Thought Leadership

How much of a geek am I?

By Colin Walls

A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a disaster. I was hiking with some friends on Dartmoor [beautiful countryside in the West of England] when I suddenly realized that my mobile phone, which had been firmly clipped to my belt, was no longer there. After exercising a little Anglo Saxon English, I backtracked to see whether I could find it. I knew where I had been and looked in places where I had jumped over walls and might have dislodged it. But to no avail. It was gone. My only hope was that some honest person might find it and locate my contact details. But that never happened. It is probably at the bottom of a muddy hole, lost for ever.

The reaction of my friends was largely sympathetic, falling into two camps. One group commented how terrible it was to lose all my phone numbers. Those who were more familiar with my lifestyle knew that it was not just phone numbers, but my calendar, all contact information, to do list and lots of other stuff. The second group saw the plus side [as they viewed it]: this was an ideal opportunity to get the latest shiny technology.

What I found was curious was that both groups were mistaken.  First, all my data had been backed up to my PC a couple of days before and was safe at home. Second, I did not want the hassle of a new, ultimately incompatible device – I wanted one just like the old one. So, once it as clear that I was not going to see the phone again, I ordered an unused, essentially identical phone from eBay. Once it arrived, it was restored to the state of the old one inside the hour.

So, am I a geek because I am so protective of my data and do multiple backups? Or am I off the hook because I do not want the challenge of a new, different device when the old one did a perfectly satisfactory job?

Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at