainbow of death. Long, painful story much shorter: my hard drive crashed and I can either have a new one installed, tomorrow at the earliest (I'm writing tonight from the completely empty office!), or I can buy a new computer since mine is pretty old anyway (2008).

The worst part? I'd sort of seen this coming for weeks, if not months, now. Simple functions had been taking double-long and basic gestures would freeze the whole system up for sometimes a full 15 minutes at a time. It was sick and I knew it and I should have prepared. I should have backed up everything. I should have done something to make the big day easier.

Isn't it a little like a death, the loss of a hard drive? None of my affairs are in order; I never even got to say goodbye.

Sitting at the Genius Bar, listening as my options were laid out by the Genius who'd diagnosed the dead drive, I realized how dependent I had become on my computer. How dependent we all are. I had this image of myself curled up inside my MacBook, as though I lived there—because I basically do—and then of it vanishing. Gone. And with it all my stuff gone, too. So much intangible important stuff. "Files." "Documents." Ugh.

I'm not trying to moralize our umbilical connection to the technology in our life—really, we're mostly better off for it. I don't think it's bad or dangerous. It's a sign of the times, yes, but not of anything particularly ill-boding. I don't have any answers; I don't think it's that kind of thing. It's just a little amazing how much the loss of little piece of machinery the size of a slice of bread messed up my day, my mood, and my work flow.

Have you ever had one of those moments?