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"Can Data Have a Life After a Death?"

Of course! Just be sure to utilize some basic, but smart, computer management skills:

"Everyone who has worked with a computer, even before the arrival of the Internet, knows the sickening feeling of loss. Without warning, hours of your work suddenly vanish from the screen. You hope (and pray) that perhaps it's been saved in a backup or temp file -- but often it's not. As your internal soundtrack turns up the volume on Don Henley and Glenn Frey, you realize that your carefully crafted project is 'already gone' -- and that it's not the time for a victory song. Instead, you will have to painstakingly recreate the work you had already done -- but didn't get a chance to (or even forgot to) save before the crash signaled by the apparently ubiquitous 'blue screen of death.'

"Fortunately, this problem is an easy one to fix -- before the fact. Periodic automatic save features can be turned on in many programs, such as Word, and 'Control S' has become an automatic part of typing for many people. On a systemwide basis, network administrators can generate minute-by-minute backups -- many thanks to David, Steve and the Help Desk at my firm, because their efforts have often saved me during computer or system crashes and blackouts."

Author Stanley P. Jaskiewicz, a business lawyer at the Philadelphia law firm of Spector Gadon & Rosen P.C., helps clients solve e-commerce, corporate contract and technology-law problems, and is a member of e-Commerce Law & Strategy's Board of Editors. Jaskiewicz thanks his legal assistant, Frank Manzano, for his research support for this article.

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