Has Your Computer Forced You To Take A Sick Day?

BlogHer Original Post

computer crashWhen my children were young there was a day care for sick kids. It was this place where your kids could lay on cots, watch videos ,and drink juice to their hearts content.

It was the kind of place you would take your kids when they were not so ill that you would have felt like a horrid mother for abandoning them but were too sick to go to pre-school.

My kids loved it there. So did I. Evidently most moms did not. Chicken Soup for Kids did not survive.

For me, Chicken Soup for Kids was an absolute lifesaver-- this was in the days when I may have just started using email but definitely didn't have internet at home and working from home with sick kids was not easy.( it's probably not easy now but without office connectivity it really wasn't easy)

While the days of worrying whether I have to deal with a sick child are behind me, I still have to deal with unexpected bumps in work because of a sick computer.

My computer took ill sometime around 11:30 Saturday night right when I was planning to do some research for my Sunday morning blog post on Blogher.

If truth be told, I caused it. After my ancient iPod died several weeks ago I treated myself to a new iPod --the faux iPhone model. When I tried to link it to my computer I was told I had to install some additional software. Evidently some vectors didn't take to the software and the computer crashed.
I wasn't worried about losing any work. I back up my work on several vehicles -- I like to think of it as my computer's living will.

It's not as if there wasn't another computer available to me --fortunately my daughter was still home on break and I was able to use her MAC.

It's not that this was even a surprise. Last spring a Geek Squad technician confirmed the computer was having hot flashes and was terminal.

The real aggravation is the time it takes to get up and running. Between the four phone calls to Verizon to figure out why my Blackberry was only receiving sporaic emails and the various other software snafus it has taken a ton of time to get my game on.

A few years ago Yahoo! did a survey in the UK and discovered that the average computer has nine sick days a year--at that time six days were lost to spam and three days were lost because of computer viruses.

That survey was taken almost four years ago. If Yahoo! has conducted a follow-up survey they haven't gotten much publicity about it.

While computer sick days are inevitable, backing your data up, much like a flu shot can make the experience a lot less severe.

From Meryl's Notes Blog, some tips on getting up and running in record time.

I’ve had my share of crashes and fortunately such set backs don’t affect my clients. These apply to home computers, too. Here are the things I do:

* Backup data on a regular basis to an shared storage external hard drive.
* Run Belarc Advisor on occasion to stay on top of the programs I have.
* Take a screen shot of my desktop, Outlook, and any other application with lots of interface customization

The Freelance Folder also has some advice

The Big Three: What You Need To Prepare ForThere are three things that slow you down when it comes to getting back in business after an unrecoverable computer crash (or the dreaded laptop theft): 1. Replacing the computer 2. Setting up all your software and settings (again!) 3. Getting your data back on the machine.

Note to self: Pay close attention to these points:

* Keep all your CDs/DVDs in one place. If you have CDs/DVDs, keep them all together. You don’t want to be running around finding install disks (or serial numbers!) when your business is on hold. Make it easy on yourself.
* Back up every installer you download. If you download a lot of programs and utilities, save them all in a common area (that you back up, of course). This way you don’t have to go on the hunt for all of those little programs you use (that may not even be available anymore).
* Make a running list of all the tweaks you make to your system. If you like to have your software set up in a particular way, or you have a lot of plug-ins or programs that need specific information (like passwords for social bookmarking sites or cryptic usernames for FTP programs), save them somewhere - anywhere - so you won’t be left out in the cold when you have to set everything up again.

Not only may you have to take a sick day because of your computer, turns out your computer can actually be making your kids  sick enough that you do have to take a sick day to take care of them. Writing in Gearlog, Jennifer "Weird Hunter" DeLeo, Associate Editor for PC Mag.com says  invest in a washable keyboard and mouse.

Last February, an outbreak of the stomach flu at a Washington, D.C. elementary school left 79 students and 24 staff members sick. The cause? In a first-grade classroom, a computer mouse and keyboard tested positive for norovirus, otherwise known as the stomach flu.More recently, a school in New York City has similarly experienced an ongoing outbreak of the norovirus since last November. A reported 500 people were infected, showing up each day at emergency rooms around the city.[]"This is the first time that we have demonstrated that keyboards and computer mice can be a source of transmission of norovirus," he added. So make sure that if you or your child shares a computer, to wash your hands after using shared objects and invest in washable keyboards and mice, such as ones we've tested from Unotron and Belkin.

Image Credit:: Austin Real Estate Blog

Elana blogs about business culture at FunnyBusiness


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