Sunday, August 20, 2006


When Windows crashes, every previous moment of your life suddenly seems less important than what you'll do in the next one. My first instinct was to cry. Second, to find that bottle of Vicodin my mom had after her surgery two years ago. I know it's around here somewhere.

Right now I'm trying to "reboot" everything and not lose 70,000 words of the world's greatest wit-lit novel, plus two years' worth of theater reviews and about 50 freelance projects and teaching notes.

The abyss opens up and tries to swallow you. But friends who know computer things reel you back from the edge.

Back soon with updates. And for those of you starting classes in Dallas in 106-degree heat, please stay hydrated and save a few of the close-in parking spaces for old coot professors.

Back-up, back-up, back-up. I know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here you go

3:51 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

And get a MAC!! I work on four different computers on a regular basis, all Macs, and none of them have crashed in over three years.

Not once.

4:01 PM  
Blogger SuperHolmie said...

I am terrified my computer is going to crash and I am going to lose my thousand-plus digital pictures that are on it. Not to mention lesson plans. Hope you are able to rescue your stuff.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Cold Potato said...

I can recomend 2 things:
1) put all your personal information on a separate partition or separate hard drive
2) external hard drive to back up your data. they make some good ones now.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second the external hard drive motion. Also a surge protector on the power supply having had a computer literally explode due to a wonky power supply.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep. Just back everything up. It sounds like all your stuff is Word documents, which means you probably just a need a CD-RW or two to use for storage. Those type of files don't take up that much space. Make it a habit to back your files up once a week. It's easy and will save you some serious heartbreak.

Also, if you end up getting something new, don't ever buy a Dell laptop. There are far more problems with them than the batteries that have been in the news lately. I damn near lost everything -- 2 years worth of college work, 30+ GB of music, and tons of pictures -- after the cooling fan died and the thing just about burnt up. Dells may be cheaper than other brands, but it's for good reason.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Jeff the Baptist said...

Ditto the Dell laptop. Mine was nothing but trouble. The good news is that Dell made very little money off of me because of my extended warranty. Bad news is that I was still out a laptop shortly after the warranty lapsed.

Invest in a good backup system. There are plenty of external USB hard drives out there that are almost impossible to fill with just plain text documents. It is all about backing up regularly whether you have a PC or mac.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Baruch Grazer said...

Speaking of back-up: don't forget the off-site backup. If my HD is made unreadable by fire, chances are the back-up CDs next to it on the desk are a puddle of cooling plastic ooze. And if I don't have copies off-site, words can't express how much my dissertation committee won't care... :^)

2:51 PM  
Blogger Cold Potato said...

I cannot begin to remember how many power supplies my family has gone through. The last one to go in my family belonged to my mother; hers actually exploded. When your power supply goes, nothing in your computer is safe. A while back I had an undervoltage problem and the powersupply took out one of my hard drives.(we were later able to save the drive, but the power supply was
religated to the parts bin)
As more and more power is pumped through the same amount of space, the chances of failure increase. Once upon a time, 250W would be enough. Now I wont touch anything under 450W.
This is one of the reasons an external hard drive is so nice. Also, burning your data onto a series of CD's or DVD's is a good and (relitavely) cheap way of keeping data safe. I would recomend a small safe to keep them in if they stay on-site.

Another thing you havent mentioned is wether your computer problem is hardware or software based. If it is just windows being windows, it is very easy to get your data to a safe place.

P.S. Five bucks says you use a Dell.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Ragman said...

I'm a techno-geek. Been in it long enough, and had enough of my own gear fragged, that I have CD-R backups of pics, old data, and a 1 Gb flash drive for my "current" documents in a fire safe, and a second hard disk in my computer that has my "My Documents" folder and other data on it. That way, if Windows decides to frag my boot drive, my data drive is unaffected.

Flash drives are getting very affordable. Definately a must have for quick and easy backups. I got tired of jacking with CD-RWs, so I got the 1 Gb flash.

If you have a tech minded friend, and want to go the external USB/Firewire harddrive route, have them buy an enclosure and separate internal drive to assemble, instead of buying an external drive already built. That way, it's easier to replace just the drive when you need more space, instead of having to buy a whole new external drive.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Matt Dowling said...

Get a MAC!

5:23 PM  

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