Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What Else Can Go Wrong?

The last couple of weeks are not ones I want to relive any time soon. Not only have they been immensely frustrating days but the time wasted is not insignificant and with the number of things needing to be done according to my detailed schedule I have felt my already mounting stress level going off the charts.

To begin with, after Paragraphs survived Hurricane Dolly, our basement in Colorado was flooded during a freak thunderstorm. Wading through the water and looking out the basement window, where the water was flowing into the basement from the flooded window well, I was reminded of an aquarium, except instead of fish we had a few surprised spiders wondering where this deluge had come from and trying to locate a piece of bark or some other saving ark.

Anyway, I spent several days understanding - admittedly on a smaller scale - and undertaking recovery efforts similar to my friends on the island. Getting rid of several inches of water, bleaching the walls and floors, tearing up water-soaked carpet and rounding up all the fans I could find, filled several days with unneeded hassle but eventually things were beginning to look up and I was ready to return to bookstore tasks.

Of course, when it goes bad it just goes bad!! When I turned on my laptop last Thursday morning, happy to be back on track and looking forward to thinking about Paragraphs, I was met with a black screen and a little blinking cursor in the corner. I had believed my days of DOS screens were over - but here it was just sitting and blinking like the old days - except I couldn't get any response, try as I might. Add to this frustration, the sinking feeling in my stomach when I realized that I had backed up a Quicken file after preparing this years taxes, but a complete backup was something I had neglected.

So I spent a day going through all the motions, trying to recover, repair, restore all to no avail. Finally, after a call to tech support, which left me in an even more agitated state, I resorted to taking my failing brain to my local independent computer guru. The diagnosis was a failed hard drive with a poor prognosis of data recovery. Now I know why this old machine had been making so much noise the last few months. But of course the constant grinding and whirring wasn't enough to prompt me to take the precaution of backing up this obviously overworked hard drive.

I did have some remaining hope - my email was safely archived on Google's server in the sky and my addresses, phone numbers, calendars, passwords and log-in information, booklists, and myriad other details were safely stored on my trusty Treo. This also meant that I was not completely shut off from the world. Until...

Saturday morning the unthinkable happened. My phone decided to crash. At this point I decided that there is something to be said for pencil and paper and I am still wondering if the advantages of technology are actually worth it, when faced with the trauma created when it refuses to cooperate.

Luckily, the guys at Action computers realized my nerves were shot, and they returned my laptop yesterday instead of the 5 days which Comp USA would have required so I am beginning the arduous task of reloading application software and determining what all I actually did lose. I have also recovered much of the data from my phone although it still seems to have a problem which may require professional help.

All in all, tomorrow should be the beginning of another day and hopefully circumstances will allow me to return to those tasks which are on my to do list. I am keeping my fingers crossed.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joni,

I am islandprincess15 trying to add this comment and getting some slack from my computer. I may have to sign off as anonymous because it is late and I don't have time to tell the computer that I have control of the powercord. Dangit!
Welcome to the community. What kind of bookstore are you? I work on Padre Blvd but have not because Dolly came by and kicked off our roof then played soccer with it down the street. She never brought it back like she promised. Will write more tomorrow. Have a nice day tomorrow.

Joni said...

I am sorry to hear about your roof. My problems are pretty insignificant compared to losing a roof!!

Paragraphs will be a full service, general interest bookstore, once open. It currently is in the middle to late stages of construction.

Just look for the new building between Morningside and Cora Lee.

Thanks for your comment.