Which also goes to show that complancency is not an option.
The lesson here is obvious (if it is so obvious, why didn't I follow it myself?), whether you are planning a short trip, and extended vacation, or simply working at your computer each day like I do - have a backup plan.
Murphy's Law states something to the effect that if something can go wrong - when you least expect or want it to - it will go wrong. The car will break down; the flight will be cancelled; the airline will lose your luggage; someone will steal your wallet - or your computer will refuse to boot up.
I'm disappointed in the technology for not holding up like it should, after all I've had the computer less than a year. I'm disappointed for the loss of information and the wasted hours that loss represents. But most of all I'm disappointed in myself for not being more organised and thorough enough to implement a backup plan I could stick to.
Hopefully, I have learnt my lesson.