Three-and-a-half years ago, I was relaxing at the pool of the Courtyard Nashville Brentwood after having delivered a Law and Disorder Seminar that morning, when all of a sudden, all the lights went out in the hotel.

Hmmm, I thought but continued reading the Wall Street Journal. A few minutes later the lights came back on. Later, having absorbed both the Journal and my Irish skin’s quota of ultraviolet radiation, I went up to my room to discover that my PC laptop clone had suffered a fatal coronary.

This was a bad news/good news situation. On the one hand, I had previously decided that I had to get rid of my Windows-based laptop computer clone due to its preposterously slow responsiveness and its fondness for unprovoked crashes. On the other, I had not backed up any of my work product.

This was pretty embarrassing personally because, as a licensed commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings, I certainly understand the importance of redundancy. So I took my punishment and vowed “Never again.”

Yesterday morning I opened my MacBook and pushed the On button only to discover . . . no response. Uh, oh. It was working when I shut it down the night before. Now what?

The difference this time was no panic. I had three-and-a-half years of legal work product on that computer: letters, legal research, address book, calendar. It could have been a real disaster but for the fact that I had everything backed up as of 10 days before thanks to this wonderful device.

So I am writing this about ten hours after the discovery of the near disaster on a brand new MacBook Pro – it was time for an upgrade anyway – with 99% of my data restored, a process that took all of about 45 minutes.

Good thing, too, because I have about 7 ridiculous home inspection claims to neutralize. Is this a great country, or what?

One-hundred-and-fourteen years ago, yesterday, a great man was born.

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