From: Craig Phillips [] on behalf of Craig Phillips []

Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 12:02 AM


Subject: Cocktail Talk


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Cocktail Talk

Bits and bytes of computer chat-chat
to help you through those dreary Cocktail Parties.

February, 2009

Our Topic

Disaster Strikes


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Cocktail Talk

Dear Craig,

Cocktail Talk
Welcome to
CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".

Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world.  Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.

Cocktail Talk is archived at



Disaster Strikes

HalloweenIt was a beautiful summer day, not a cloud in the sky, I pointed the Vette West and eased the pedal down. About 150 miles later I washed the windows but the passenger side wiper blade streaked a little so I pulled into a gas station where they fixed it for free. The soda machine had Green River, in bottles, which I didn't even know existed, and I bought three as souvenirs. At dusk I noticed  one headlight was dim so I pulled off and had them both replaced at a garage that had a charming little grill with home-made pies. The Apple Pie was hot from the oven and was great with iced cream. Sound like a load of baloney to you? You bet it is.

The last time I replaced wiper blades it was 15 degrees in a blizzard and done in a High School parking lot after a call from my daughter* at 8pm. Headlight? Forget about it. They only break in the cold and dark. Nobody's open, and you have to make a note to have it repaired because you're not going to notice in the daylight. PS, I just replaced a battery, after a late night call for a jump-start, in single digit temperature**. At least these things happened at a "good" time.


Cars sit most of the time. You drive to work and they sit there until you drive home. While they're sitting there you're on the PC working. When it comes to PCs I can't even think of a good time to have one crash. Hot, cold, day, night, rain or sunshine you're using it, you have deadlines, and you can't fix it yourself.  


Its broke and you call somebody. While you wait you're beginning to see reasons why this no PC thing isn't going to be easy. No MyFace, funny email videos, NSFW jokes, or surfing for shoes. No Address Book, Calendar, or reminders. Nothing, and you want everything back. Freddie Mercury and Queen are singing "I want it all" on the office muzak system and you're a llittle tired of their demands. "I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now." Remember that one? Boy they were good. Anyway.


If you're on a business network and your files are stored on it you're in pretty good shape. Maybe.If you're not on a business network you're probably in deep kimchee. Lets take a look. 


Your on a business network and your PC crashes. You get your PC fixed, its attached to the network for access to files and printers, you have your programs reinstalled, and whatever you saved on the Server is still there.


Now you need to tell all your friends you're back online. You go to your email, which has been reinstalled for you, and your Inbox is empty. Your Spam, Junk and Deleted folders are empty too. The folders you saved emails in are gone, and your Contacts / Address Book is empty. Oops. Even typing the first couple letters in the To field doesn't get you addresses from cache. Start typing.


Your internet Home Page(s) is now MSN. Your Toolbars for Google Search and Yahoo and MyFace, and even your 2,000 Bookmarked (Shoe Stores) Favorites are gone. Insane Messenger is gone too. 


Everything you use has to be tweaked. You have to configure Word, Excel and Powerpoint to look for files on the Server instead of your C Drive. Your favorite websites are going to make you install Flash, Java, and all sorts of updates and add-ons and you'll have to install Acrobat to read anything. Download, install, reboot, repeat, repeat, repeat.


Honestly its going to take you weeks and you'll never finish recreating all your email lists and groups. Spam and email from creeps you've blocked over the years come streaming down. People you had allowed get blocked. Everything is gone right down to your email signature and company disclaimer. Gone. The humanity. Armageddon.


If you're not on a business network you can send your hard disk out for recovery. Google "data recovery" to get quotes.Take the quote and multiply by 4. If they are successful you will get some data back on CDs. In the mean time you can buy a new hard disk and install it along with Windows. Attach it to your network, connect your printers, install your programs, and set up email. You can then follow all the steps for someone on a business network (above) and try to put the data back where it belongs.


Large companies practice Disaster Recovery like schools have Fire Drills. What procedures are in place to protect you?


You don't know what you don't know and neither do I. Ask your IT guy if he knows. If you don't have an IT guy, or he doesn't know, or you know he doesn't know, you know you can ask me. I think.


Just ask what's in place to protect you in case of disaster. Whether you're on a business network or not you're the one that stands to lose when disaster strikes and that makes it your responsibility, to yourself, to make sure you're protected.


Because, you know, It's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk.


Thank you for reading,



Craig Phillips
CN Consulting, Inc.

* I know what you're thinking; "Daddy's Little Girl", but one was dangling like a broken kite.
** I know. Let her figure it out herself. But it was 8 degress and teens are terribly   unprepared and I'm not risking it.

CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!
Serving the Chicagoland and Greater Milwaukee areas since 1990
CN Consulting is a female owned and operated company



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