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The Backup Computer
I practice what I preach when it comes to backups. In fact, I probably
go overboard. I have lots and lots of backups of many sorts,
undoubtedly far more than I need, and I have complete confidence
that I could recover from any sort of data loss. However, even
I realized my backup strategy had a crucial missing component a
few years ago when my Mac broke down and had to spend a couple
of weeks in the shop. I had all my data, sure—but not a computer
suitable for using it! (Read more in The Hole in My Backup Plan .)
In fact, my household has several Macs, and I figured I'd just attach
a duplicate drive to one of the other computers and off I'd go. But
the problem was that all the other Macs had a deficiency of some
sort. Whether it was a matter of processor power, RAM, display size,
or some other attribute, I quickly realized that because the specs of
every other available device were far below that of my main MacBook
Pro, even my excellent backups didn't enable me to get my work
done easily.
I looked into renting a Mac, but the prices were astronomical. Nor
could I find any nearby Internet cafés or other public spots that
would let me use Macs by the hour. And buying a new Mac with
adequate horsepower was beyond my means at the time.
I tell you this to urge you to think ahead. Backups notwithstanding,
you could find yourself without a computer at some point. Do you
have a plan to get access to another suitable Mac temporarily? If
you don't already have a second Mac you can use for all your normal
activities, spend some time researching places in your area where
you can rent a suitable Mac—or friends who might let you borrow one
in a pinch. (Your repair shop may even have a loaner they can offer
you.) It's best to work out a strategy before you run into a crisis!
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