Computer use in the Library

Don't you hate losing your work? I can't tell you how many times I've closed my laptop without properly shutting it down and saving my work, as many of us do, only for my laptop to crash and lost crucial documents.

Last week, it wasn't my laptop that I lost work on, it was here on the Library computers. Regrettably, I wandered away from my computer to grab a coffee and freshen up after putting in a couple of hours of solid study. On return, I found my work was gone after the 20-minute inactivity timer had set in.

After all the times I've lost work through my laptop's crashes, I should've adapted to regularly save my files. Nope. I didn't on this occasion because I thought the University's computers wouldn't have the same issue. But I was very wrong. A little embarrassing for someone who has been a La Trobe student for a few years, right? Maybe the loss of files was a cruel way of karma being served after I hogged the workspace and left my possessions unattended.

If you aren't familiar with this measure, let me explain. After 15 minutes without use, the computers display an on-screen notification to alert that it will restart in five minutes if the inactivity continues. If the computer isn't used for 20 minutes, it restarts without backing up any files in use.

ICT suggests computer users save all their documents onto OneDrive for Business – part of Office 365 – and to use an external USB drive as a secondary backup. Importantly, don't save files on drive C:\ as when the computer is restarted, all data saved to the drive will be lost.

So save your work and be happy.

Written by La Trobe University Media and Communication graduate Tennyson Tinning.

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