Saturday, August 19, 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Dispatch from Elsewhere:

Teary and bleary.

The computer guy was here for three hours. The system was wiped and had to be reconstructed. I HATE THAT. I’m sick of that being the ONLY thing any of them are willing to do. Get in and fix it, dammit!

Even though everything was supposedly backed up, ¾ of one of the backed up files vanished. That meant over 300 documents, including tax and legal stuff from The Situation, my entire Writing folder with my Submission Log for 2006 and all my professional samples, and my entire web address book for one particular account.

Next time, I do all the backing up myself. And if that was necessary, they should have TOLD me when the appointment was made. No one ever said anything about the possibility of wiping the computer – especially when I said I didn’t want that to be done.

Colin, bless him, from all the way in Scotland, talked me through some potential searches. We found most of the tax and legal documents stashed in a music file (????). But the Submissions Log and the samples seem lost. Most of the samples are on other disks – I’d put it together in a folder on the hard drive because it was easier to pull things for pitches – so I can reconstruct.

The only big loss is the Submission Log and . . .oh, well.

And the web address book. Some of the addresses are in my Yahoo accounts or my 1and1 account – but I lost all the links to the different sites – including some of my own – and it’ll take me weeks or months to reconstruct.

And every graphics file I ever managed to create with my business cards, bookmarks, flyers, etc. – all gone. I hope I can at least recreate the business cards.

On the positive side, it’s starting with a clean slate. Instead of having 500 emails in my inbox this evening, I have zero. All the ones that came in this evening have been responded to and properly filed. And the rest – well, if it’s important, I hope they email me again. My scanner works, for the first time ever. The CD burner works. I can download photos again – you can enjoy some from Mohonk if you scroll way down. The computer is running much better. I can get in to the web pages, so the instructions Colin sent me to help me get the DE site up and get the other sites designed – the computer actually responds when I ask it to open something. I even found the template for the Fearless Ink site, which, lately, the computer swore to me didn’t exist.

Even better, I can OPEN it.

And, all the templates I downloaded for Cerridwen’s Cottage and for the subdomain sites are intact.

I’m debating whether or not to download Open Office again, or if I should just wait until I purchase Nitro PDF, which I think makes more sense.

Plus, I know more than I did four years ago (thanks, mostly, to Colin, but also to Michelle and everyone else who has helped me out), so I now understand how to rearrange things.

Unfortunately, the guy told me that the system needs to be wiped and reconstructed twice a year. I don’t like that. To me, that seems the lazy choice. Remove what doesn’t work and fix what needs fixing. Don’t just DUMP shit. Bad pun intended. It’s the approach that makes me cranky. I’m paying. If I say “don’t wipe my drive” then don’t do it. Find another way. It’s my many-more-than-a-dime.

Also, the reconfigured system runs very differently than the other one, so I have to unlearn what I’ve done for four years and learn how to do this. And the improvements don’t seem logical to me. Do not make me follow a labyrinth when it should be a single click. So I pulled out my IDIOT’S GUIDE TO XP and I’m figuring out how to simplify some of it, hopefully without fucking it up.

Yes, I’m swearing today. And I mean it.

Writing-wise, yesterday was pretty much a bust. I managed to write 13 pages on Julia’s Legacy. I think it’s the first third of the first scene of Act II. The oddity that flared up towards the end of Act I was sorted nicely in this bit, and I’m satisfied I haven’t created a McGuffin.

But today I am Elsewhere, and I have every intention of making it a peaceful, productive writing day.

I will learn to cope with the updated computer.

On another positive note, my webhost has improved its anti-spam – I mean, really, in the Circadian Account, there were 1700 spam emails in the past week. That is NOT acceptable. I raised everything on all accounts ending in devonellingtnwork, fearlessink, and cerridwenscottage to the highest possible filter on all 39 accounts.

In other words, if you don’t hear back, try again, and I apologize in advance.

But today, it’s more important that I finish the deadlined work and continue on Julia’s Legacy. I’m worried that if I don’t finish the first draft before I head for Saratoga on Monday, I’ll lose it. Which means forty-eight hours to finish two thirds of Act II, Scene 1, and all of Act II, Scene 2. Plus revise the big article, finish and revise the other big article, and finish all those little ones.

I need a nap and the day hasn’t even started yet.

Dawn Powell’s diaries are wonderful. I’d forgotten how much she discusses process in them.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, especially to Colin, but also to Mik, Brenda, Lori, Barb, and Sagie, for pulling me through.

And can I just say I’m playing way to much with the Task and Calendar functions in the new email?

From Elsewhere


At 10:49 AM, Blogger Tori Lennox said...

*hugs* on the computer mess. I agree that just wiping the hard drive is the lazy solution. It sounds like he didn't really even investigate any other possible ways to fix it.

And wiping your drive twice a year?! That just sounds.... words fail me. I hate Microsoft (well, I like my MS Office for OS X). Love my Mac. I so rarely have problems with it. Now if I could just figure out the best way to get high speed Internet service...

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Brenda said...

While it will eventually succumb to old age, the iMac I've been using for over 3 years has never crashed. It's an amazing machine. But that's a costly change...

I read somewhere recently that AOL, I think, in September will be offering 5 Gigabites of free online storage.

Online storage is really our only solution. Probably in 2 or 3 places.

Sorry to hear about this, but at least you've got a working computer again...

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Brandy said...

Devon, sorry you've had to go theought this. Geek Squad sometimes knows what they are doing, but usually they take the easy way. The wiping the drive thing 2x a year sounds.....wrong.

And the picutres below are gorgeous!

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Ann said...

This completely sucks. Best wishes with everything.

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Lara said...

My old laptop has never actually crashed, but it was running slower than molasses in January. So I wiped it, and now, it's super fast.
(Of course the 8+ hours it took to reload everything back onto it sure could have been spent better...)

At 4:17 AM, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Ah, Devon, your experiences are definitely a caution ... As you know from my blog, my computer is currently limping along after Broadband related problems. Now I'm wondering if I should just leave it be - I can get on line, and get at the files I need, after all. Gulp. Hope it's settled down now.

At 4:51 AM, Blogger Shirley said...

Poor you. What a disaster. The last time my pc was wiped was the first time ever that I didn't lose something. There are days when I could kill Bill Gates...

Alan Bennett is one of my favourite writers and I know you'll love Writing Home. It's brilliant.

Thanks for posting the photos. They're beautiful.


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