in touch once again

When my sons were in the Scouts and a weekend camping trip fell apart — usually due to the weather — we fathers would joke that there was never a camp out so bad that a few hundred dollars worth of equipment couldn’t fix. (That this equipment tended to be things reserved only for the fathers’ use was one of the reasons I reduced and then ended my involvement.)

And so it happened that over the last weekend — when I was not camping — the household lost connection with the internet. (I know some style manuals call for capitalizing that word, but I ain’t gonna do it!) Usually when this happens we merely unplug the router, count to ten in whatever language is available to us — my son’s new wife was there and speaks four languages, my neighbor speaks five — and then plug it in and surf away.

Not so, this time. All of our messing around with the router and the Apple Time Capsule were fruitless (and futile). The last time this happened, four years ago it turned out, it was the Time Capsule that failed and had to be replaced. Fearing this, we unplugged it and schlepped it over to the Apple Store and, without an appointment, managed to get attention. The device was running, they told us, but it was not receiving or transmitting. Apparently this is common enuf, and the advanced age of the device — four years it was revealed — meant it had lived to the end of its useful life. My wife spread the original cost over the four years and was satisfied that we’d gotten our money’s worth.

Thus for a few hundred dollars we came home with a new Time Capsule, which we plugged in. I followed the directions on the tiny user manual they provided, and soon the household was in touch with the universe again. Painless.

I had once lost an entire novel when the hard drive failed on an earlier computer I had. (I’m pretty sure I could reconstruct it from the pieces scattered here and there in emails and such.) This was when the Apple Time Capsule first entered our lives. It maintains a back up of whatever I ask it to. This allowed me to sleep better at night. The fact that the Time Capsule itself can fail is problematic, of course, but I also back up to Google Drive and even to a thumb drive I keep handy.

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