Those times you overwrote a file and hit save, only to remember right after you saved that you didn't duplicate the original document first. The times you pushed to production without checking the code, and brought down the whole site. The updates you installed before checking if your critical software would still work.
Tech can go wrong in a million ways. And to meet each crisis, there are another million ways to fix things, bring them back, pull halfway hidden features together to save the day.
Sometimes bad luck can be reversed. What were the the best ways you saved the day in tech, figured out a way to solve a problem, avert a crisis, and keep the computers humming along smoothly?
Not the worst problem ever, but there was this one time that's stuck out to me for years and made me more cautious about both deleting files and backing up content.
I'd opened a file—an essay for a university assignment, if I remember correctly—and used it as a template, overwriting the copy and adding in all new stuff. Then, instead of clicking Save as... and making a new copy of the file, I just saved it then closed Word.
Then it hit me I'd overwritten the original file, a file I still needed and had put time into, and it had just now disappeared into the ether. And of course I didn't have a backup.
That's when I figured out Windows Vista had a Previous Versions feature, something newer versions of Windows have kept and that macOS has had with Time Machine's snapshots. I used that to pull back a several-days-old copy of the original file. Crisis averted.
Backups are still great—and still something I'm as apt to forget to keep up to date as anything—but there will always be a soft spot in my heart for previous versions of files. And as the world has moved to SaaS and web apps, previous versions of files in apps like Google Docs is often the only backup we can easily get.
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