And we never find all that we lose…

Street Art from Slovenia
Those of you who have listened to me howl for the last few days probably don’t want to listen to any more. Well, um, skip this post? Hopefully, it will be the last, lonely howl.

I have a history of destroying electronics. I have literally burned out lightbulbs, merely from touching them. I shock everything I touch. My headphones zap me in the ear (possibly THE most unpleasant situation I’ve encountered…) on a regular basis. Passwords and internet sites malfunction for me, and me alone. Laptops and computers? I shouldn’t be allowed to touch them.

(Ironically, my cell phones, which I hate, are the only things which. never. die. Despite my best efforts. But the voicemail malfunctions in every single one, and it eats calls and texts.)

Every computer I’ve owned has died horribly. My first laptop, a Compaq, just…died. Hard drive crash. Data was fortunately recovered. The Toshiba ran fine, until Norton decided to nap and I took the laptop to Best Buy, where they eradicated 600+ viruses and told me that I’d literally run out of room on the hard drive. There wasn’t enough room left for basic operations!

And now the Dell. The Dell has Vista. It really isn’t fair to give it ME too. That’s a death sentence. Sure enough. It started clicking.
Clicking.
Clicking.
Clicking.
Clicking.
Constantly.

I’m easily offended by noise. Dogs barking, neighbors, the TV, the AC. If I didn’t initiate the noise intentionally, it pisses me off.

Better yet…any repetitive noise or sensation drives me up the wall. Best of all? If I don’t know what it is, I’ll obsess over it until it is figured out. Welcome to my mind. Don’t make a sound. I might get stabby.

So, take a moment. Imagine what a constant, repetitive, unwanted, uninitiated, unknown sound does to me. I haven’t had my headphones off, at home, for three months. Loudly playing headphones, at that. My hearing has seriously suffered.

Anyways, it started freezing badly. Internet: unusable. Chat: unusable. Open Office: barely usable. Best Buy quotes me $300+ and 3-5 weeks. I quote them a deadline and some unmentionables. Off to another repair shop it goes. Oh, only 5 days and $130. Did I mention that, at this time, the forum I was administrating decided to have an implosion?

Got it home. Um, this bill doesn’t say that anything was really done. Hey, it’s still clicking! And freezing! I still can’t use it! Cue yet another breakdown.

A friend, a computer specialist, takes the computer home. It’s REALLY not reassuring when his wife pulls you aside and whispers “Uh, he took one look at the hard drive and said”…lean forward, whisper right in my ear…”this thing is a piece of SHIT! But he might be able to save it, with Windows 7.”

Two days later it comes home again. No clicking. No freezing. Windows 7 commences to scare the crap out of me. Yay for Windows 7! I’m so happy, I spend most of Monday doing odds and ends things, procrastinating on writing.

Tuesday morning, all gung-ho about getting WRITING DONE!, I turn on the computer. It comes up. It freezes. Er, is it SUPPOSED to be doing that?

Cue yet another author break down. Rather loudly. The puppy was scared enough that she wouldn’t come out of her crate for most of the day. Spent all day begging it to restart.

Next morning, off to Best Buy for a new harddrive. Supposed to be $60 bucks, which is stretching the budget right now. Nope, hard drive is $90. Replacement is $40. It’s done in 20 minutes though, and the computer guy is awesome and keeps me company nearly the entire time. We drool over computers together, and bash Vista.

Uh…a hard drive is all well and good, but uh…do I have an operating system disk? Not for Windows 7. Do I have a Vista disk? Please tell me I don’t have a Vista disk, because I DO have an XP disk, and it’s really tempting…damn, I’ve got Vista. FINE!

Vista is uploaded. Drivers are reinstalled. Why does this look funny? Why isn’t there any internet? Just give me internet, so that I can get Open Office and start writing. Partition? What’s that?

Another day lost. I took a nap. Hey, my old computer was frozen while I was napping. I had an excuse. It unfroze about the time I woke up. Did I mention that the CD drive died a horrible death on my old computer? So I couldn’t cheat and burn a disk for anything? Yeah. I have great luck with electronics.

Meanwhile, I’ve got emails piling up. An Aether Age deadline. A book that isn’t getting written. Articles to write. A serious case of stress to recover from.

The disk is partitioned that night. I start reconstructing my life.

And realize just how much data didn’t make it across that multi-staged leap from Vista to 7 to new hard drive. A lot of pictures. None of my music. Several sites that were not bookmarked correctly. The info from some programs. Documents that I’d downloaded, and forgotten to save. Tons of organization that I’d done between Vista going down to 7.

All of my submission data. Yes, all of it. I never did figure out how to back up Sonar files.

That’s a bleak, horrible feeling.

The hard drive is now with my friend. Hopefully he can recover all of the data. I need an external hard drive. That hasn’t been an option, but it goes to the top of my list of things to get.

There are times I wish we still wrote books with pen and paper. It would have made things so much less stressful the past three months.

Then again, with my luck, the paper would spontaneously combust, and someone would house a demon in the pen.

(Stealing an idea from the lovely Mercedes, I’ll track my google history. If this doesn’t get me on a watch list somewhere…)

Google history today: four-eyed demon, Apex Book Company, multiple you-tube videos for the Sunday night CG not-a-church, badass of the week, cupcakes, Aether Age.

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4 Responses to “And we never find all that we lose…”

  1. Reminds me of the time my illustrious brother ran into my bedroom (this was many, many years ago) shouting, “Do NOT touch a 9 volt battery to your braces!!” Yeah, it went badly for him, but bless him, he thought of me.

    Sorry for all your computer woes. We can’t live with them, we can’t live without them. They always go bad at the worst possible time. Hoping for the best for you!

    • Jaym Gates Says:

      Oh man. That’s hilarious! I must remember to go remind him of that in the next email. I’ve got LOTS of things to say about that one.

      Thanks for the well wishes…I just need a chance to catch up now.

      • Oh do. It was one of the classic moments of my childhood. Who knew that wet metal and electricity would turn out badly?

        Good luck on the catching up. Having your computer down blows goats.

  2. I really hope you’re able to get most, if not all of you data back, darlin. And yes, I would definitely recommend an external hard drive. I’ve been looking into getting one myself.

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