Computing 101 (for idiots)

Patricia Feinberg Stoner is a British writer: a former journalist, advertising copywriter and publicist. After graduating from Trinity College Dublin she joined a local newspaper, The Liverpool Daily Post, as a trainee. Quickly discovering she was a terrible reporter, she switched to feature writing and since then her career has revolved around the written word.

Last week I did something extremely clever. I deleted all the files on my external hard drive. Yes, all of them: photos, addresses, deathless prose – the works. And this, ironically, from the hard drive I had bought and connected specifically so that, if I were foolish enough to delete a file, I would have a backup. Duhhhh doesn’t cover it.

In a panic I screamed for my gurus. Tom Cat licked his paw laconically. ‘Have you tried your trash folder?’ he mewed. Wise Owl clicked her beak: ‘Whooo wold do such a stupid thing?’ she hooted (well, me, obviously) and then added ‘Try your trash folder.’


  • Of course, when the red mists of panic cleared I realised this was the obvious solution. I checked the trash folder and, yes, there they were. That’ll teach me to be blasé about technology. Perhaps I should revert to the typewriter after all.