As a Lana Del Ray fan, I sometimes keep up with the news about her. Today, a news alert popped up — a laptop, three video cameras, and hard drives were stolen from her car. The computer has her book manuscript, and music and videos are on those drives. The singer took to Instagram to share her story and her loss. 

“I had to remotely wipe the computer that had my 200-page book for Simon & Schuster, which I didn’t have backed up on a cloud.  And despite that, people are still able this week to remotely access my phone and leak our songs and personal photos.”

Lana Del Ray

I feel a certain kinship with her. Nothing as radical as a car break-in, but we have lost hard drives to corruption and age. We have forgotten to back up our data to the cloud. I remember back in early 2002, my ThinkPad crashed, and I lost the manuscript of my book. Thank goodness, I had sent a version to my editor, so it wasn’t a total wash. Still, it was about a month of extra toil. (On the upside, I switched full-time to Mac and have not looked back. I can’t believe I have been using Apple products for two decades now.

More recently, I forgot a SanDisk SSD drive on the flight back from India. It had all the edited photoshop versions of my photos. I wasn’t too concerned because I had a permanent backup system in place with Backblaze. Or so I thought — apparently, if you don’t sign up for an additional (paid) feature, the system only keeps your files for three months. And apparently, this drive wasn’t backing up. 

Long story short – I lost a year’s worth of edits. I exported all of them as jpegs and uploaded them to SmugMug, so all wasn’t lost. Thankfully, my RAW images are all backed up on a NAS, which backs up to Backblaze. The laptop also backs up to Backblaze.

And as a precaution, I also save edits to Adobe’s cloud — it is very expensive but much better than having a repeat of what I experienced. (On the upside, the loss of the drive has made me more careful. Also, it gives me a chance for a fresh start with the edits and thus incorporate all the things I have learned over the past few months.) 

Given the anxiety, anger, and sadness I felt over the loss of my drive, I can feel Lana’s loss. 

October 21, 2022. San Francisco