Zip Driving

Recently I discovered my external Zip drive no longer functioned.  The date on the back of the unit is 1/24/2006 which is either the date it was manufactured or possibly its expiration date.  I’m sure many of you tech-savvy individuals, depending on your age, might not even know what a Zip drive is.  A very young employee of Best Buy certainly didn’t.

I have been writing for twenty-five plus years and I have created a LOT of precious written words.  Story ideas, partial manuscripts, articles, essays, poetry, etc.  I saved everything I’d ever written because you never know when you can resurrect it and fix it and sell it. Proof of this is my first book with Samhain Publishing.  Published in 2009, the original manuscript for A MONTH FROM MIAMI dates back to 1998.Miami300dpiEDIT

But I had a problem.  I didn’t have hard copies of everything I’d written, although I do have boxes and boxes of printed matter stored under the guest room bed.  Most of those incomplete projects were backed up on Zip discs.  Uh oh.  I was dying to start work on something called Sara’s Silence (circa 1995).  A deaf mute falls in love with a rock musician.  Don’t laugh.  I’m pretty sure this is a viable story idea.  I looked at the stuff I’d written that I could access but I knew I’d done more on it.  It’s so frustrating to remember scenes you know you’ve written and not be able to find them.  I was never going to find them without a ZIP drive.  Which is such antiquated technology it isn’t manufactured or sold any more.  Except through obscure sites accessed through Amazon.com.

Filled with trepidation I ordered a “new” unit from one of those vendors for about $65.  I am notoriously bad about reading the fine print.  When the unit arrived I discovered its birthdate.  Or expiration date.  2/23/2000.  Oh, well if it worked, I wouldn’t care.  If it didn’t, I was up the crick without a paddle.

It didn’t even have a USB port connection but instead the old whatever they’re called connectors.  Parallel ports?xmas2013 010

About this time I am thanking God that my husband didn’t listen to me when I told him we should replace our old desktop computer with a newer model.  If we had, I wouldn’t have been able to connect my “new” Zip drive at all.  I’d be completely screwed.  I never read directions and I’m the least techie person you will ever meet, but I knew enough to install the Zip program and after a few hiccups I could read the files on my precious discs.  I bought a brand new flash drive to transfer all those files onto and I spent two hours doing it.  Whew!  Mission accomplished. I was saved.

Hooray!  I can now access multiple file folders labeled “Sara’s Silence.”  Alas, they all appear to be empty.

Visit me at http://www.barbarameyers.com

Follow my infrequent posts on Twitter @barbmeyers and @ajtillock

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