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Let’s Hypothetically Say You Lost your Mac Book Pro… | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Let’s Hypothetically Say You Lost your Mac Book Pro…

what was in my bag last night - there's a happy ending to one of the worst/best nights i've had in some time...

Chances are if you are fairly mobile w/ work you have at least one laptop. If you’re a designer you’re more than likely to have a Mac Book Pro. If you’re a designer w/ a Mac Book Pro you probably carry the thing w/ you quite often – especially if you plan to do work after hours. If it’s the end of the week you probably are going somewhere after work w/ the laptop before heading home to the apartment. Hypothetically speaking (of course), let’s say you live in Manhattan and you rarely visit Brooklyn. Friends have a party there, you decide to check it out and you end up at a cool pub but aren’t paying too much attention to the name b/c it’s in Brooklyn and it’s unlikely that you’ll be back anytime soon. Normally you’ll sit down, put your laptop bag beside you and have a couple drinks. But this pub’s a bit different – it has a foosball table and it’s pretty hard not to not want to play. Foosball matches are played, drinks are consumed and everyone is having a great time – maybe too good. The night is over and you grab a cab back to the island.

Back at the apartment as you brush your teeth you smile b/c you’ve had a pretty good night and all the work week stress is gone. Maybe you’ll check you’re blog stats one more time before you head to bed – you go to open your laptop when you realize that you didn’t have your bag w/ you when you opened the apartment door. That is the moment that you realize that you’ve left most of your life in a bar back in Brooklyn that you don’t remember the name of. There’s a couple quick things that you need to take care of right away – figure out the name of said establishment, and go into lockdown w/ all possible apps that have a password. You start texting, emailing and calling hoping to have a friend let you know where exactly you were. But who’s checking their email at three in the morning? Once you’ve done all you can in that respect you have to reset a ton of passwords. You’re lucky that you have two Mac Book Pro’s, one for work and one for home so you at least can start opening apps to change passwords. It’s not fun but you change the passwords to the big one’s quickly like email, the blogs, facebook, twitter and and ton of others.

At this point you’ve done everything you can to get the laptop back with out knowing where you actually were and secured your personal data as much as possible. Now you get to reflect on how stupid you are and how you had wished that you had prepped for the fact that someday your laptop might get stolen or misplaced. You’re always concerned that your laptop might fry so you back up files regularly though not as often as you should. After considering that for a moment you think about what else was in your bag – camera’s, other tools for the laptop, cables, notebooks and other stuff that you don’t want to think about.

Accepting one of two possible solutions – the very bad and the very good you wish you could go back in time to figure out what you would have done with your info differently in case this exact scenario had happened. Since your files were in multiple places that is some comfort, while changing the passwords were a huge pain that was completed too. But you hate using an rss reader so most of the links to things you use online are bookmarked. It’s a bit of an old school way of doing it, but the system works for you. If only you had exported that list from tim to time, you wouldn’t have risked forgetting one of your 100’s favourite blogs and sites. It’s been a long day and even longer night – time to try to sleep for a couple hours.

You’re woken up by a welcome sound of a txt message. You’re praying it’s your friend saying that they saw your bag and picked it up for you. Sadly that’s not the message – it’s the name of the pub. It’s better than nothing though. You do a quick search to get the number and call. Surprisingly someone picks it up. You stammer, bag! Did you happen to have a laptop bag that was found last night. A pause, and then the most wonderful words you’ll probably hear for a long time – yes, we’ve got a laptop bag. Relief and tears of joy are apparent. Lucky for you the bar is open and when you go to pick it up you can have a beer (or three) to celebrate the fact that everything is back to how things should be. You also consider this a really good learning experience. You’ll never not leave your computer off your shoulder if you walk around, you’ll back up all your files even more diligently, and you’ll have a master list of urls so you don’t have to worry about loosing anything. Good thing this was all hypothetical so you can go through all those motions so if it does happen you’ll be prepared.

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  • debbie millman

    Oh. My. God.

    I am backing up as we speak and doing the happy dance that you got everything back.

  • mxaxm

    I am so glad this is hypothetical. If it really happened … hard to think about…

  • http://itellstories.org Sameer Vasta

    Ohno! What a horrible (hypothetical) experience. That's even more stressful than my own Macbook woes from this past weekend.

    Lesson learned: backup and store in the cloud!

  • Gareth

    “you wish you could go back in time”

    You mean with Time Machine??

    I work in a very similar situation to this (albeit in London), and it is a constant worry that I might do this.

    I do back up regularly with Time Machine (especially before I go out for the day), and all of my bookmarks and contacts are with MobileMe (for better or worse). And I have my iPhone.

    As well as backing up it is important to practice some safe MBPing. Your Keychain password should be different to your log-in, for example. Consider FileVault if you don't use big files, etc. And turn it off / log out rather than just sleeping it.

  • http://www.noahbrier.com Noah Brier

    Dude, that was a stressful read. Glad you've got it back. Can I suggest adding “set a master password” to your list of things to do?

  • http://tokyohanna.blogspot.com Johanna

    Oh, jeepers. I'm so glad this all hypothetically worked out. I almost lost feeling in my legs reading this.

  • http://www.iamtheweather.com seanaes

    Wow. Glad that worked out much better than I feared as I started reading the post. Enjoy vacation too!

  • http://tumbl.isitbedtime.com Greg

    Nicely written, almost makes me glad I don't have a laptop!

  • http://flowingdata.com nathan

    i really really hope that didn't really happen. losing my mbp would be like… well, it's better not to talk about it.

  • http://www.kimfromdallas.com kim

    Lost bookmarks…it happened to me once and it was heinous. I try to keep up by adding to delicious, but now I'm thinking that I should double check all of it.

    Glad it worked out, and have a great vacation!

  • http://bunnehmunches.blogspot.com Zana Fauzi

    That was very intense. Glad you got your Mac Book back.