What's it like to have a computer crash?

It's like you left the office for a moment and you came back and that part of the house has been burned to the ground.

Luckily, someone managed to grab your file cabinet and saved it from the flames. Luckily, you can afford to rebuild. Someone lends you an office for a while, and it is only a matter of time before you get back into your new office. You're lucky.

But the files in your cabinet have all had their dates erased, and they've been taken out of their folders and shuffled at random. Some of the most important files are missing, or are a version from weeks or months ago. The borrowed office is arranged differently and doesn't have the same appliances - and those that are there aren't integrated with one another. Your new office will need new cabinets, and you will need months to put all the papers away.

Meanwhile, you had other plans for the coming weeks of transition and reorganization. But you know you are lucky. And the new office will certainly be a fresh start.

How does it feel? Well, this morning I had to go get a tooth drilled at the dentist and I found it a welcome break from the slow-moving disaster on my borrowed desktop. I'm just saying.


  1. Ugh. I feel your pain.

  2. I read an article about therapists who specialize in helping people recover from data loss. It seemed ridiculous to me at first, but the more I read the more it made sense--the hard drive functions as a sort of extended brain, and having that "brain" lost (or, in your case, severely jumbled) feels paralyzing. One of the therapists compared it to divorce: One of the most unexpectedly difficult things about a split is that you lose the extended brain that the former spouse functioned as.


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