Warning: Back up your files!My computer is now back from the shop/hospital/morgue, and you’d be right to say I should have seen this coming.

My (formerly) trusty MacBook Pro was ancient, in tech terms – 2010, to be exact. The year sticks in my mind because it was part of my “back to school” supplies for my BA at Royal Roads University that began that year.

I should have replaced it sooner, of course. The warning signs were there. Startup was slow. I had to force-quit many times. The power cord started separating at the magnetic connector. After I replaced it, I could still be surprised by random crashes and restarts.

Today, the happy start-up chime was not immediately followed by the computer coming to life. Quite the opposite.

Long story short, I have a new MacBook Air in my life. A little smaller screen but holy cow, is it lighter. I used to dread hauling what is comparatively speaking an anchor, but now I will not mind bringing this with me.

Luckily, Apple’s techies here in Oakville were able to access my data and transfer it all over to the new machine. (PHEW!!!) But if not, I had backed everything up to an external drive just before going away for a few days. Still, that left three busy days that included a lot of work on a big document I’m editing.

Apple’s Time Machine is good about alerting you when you haven’t backed up your files recently. I’m pretty diligent about weekly backups, with an occasional slip to 10 days, which seems to be the first Time Machine warning. This has shown me that I need to add in a new backup when I finish a session on an important project.

So here’s your public service announcement: Back up your files. Do it now.

And as with your health, don’t ignore small warning signs.