Backup – A One-Act Tragedy

Don’t be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.

~ John Keats (1795 – 1821)

Dedicated, with apology, to The Holmes


BACKUP

An ordinary stage with a semi-circular riser left to right around a desk upon which sits a computer and monitor. The curtain rises revealing a green spotlight shining on the CPU. A white spotlight opens on stage left upon the riser, where a couple sits in two chair. The man is pretending to drive.

WOMAN

You know, we should probably back up the computer in my office. You need to show me how to do that when we get home.

As the woman says this, the man is singing along to a song in his head, oblivious.

MAN

I can do that. It’s probably a good idea.

Spotlight fades, and then opens on the narrator at the forefront of the stage. He is everyman, wearing loafers and a polo shirt.

NARRATOR

[spoken with a professorial and authoritative tone throughout] This is one of the most important, yet also one of the most neglected areas of computing. Backing up your data should be at the top of your computer maintenance list, right next to virus protection. Without data backup or virus protection, you are running the risk of losing your data. And it will happen, don’t think that you don’t have to worry about it.

Spotlight fades. The spotlight shining on the CPU changes from green to yellow. Then a while spotlight opens on center of riser, back stage, where the same couple lies in bed. She is playing Nintendo DS and he is reading a book.

WOMAN

Got an email from a friend today. Her computer crashed last night and she lost everything.

MAN

[never looks up from book] Hmm. That’s sad.

Spotlight fades, and then opens on narrator, same as before.

NARRATOR

Data loss can happen in many ways. One of the most common causes is physical failure of the media the data is stored on. You probably have everything saved on your PCs hard drive. That hard drive will not live forever.

Spotlight fades. The spotlight shining on the CPU changes from yellow to blood red. Then a while spotlight opens on stage right riser where the same couple are perusing a shelf lined with DVDs.

WOMAN

While we’re here, we should check on something to back up my pictures. I’d hate to lose them.

The man picks a DVD off the shelf.

[as an aside] Yeah, I’ve got one at home. [with excitement] Check this out! I’ve been dying to own this one!

Spotlight fades. and once again rises on narrator.

NARRATOR

Normally, hard drives will live for years without incident. But eventually they will die. It might happen gradually, by more and more bad clusters accumulating until most of the drive is unusable. Or it might happen suddenly, the hard drive just dies without warning.

At the word “suddenly” the light shining on the CPU extinguishes and the spotlight fades. The narration is completed in darkness. A beat after the narration ends, a crashing noise is heard. And then the monitor sitting on the desk shines blue. Another beat, and screams are heard from all corners of the stage. Curtain.

*****

This public service announcement brought to you by computer experts and smart people everywhere. And, more importantly, by the dumbest man alive.

Back up your data, people. NOW!

[Photo courtesy of Amazon]

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13 thoughts on “Backup – A One-Act Tragedy

  1. Uh oh! And thanks for the reminder (in such a creative way!) I have been meaning to back up all of my pics. I would hate to lose them! Now, after your warning, I will get right on it!

  2. Ouch. I too have experienced such a one-Act play. Luckily, there was another cast member in my Schauspiel: Recovery Artist Extraordinaire. He turned it into more of a tragicomedy.

  3. the external hard drive i bought 18 months ago is lying on a desk, unopened. crap. thank you for turning your tradgedy into a creative and helpful public service announcement. and for adding another thing to my weekend ‘to do’ list… ouch….

  4. Oh Lord, yes. I get very paranoid about this. We have emergency disaster recovery etc at work but I and my IT manager still take home a weekly set of DVDs. Just in case. Time I did another another domestic back-up. One thing I haven’t done yet (but must) is get a routine of identical domestic back-ups rotating to my workplace. I mean all the back-ups in the worl won’t help if our house burns down. We don’t have a back-up house.

    Great play, by the way.

  5. I’m so paranoid that I’m contemplating buying a pair of hard drives so that if one backup disk fails, there’s still a second. Maybe I should have three? Technically, yes. One should be taken offsite in case the house burns down.

    I keep a back up of my important stuff in a cloud. I don’t want to give up all to the internet (I need to have my own stuff in my own house), but there is a use for those vague internet places.

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