Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Yoga feet and crashed computers


New definition: Hell week is when your computer crashes and you want to torch it with a flamethrower. I didn't think there'd be enough yoga in the world to get me through this past week, but here I am, back in cyberspace.

My computer fixer has my deepest admiration. Note to self: pay attention to those little lower right hand side of the screen messages that say your hard drive is in trouble... Fortunately, I had online backup of all the good stuff. I didn't have my email program backed-up though, so another lesson learned. Back that sucker up, too.

Imagine, if you will, a wound-tight computer junkie with an unresponsive computer. White hot panic sears her mind. Her thoughts race and freeze simultaneously. She nearly runs out the door to the computer guy in her jammies, remembers street clothes after she puts the computer in the car. Back inside. Jump into clothes. Race to The Guy, mostly obeying speed limits

Babble. And babble some more. Tears well. Computer is sick. Needs help. Shoot it or fix it?

The Guy looks at her as if to say, "not another one." She tries to give her address, transposes the PO box number. Can't remember her phone number. Finally she hands him her work biz card. His cheek twitches as he tries not to laugh.

Finally, she gets the sad story out. It's broken. I need it. Now.
He says he'll look at it.

She leaves, forgetting her coat. Forgetting to take his number with her. Forgetting to ask a timeframe. Forgetting to ask how much it will cost. Feeling like a part of her is missing.

The call comes. Hard drive is bad. Asks if she wants a rush job. YES!

Time passes. She limps around on an old unit for days. Tries to do yogic breathing and balance poses. Wobbles and hyperventilates about the computer.

Another year of moments passes. Finally the computer is ready. All the files were saved. Yay. Email wasn't backed up. Boo.

But everything works. And its fast. All that slow and "not now" stuff of the old hard drive is GONE. Happy days.

Oh boy. That crazy person was not me!!! Was it?

Maggie Toussaint
www.maggietoussaint.com

ps Booklovers Bench is giving away a $50 gift certificate. Contest ends on March 17. Click on over to enter: http://www.bookloversbench.com

22 comments:

  1. Sorry, Maggie, that your computer crashed, but I'm laughing. This is one of the funniest things you've ever written--and I know it's true! I hate that about your computer, sure, but thanks so much for lightening up my day--I needed a good laugh.
    Jim just asked me about an hour ago--you need anything backed up? This is a routine question, and other than constant saving when I write, I let him back it all up. He brings the external hard drive in and uses that, plus flash drives. On the next trip to town, we'll go to the bank and the safe deposit box. Remove the old flash drive that says Celia, and throw the new one in. We started doing that one year when I thought about our neighbor whose house burned to the ground while they were away. They had nothing except the clothes on their back, their pickup, and her purse and his billfold. Computers in the house? He is Pawnee, and had dozens of stories he'd written about Native American tales about animals that teach a story. Every one cute as can be, but he knew nothing about backing up, flash drives....what a loss.
    Hope you day is better, now.

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    1. Hey Celia,

      Thanks for the commiseration. My meltdown was predictable and not fatal, thank goodness. Backing up is a necessity. Last time, I had a friendly upgrade. The old dino wasn't quite dead yet, so everything transferred. Not so lucky this time, and it would have been okay if I had responded to the first message or 3...

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  2. My laptop computer seems it wants to crash. I did all the tests for the hard drive, and they said okay. Still, if I stop for a little while, it freezes, and I have to reboot it. Hopefully, I can get the rest of the pictures transferred to Flickr before it dies completely, but it's a pain. Also, I can't remember where I left off, so now I'll have to go and check. I'm thinking of buying a backup hard drive with zillions of memory on it. I really should do it, especially after reading this!

    Morgan Mandel

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    Replies
    1. I had a backup external hard drive for a bit, Morgan, but I filled it up! Then I realized I wanted to keep everything - those family pics, my newspaper stories and pics, so I went with an online service. Gave me great peace of mind throughout this trial, lemme tell ya. Good luck with your machine.

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  3. I hate computer problems so I truly sympathize. What online backup program do you use? Losing my email would be a big deal. I store it on Outlook and only remember to back the Inbox up to my hard drive once every six months or so. But who's backing it up from the hard drive? My online service is Mozy and it seems confusing to use.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I use Carbonite and I have only good things to say about the entire experience. I don't know if the Outlook problem was my fault or not, but I probably checked off the wrong box when I was setting it up, because it took a day and a half to upload all my files. If you switched to Carbonite, and you were backing up your Outlook to your hard drive routinely, you would be better off than I am now. I get busy and forget stuff... Thanks for the comment!

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  4. Another thing to save: Web browser bookmarks. I did manage to get MOST of my emails and web stuff recovered. My hard drive was fine, but the files weren't where the routine recovery programs looked, which quadrupled the price of finding them.

    For slightly more than a one year's subscription to Carbonite, I just bought an external hard drive that saves everything I touch in whatever folders I tell it to--I did back up a lot of stuff to Dropbox, but certainly not everything by far. And then files were in different places, so I lost a bunch of tax data because an older file replaced a newer one. Not fun. And now, Dell tells me that I might need a replacement computer because whatever caused the initial problem hasn't gone away. This time I'll "mirror" my entire computer as well. Files are one thing, but unless you save the programs, reinstalling them can be a royal pain.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use Dropbox, too, and it's great for all my computers in different locations. All of my writing files are in Dropbox, and I'll periodically save those to my hard drive. I've never used Dropbox to restore files, though.

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    2. I think everyone should back up their work to another place, be it a flash drive, and external hard drive or an offsite cloud. Sounds like we all have various paths to get there - and that's all good.

      I've used Dropbox but that utility isn't my favorite. It's all to the good.

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  5. Oh, dear, what a blog post. I'm with Celia. Hilarious, but I know it wasn't. I'm on my fourth computer, and fortunately, none has crashed before I had to buy a new one. I do have an external hard drive, but I'm expecting my PC to go, leaving me without my website builder. That will hurt.

    Glad you have everything fixed, Maggie. Or most of it.

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    1. Thank you, Polly. It helps to have a good sense of humor about stuff that happens. We are definitely on the mend here.

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  6. Too funny, Maggie, but too real for most of us! Whenever I call the Apple Fix number, I always preface my question with something like: "I hope you've had your coffee because this is going to take a while . . . " I'm no the most tech savvy person at all and yet we are chained to ours for a host of reasons. Glad yours is fixed!

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    1. Hey Marni, I was surprised how upset I was, even knowing my files were safe. It was the being out of touch and out of commission that really got me. We folks who like to be connected don't do well without that link...

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  7. Maggie, there simply isn't anything worse than a crashed hard drive. My sympathies are with you, and no, your reactions are not extreme. Quite mild really.

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    1. Thank you, Vonnie. This is one of the few times I've wanted to wallow in the mess I made, but I was too busy to do more than say, well, dang. The net result is that I have a better set up now, so what's a few business day's delay to reach that point?

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  8. So sorry about the computer. It's lucky you can find humor in it. Must have taken a few days to see anything the slightest bit amusing about the whole thing. I'll think good thoughts for the computer and more for you!

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    1. You're sweet to think good thoughts for me and the computer. We're still getting to know each other. Already had to separate IE and Firefox and send IE to his room for a time-out. We're definitely redefining our working relationship!

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  9. Maggie, ((hugs))
    I've been there myself, Sweetie and I can tell you it sucks. The good thing - I was backed up enough to recover. It's nailing biting time. I'm glad to see that in the end you recovered, too. How do your nails look? Do you need a trip to the nail salon! Treat yourself. You deserve it. hehe

    PS if you do consider a new computer, I highly recommend a Mac Laptop. There's a bit of a learning curve, but it's not as bad as your think and the Mac hasn't me given me a lot of grief.

    Smiles
    Steph

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Steph. I'm seriously thinking of giving up my PC habit next time and going the Mac route. For now, the problem seems fixed, so I'm going to not rock the boat. And I don't want to say anything too loud to jinx my good fortune...

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  10. Poor baby, sorry for your loss! That happened to me a couple of years ago...seems like last year but I think it was 2011. When I got the dreaded blue screen of death, I felt like banging my head against my desk. I ended up going to the library to use their computers to place an order with Dell for a new PC. I was planning on buying a new one anyway, but the crash just forced the issue. I had Carbonite and what a lifesaver it is. Had my stuff back in a heartbeat! But like you, my email program was not backed up. I was able to recover email addresses from various friends and relatives. What a big PITA! Since then, I have switched to Gmail for my primary email handler. On the web so it doesn't need to be backed up.

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    1. That's good advice Karen - to use an online service to back up your email. I love how I have my mail sorted in folders in Outlook, though. I just need to set my calendar up to remind me to back up my email every 3 months or so. Doing that on a routine basis would keep me from being in such a big whopping hole next time.

      Thanks for the commiseration! Hope there are no blue screens of death in your immediate future.

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  11. “Fortunately, I had online backup of all the good stuff.” - I wish it was the same with all your stuff but at least you have saved some! You're a hilarious story teller, Maggie! I'm so entertained reading this. I just have a piece of advice for you: backing-up must not be a plan B as you must not take the risk of permanently losing important files like family photos or tax returns.
    Regards,
    Ruby Badcoe @ WilliamsDataManagement.com

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