Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How I Handled the Tornado and Other Service Problems

On Monday mid-morning my internet service suddenly stopped working, apparently due to a neighborhood-wide problem, according to my cable company. Service was not restored until the evening. I have written before about how I back up my clients' data and work in progress, as well as how I prepare for disaster. This is how those backup plans worked out during the tornado last week and the service problems on Monday:

I continued to receive e-mail on my Blackberry and could also respond to inquiries using that device. In addition, I could open Word documents and PDFs to assess a potential project before replying. Internet browsing is possible, but cumbersome and most sites don't display properly, if at all. I am considering upgrading to a smartphone with a touch screen. My husband and son each have an LG Ally and their phones let them browse the internet much more efficiently. If I do upgrade, should I get an LG Ally, a Motorola Droid or a Blackberry Touch? Does anyone have advice on that?

The bar a few blocks from my house advertises free WiFi, but I couldn't get it to work on my netbook. The middle-aged bartender confided that he had just bought his first computer a couple of years ago and "wasn't a computer guy", so he couldn't help me. Fortunately, there are several cafes with free WiFi (that works) a few subway stops from my house, so I went there instead.

During the tornado last Thursday, lights in my office flickered and I briefly lost power. My uninterruptible power supply did keep my computer and network operating, so I could save my work to a USB drive and shut everything down in an orderly fashion. I then plugged the USB drive into my laptop and continued working on that, just in case there were more power problems. As it turned out, there weren't, so an hour later I just turned everything back on and copied my work back to my desktop.

What kind of emergency plans do you have?

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