Thursday, December 02, 2004


I'm sitting at my workstation at a client site in Pennsylvania, and I pull out my PDA. I turn it on, and the message blinking at me says "Touch Stylus To Screen To Begin".

This is the message that you get when you first buy the PDA, the one that means you haven't entered any information into it yet. This is the message of death. My PDA has somehow re-initialized itself. Like an aging relative with Alzheimer's, it no longer knows me. My contacts are no longer in the machine. My to-do list has vanished. My personal calendar, including my travel schedule, upcoming meetings, conference calls, etc, is gone. I am suddenly adrift in a sea of uncertainty.

Ordinarily, this information would be backed up. But the HD on my home PC had died, and I was having trouble getting the PDA synched with my new desktop -- bottom line, there was no backup.

I sat there with my stomach lurching for a few minutes, then decided that since I couldn't do anything about it, I would henceforth cease worrying about it. I wrote down what I could remember about my schedule and my to-do list. I sent a few emails to people who confirmed some travel dates. I went about my life.

No one died, or got cancer, or divorced, or lost their job. Well, actually they did, but not because of my PDA. Stuff that I was supposed to do either showed up on my radar screen eventually, or disappeared forever.

My PDA is still empty -- I've returned to a paper calendar and to-do list, and so far it's working. Maybe I'll go back to electronic eventually, but for the moment it's kind of relaxing not to be a slave to the Personal Dictatorship Assistant.

This story may have a moral, or possibly a point, but I don't know what it is. Anyway, who needs a point if it's dull?


At Sun Dec 05, 12:49:00 PM PST, Blogger No_Newz said...

My niece hit my rest button while I was on vacation visiting my brother and his family. All of my flight info, gone ("F"ing E tickets!). All of my phone numbers, including the shuttle service that was picking me up at the airport, gone. All because a little mind wondered, "What would happen if I poke this little hole with a pen?" I feel your pain. I too have gone back to paper and have not put one bit of info back onto my PDA. It happened two years ago, the day, my PDA died. So I started singing, "Bye, bye my electrical mind..."
Lois Lane


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