Every so often I get sent a press release that isn't especially newsworthy but is interesting nonetheless. Ontrack, a data recovery firm that deals with people who have managed to lose vitally important work or other files of sentimental value, sent out a mailshot today about some of the more ludicrous tales it has heard this year.
One involved a USB key that had been left sticking out of one poor chap's PC. His dog mistook it for a chew toy – it was left covered in teeth marks and a hole that went completely through it. Despite this, Ontrack says it was able to recover all the data.
Some people have only themselves and their idiocy to blame – another man decided to take his hard drive to bits when it malfunctioned. He gave up halfway through (typical male) and sent it to Ontrack. Every piece in a separate envelope.
And sometimes it's a person's temper that is to blame when it comes to data recovery. A frustrated writer – believe me, I can relate to this – attacked her laptop with a hammer. When the Ontrack engineers received it, the hammer imprints were clearly visible on the top cover of the laptop.
Now I've had a few disasters in my time, and I'm not always thinking straight. But this press release read like the Darwin Awards of data. What I want to know is: have any of you had any similar experiences? A moment of sheer frustration or stupidity that you're prepared to own up to? Or perhaps it happened to a 'friend'? We'd like to hear your stories.