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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Fuck!

Maybe it was the fact that I was gearing up for a guest on Friday, or maybe it's just that my computer has been making suicide attempts for years, but when my laptop finally died the other night I was only casually irritated. I had GWBoyfriend's computer to work on; I'd been backing up my current chapter on a disk; and I had recently gone through my old files and folders to make sure that my other chapters, research, and my teaching materials from the last two semesters were backed up, so I wasn't particularly worried.

But then today as I returned to working on my chapter I realized first that I hadn't backed up my revised CV. Oh well--I could update that in an hour. Then I realized that I didn't have copies of my syllabi-in-progress for the fall, which I'd spent a lot of time on (especially all the attendance-grading-assignment-policy shit). Damn. But I could probably reconstruct them in under four hours, at some point during the summer. THEN I discovered, in checking out my backup disks, that I'd inexplicably never backed up the research file I'd started for a small side project on Ralph Ellison (completely and ridiculously outside of my field, but something I'm interested in). Not even ten pages long, and almost entirely direct quotations from printed sources--but I'd already returned all the books from which I took those quotations, and since the project is so entirely unrelated to everything else I'm doing, I just don't want to waste unnecessary time on it, you know? I'd figured out my major argument and just wanted to plunk everything in place over a weekend or so and send the essay out.

And then the list started growing: a recommendation for a student I think highly of, that I wanted to keep on file so I could update it in the future. My most recently updated dissertation bibliography. (Some 25 or 30 pages long, and it'll be a bitch to figure out what's missing from the older version.) And so on. The files on my computer are probably salvagable by someone who knows what he's doing--this current suicide is very like several other attempts my computer made while under warrantee, and Compaq always eventually fixed the problem--but I'm not willing to spend more than $100 on a machine that is 4+ years old, has never been reliable, and is now physically falling apart, as well; because of a broken hinge, it's being held together with strapping tape and a binder clip.

So I repeat: fuck! Never never never buy anything from Compaq/HP, dear reader, or you will live to regret it.

But on a more positive note: three pages. Bad pages, but pages all the same.


link | posted by La Lecturess at 2:53 AM |


6 Comments:

Blogger G-Fav commented at 9:57 AM~  

Some ideas...

I can't tell from your e-mail what component of your computer is dying. It may be the harddrive, in which case I suggest you find a low-effort way to back up as much as you can. The easier the method, the more likely you'll do it.

One trick is to get a GMail account, which provides (2 Gigs?) of free storage. You could email yourself a bunch of files so that Google is essentially maintaining your backup. A positive side-effect would also be that your stuff becomes accessible anywhere.

I presume you already have & use USB sticks in your bag that you can whip out on short notice. Radio Shack has decent ones, 256MB-512MB, around $150.

gregg

Blogger RH commented at 6:16 PM~  

Or you could just get a Mac.

Oooh, I so snarky...

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 7:18 PM~  

Hey, thanks, G-Money. I think it's the fan; that's what they've replaced in the past. Basically, I turn the thing on and it starts up--but cuts out before it's fully booted up.

I have a Gmail account and do occasionally send myself docs, but hadn't considered using it as a permanent storage facility. May need to start doing that, as I'm paranoid about my disks going bad.

(And I have NO IDEA what a USB stick is. It it like a glowstick?)

Blogger G-Fav commented at 9:57 PM~  

Yo -

Yeah! Get a Mac! It'll even read your old MS Office files!

Hmm. I don't know why a fan would repeatedly fail. That sounds troubling.

A "USB stick" is the nerd name for a USB Flash Drive. It's a keychain-sized gizmo which looks like a highlighter pen, goes into your computer's USB port (if you have one), and acts just like a disk drive. But with no moving parts.

Sandisk is the standard manufacturer. You can get them at Radio Shack, Staples, Circuit City, or just about anywhere that you (used to) buy floppies.

Like:

Staples - USB Drives

Once I was in remotest Wyoming and bought three USB Sticks to carry a ton of data around. Saved my life.

In return for this sage advice, I could use some schooling on the proper use of that and which.

-gregg

Blogger Professor B commented at 6:37 PM~  

G is such the man...

It sounds as if your hard drive might actually be fine...in which case, you may be able to have the drive physically pulled from the machine and installed in GWB's machine as a second drive, and then back it all up from there...

I would second (or is it third?) both G and RH - Get a Mac next time. ;-)

It pays to have techie nerds as friends.

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 10:28 PM~  

Dude, you technie nerds ain't doing shit--it's my BROTHER who is recovering my files for me.

(And oh yes: welcome to my blog!)

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