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Thursday, March 15, 2012

RIP, Computer

If you follow me on Facebook you probably heard that earlier this week my computer crashed. I took it to Best Buy and they put it on life support, but could only open it in "safe mode". It didn't look good for the old boy.

I really didn't want to donate my retirement savings to a new computer, but the Geek Squad could not guarantee they could fix my pc without bloodletting. I opted to pull the plug and bought a faster, bigger machine (10 GB of RAM, 1.5 Terrabytes of hard drive).

--only they didn't have it in their store, nor was one in transit. Oy!

My only option was to get it from another store. Sure, they could get it delivered, but their next delivery was next week. No way was I waiting that long, so we made the trip to the next town.

We brought the new computer to our 'local' store and they commenced the long process of extricating my ginormous library of files from the old computer. In the meantime we dash home to retrieve my software so they can install those too. The software front is not looking good. Apparently some of my software is too old for this computer. (I'll just open a vein for more money.)

Days later, my new computer is ready. ...I hope. We picked it up last night but were too tired to plug it in so we'll attempt it today. 

I still won't have email until I can talk to my local provider and have them walk me through the set up again. As I recall from last time, it was not an easy process. What with my poor phone reception, trying to communicate with them in front of my computer was frustrating beyond belief.

I don't know if it was the solar flares, Mercury gone retrograde, or just an incredible coincidence, but me and at least five friends that I know of have lost their computers, incurred a virus, or had their email accounts hacked--all on the same day. 

Strangely enough, the day before my pc crashed, I backed up my most important files, but not all because I just didn't have the time. Then this happened.

The only funny thing was when the tech yelled at me because I have a bad habit of cramming my desktop window with folders and files. Greg laughed because he picks on me for that too.

I can't help it. I look at these files all the time and I want them easy to find.

Do you neatly store your files and folders off your desktop, or are you like me and put them in plain sight?

Note: If you need to email me, my gmail account is the only reliable email I have at present.


Clarissa Draper said...

Well, I'm glad you're back. Me, I'm super neat. My husband has a messy desktop but then again, he also has a messy desk top too. My desk is always super neat and so is my computer. But, that's just me, my husband says it's faster to find files when they're all on the desktop.

LD Masterson said...

I've offered a moment of silence for your dear departed pc. Hope you can get the new one up as running without too much more expense and hassle. In the meantime, I'm using your g-mail.

Maria Zannini said...

Clarissa: Looks like you and your hubby are a mirror image of me and mine. It is faster--for me at least. LOL.

Linda: Thank you. We'd been having numerous power outages this week and I have to wonder if it was just too much for it. It's been an extremely frustrating week.

Mark. K. aka - EvilDM said...

Oddly enough, you mention the solar flares thing - on that very day, my elderly neighbour knocked my door asking if I could take a look at his pc as it wasn't responding.

Dutifully I step into my neighbour's home and take a look at said pc. I'm no genius, but I have built three pcs of my own so I'm fairly good at trouble shooting and fixing pc woes. But this thing had me baffled? Hard drive light was on, but not blinking. No matter what I did nothing. And the night before all was well, only that it had taken slightly longer than usual to close itself down? I suspected hard drive failure, but advised that my neighbour's son-in-law take a look, as he is an IT technician.

A day later, my neighbour gave me an update on his pc situation: his son-in-law was baffled. Couldn't find a fault anywhere, but still couldn't get it to work?

Solar flares at work... or was it gremlins? I guess we'll never know?

Maria Zannini said...

Mark: Something is going on, that's for sure. That was nice of you to check your elderly neighbor's pc. I hope he backed up anything that was important to him.

Renee Miller said...

I get yelled at for having windows and files open all the time. Like you, I work on several things each day and I need them readily available. No, I do not want to take two minutes to find it - I need it now. I try to remember to close out everything and shut the computer down when I go to bed...but that doesn't always happen.

Weird how all those "malfunctions" happened at once.

I hope you get your email sorted out fast.

L.G.Smith said...

Solar flares could have done it. I've also heard of a few people around the net getting viruses last week. Your story is a good reminder for me to back everything up on an external drive. I usually save my writing to an external e-mail account that I can access from any computer, but some of the other stuff hasn't been backed up recently. Yikes. Better get bus

Suzanne Brandyn said...

I also heard about the solar flares being responsible for a few computers crashing. I back up regularly, and yes, I have many folders on my desktop. It's mainly the ones I am currently working with, the others tucked away in my documents.
There is nothing worse than computer problems. lol.. :)

Mike Keyton said...

I hope the nightmare's slowly receding and the email is sorted out soon. I don't know what's worse, solar flares or virus. Solar Viruses maybe.
Ref my desk top it has periodic spring cleans. The neatest ever achieved was a thin vertical line of folders down one side, and the rest of the screen a large picture of Monument Valley. It didn't last

C R Ward said...

I tend to store important files and folders on my desktop, because . . . they're important! then every once in awhile I'll notice how messy my desktop is getting and I'll move them them into other folders to consolidate everything, but it never lasts for long. Before I know it I'm back to dragging document files onto the desktop and creating new folders. :-)

I feel for you, having to buy a new computer. I just got rid of a virus on mine and the first thing I did was back up all my files - which I hadn't done in a while. Now I'm debating whether it would be cheaper to replace all four toner cartridges in my laser printer or just buy a whole new printer.

It never ends! :-)

Raelyn Barclay said...

How frustrating but I hope you get up and running soon. Just think of all that space you can fill with new stories :)

I like to look at my desktop image not a lot of folders, LOL, though currently there are a ton of sticky notes covering it. With Windows 7 I pin my most used stuff to the taskbar. With Scrivener I have all the docs, images, etc. for each story in one place which probably did more to cleaning up my desktop than anything else.

Maria Zannini said...

Renee: I was able to restart my email program through Microsoft Outlook. But EVERY email I had saved, all my contacts, all my reminders, and all my drafts are gone. We are talking close to 5000 emails. I have not been able to restore them. Waiting for the help desk to get back to me.

LG: I wish I had thought to back up my emails.

Suzanne: I am trying not to lose my cool, but computer problems can set me to ballistic in seconds.

Mike: Ref: Solar Viruses
Leave it to you to find something worse. LOL.

CR: Ref: printers
What a scam, don't you think? The printer is relatively cheap. They get you with the toners though.

Raelyn: Greg is the same way. He always has a picture of the dogs or some new "toy" on his screen. Me, as long as it's a dark backdrop so I can see my files, I don't care what it is.

Southpaw said...

Create shortcuts. I've had computer meltdowns myself and suffered damage. Often items on the desktop cannot be recovered! GADS! So, now I create "shortcuts" for all my most view doc and put the shortcuts on the desktop.

Dru said...

I'm anal, I back up nearly everything at night before I turn the computer off. I don't like clutter, so on my desktop I have no more than 10 shortcuts for software that I use. Documents and folders are in the appropriate directory..noting on the desktop.

Charlie said...

I keep a neat file structure but always keep a working copy on the desktop. I save my manuscript so often and in so many places I sometimes have to carefully compare all the files to see which is most recent. Insanity much?

Hope the new PC rocks the house!

Stacy McKitrick said...

My ms document changes names after every time I touch it, so keeping them on the desktop would just be ridiculous! In fact, the only thing on my desktop are the programs I use. When I open Word, it goes to the drive I keep my documents in (same with Excel). And once I finish a project, I create a folder for that project and put all documents into that. Yes, I'm that organized! It's a sickness, I know.

Angela Brown said...

Some things, unfortunately, reach they're end time. I guess that PC held all the files it could handle and just couldn't handle no more. Ashes to Ashes, microchip to microchip.

As for my desktop, I'm so accustomed to accessing my thumb drive for what I need that I don't keep anything on the desktop except for what came on it. With the exception of maybe two columns of icons, it's fairly clear.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have files all over my desktop too. I like them there!

Shelley Munro said...

Sorry to hear about your poor computer. It.s so time consuming and frustrating getting a new one sorted.

I'm neat with my desktop. I'd be looking sideways at your desktop too ;)

Kaye Manro said...

I hope you like your new computer. Sorry the old one is no more, but it is good to upgrade. Things change so fast. For me, I try to keep files in spacial places.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh rats. That stinks. I have A LOT of files and folders but not on my desktop. LOL

Darke Conteur said...

Okay, I'm backing up my files as we speak.

Kim said...

Ouch - sorry for your loss. I hate having to replace a computer (I'm on my 3rd laptop.) Mine crashed hard last October and I ended up having to wipe out and reinstall everything. As soon as it was up and running, I signed up with Carbonite, so even if I forget to back everything up (and I'm terrible at it) it's saved somewhere.

I have a zillion files, but I don't keep them all on my desktop. I wouldn't be able to see anything but folders. Blech. :D

Maria Zannini said...

Southpaw: :) It's not that I can hide my files, it's that I prefer not to. I do keep shortcuts for all my go-to softwares though.

Dru: I think the thing that gave me the most headaches was losing my email archives. Everybody I know is in there, including our conversations, important dates and books.


Charlie: I don't revise a lot, but when I get ready to finish a project, I'll do one big revision and relabel it "final". That let's me know that's the last enchilada.

Stacy: All my docs are in project folders too. And then there are project folders for published books in all their formats, project folders for art, project folders for blog tours, project folders for wips...and the list goes on. My docs and images number in the thousands.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: What a nice way to put it. My old pc was only 3 years old. I will admit that I am harder on it than most people. It stays on continually because I never know when I'll get up and check it. Ref: thumb drives. Love those things. I use them as portable backup.

Susan: I multitask a lot, so I don't care if it looks messy. I'm only there to work.

Shelley: So many neat people! My house is clean. Does that count? LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Kaye: So far so good, but I spent ALL day yesterday sorting and finding stuff. I'm still missing some stuff which is sad because it had a lot of indie information on it. :(

Jennifer: Oy. Another neat freak. I think Renee and Susan and I are going to start a club. LOL.

Darke: Find a way to archive your emails and contacts. That's what took me the longest to find.

Kim: I will check into Carbonite. A friend wrote me and told me about Crashplan too. I will definitely find some way of backing up so I don't have to go through this again. What a long week!

Mark. K. aka - EvilDM said...


Derek (that's my neighbour) had everything backed onto a portable hdd - damn thing is smaller than my wallet! Amazing technology out there now--and yes, I've just made myself sound very old indeed!

Although, quite some time ago I did read about IBM running tests on crystals as a means of storing data, read by a laser beam. What really blew my mind was the fact these particular crystals were no bigger than a grain of salt!?

Nano technology is amazing - and scary at the same time.

Maria Zannini said...

Mark: I had heard of the crystal tech. I'm surprised it's not out yet. Technology can become ancient within a couple of years. I have a whole attic of old tech devices to prove it. :)

Melissa McClone said...

Too funny. Not about your computer dying, but about your desktop. GMTA! I do the exact same thing! my fave stuff is all there. It drives my hubby insane!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Computer problems are the WORST! Especially if you have to be without it for very long!

On my desktop, I put stuff I need for a little while-- like a day or two-- because then when I see them clogging up the screen, I'll remember to delete them. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Melissa: Huzzah! We need to stand united. We of the messy desktops are not disorganized, just busy. :)

Peggy. At least this nightmare is almost over. Most of my files were restored.

Virginia said...

I depended on the task bar and pinning things to the start menu until my husband introduced me to a wonderful program called Fences. Took awhile to get used to, but now I love it.

As for backing up before your pc dies? Not so good with that. I ran into a similar sich a couple years ago. Thankfully the Geek Squad guys were able to rescue the important stuff.

That reminds me, I need to go back up my files...

Maria Zannini said...

Virginia: I had never heard of Fences. I'll check it out. Thanks!