It took much longer than I had hoped, but I was able to rescue almost everything off of the hard drive of the computer that just died. This includes a bunch of music files and perhaps most importantly the email archive of all my Vancouver emails. I haven't restored all the programs yet, but once I get TotalRecorder and the .Wav editor (did I use CDWav?) back up and running, I will be pretty much back in business. I don't intend to ever get as obsessed with internet recording as I was, but there are always a few shows here and there that I wouldn't mind taping.
Anyway, what is bugging me at the moment is that I cannot find a few mp3s that I downloaded from eMusic ages ago. They aren't on the rescued hard drive or any of the hard drives I use on a routine basis. There is a small chance it is on one of the other rescued hard drives (over the years quite a few computers have died on me!) and a moderate chance that I burned it to a CD or DVD. But the sheer number of data disc lying around makes me very hesitant to really take on this task. In the good old days, you could just download the tracks from eMusic a second or third time, but those days are gone. In fact, I don't think that option exists for iTunes either, though most people put their music up in the cloud (surrendering what little control they thought they had over it) to prevent these kind of data losses. I guess there is no easy solution other than to try to back up key documents on a couple of hard drives. It is true that I don't lose my writing files, but pictures, music and movie files are just a bit too large and overwhelming to ensure that everything is backed up in multiple locations.
That particular set of mp3s is going to have to wait until my other search is over, which is to try to track down a check stub that doubled as a T4 or T5 form. I need to know exactly how they categorized some income for my taxes. Here the problem is that the check was cashed in Vancouver and we moved fairly shortly after that. I have a few places to look first for the papers that were most important, but I am running out of time. Well, if it wasn't this, it would be something else. I clearly need to get my life and particularly my papers in better order.