I had trouble finding a file again today. And it was an important file. I'm trying to get various "eyes" looking at the first book in my Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals, The Invaders. I have one set of"eyes" reading it as I write this, so to speak. And I started from Chapter 1. The person reading it is part of a writer's group, but it's not a critique group, exactly. It's a group of writers who try to keep their creativity going. We're all doing more or less different projects, and my writing partner suggested it. It's interesting. Anyway, one of the members agreed to read it, and I'm sending her e-mails with the chapters attached, in Word 2002, which presumably everybody can read, because "everybody" has Word. I have a program called Word Perfect, as well as Word, and I do my major writing in that, but convert the files to Word.
Unfortunately, for some reason, Chapter 6 was missing in my hard copy, and on the hard drive where I keep my writing files together. So I tried the file where the Word documents are(in Vista, it's Documents). There was a Chapter 6, but it was a bunch of blank pages. There was a Chapter 6 in Word, but it was only part of the chapter. Don't ask me how this came about. I have absolutely no idea; I think it had something to do with a separate critique process that involves e-mail. And something went wrong. Anyway, I ended up deleting those useless files. I could have sent the "critiqued" version, but that might have confused the reader, and I didn't want to do that. Then, hurray! I remembered! I have an external hard drive! And I put a lot of stuff on there, such as copies of my pictures of wolves and prehistoric people, and the like. I also put copies of my writing documents there, just in case. And fortunately, Chapter 6 was in that file! I heave d a great big sigh again, and e-mailed it to the "eyes".
However, I can say, that at least I've learned to back up my documents periodically, onto this external hard drive. Thank heavens for things like DVD's, flash drives, and external hard drives, which nowadays, are often cheap, cheap, cheap, for what you get. I paid under $100 for 250 GB, and I think that much is even cheaper now. After a year of use, I've used only a little over 1 gb, so there's a ton of space left for whatever I want to do. It's worth the investment, and saves me from tearing out more of my gray hairs.