Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Death of A Computer - The Hard Way

As computers tend to do, mine was slowing, s-l-o-w-i-n-g, s..l..o..w..i..n..g down. I knew a reformat was overdue and looming before me. I dread the job. Some people actually pay a geek shop to do it, but it isn’t that I don’t know how, or that the geek shops would do it any faster. It’s just a tedious, mind-numbing task that comes around about once or twice a year depending on how much stuff you have on your computer (I had TONS), how often you access the Internet (most of my waking hours), and despite all the anti-malware, anti-spyware and other fix-it programs you might have. For the most part, I don’t like to pay big bucks for something I know how to do myself.

Last Wednesday, I had to finally bite the bullet and get it over with. I was having to reboot many times a day, things were hanging up, crashing, etc. But because I do have so much stuff on my hard drive, I like a little supervision when I do reformats. A good friend with solid computer skills offered to come in and start it for me. Yay! I knew everything was in good hands. Did I mention that I also have a USB hub with three jump drives where I back up/store my ideas, story notes, character sketches and WIPs because I thought they’d be safer there? Well, not anymore. Those jump drives were wiped clean during the “getting started” portion of our program. Lucky for both of us, I heard the news after a glass or two of Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet, and said only, “This is catastrophic.” My friend has a program that can do a search and rescue for those apparently deleted files, but that’s a bigger task than reformatting the computer. The files appear in long lists that aren’t dated, have no file extension such as .doc, wpd., etc.

In the midst of this mental anguish and suffering one of my cats, who is getting on in years, is on a drug regimen of thyroid medication and an antibiotic. It doesn’t take much for her system to get out of whack, so while I was busy tearing out my hair with both hands, I was also cleaning up after her. The washing machine, the carpet cleaner, and my computer all were busy.

I’m happy to report the cat has improved.

But the hunt is still on for a story that I’ve had hanging around longer than the Jonas Brothers have been on this earth. One that was finally starting to come together for me. You know—that perfect light bulb moment when it all begins to make sense and the muse kicks in. I’m sure it will be found, but till then it’s just a needle in a cyber haystack.

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