What is Data?

Some times when getting a computer repaired a technician may warn you that certain repairs will cause you to loose all your

Pictures are part of MY DATA

data. Now, is that important? Why is the technician telling you about your data? Why is data and backups always seem to be in the same sentence?

 For computer people the computer is basically that chunk of metal and plastic that sits under your desk or on your lap, if you have laptop. The rest is programs and data that is saved in the mysterious thing called a hard drive. This is also called storage. This is not to be confused with memory. Memory vs. storage will be taken up at a later date.

 We’ll first discuss programs. Stick with me then we’ll get to data.

 When you start your computer one of the first things it does is to start a program to help you use your PC. This program is called either Window, Mac. Or Linux. It is this program that asks you to login or that shows you the screen with your icons. You can then click on an icon to tell it what you want to do. If you are browsing the web you may have clicked on Internet Explorer, the big blue “e” icon. Internet Explorer is another program. Windows starts it for you when you click on the “e” icon. So a program can start another program.

 There are many programs. Some of them are called Word, Outlook, Quicken, Photoshop,… these let you write letters, send and receive email, keep track of money, and work with pictures.

 Here is where YOUR DATA comes in. The above programs let you put things in your computer. Each thing you put in is a part of YOUR DATA. The computer sores a lot of other things but what you put in is the YOUR DATA that the technicians talk to you about.

 When you write a letter, your letter is your data stored on the hard disk by the program Word. Email you send and receive is stored on your hard disk. It too is your data. Your financial records and your pictures are all put onto your hard disk. They too are your data.

 It is your data that is backed up by backup programs. Your data is at risk when hard drives fail or if a virus scrambles what’s stored on the hard drive. It is your data with which a computer repair person should be most concerned. Everything else can be repaired or replaced.

 So, when asked if you need your data. Think about what has been put into your computer and what it will take to get it there again. Weigh that effort against the cost of data recovery that the tech. may quote you. If you can get your things again maybe you don’t want to pay for that data recovery.

Pictures are part of MY DATA

Questions? Ask at a4b@affinityCM.com or IM me at kurtrr on skype. Your question may be in an upcoming blog/column.

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