Saturday, July 12, 2008

Focused: On Recovery

Monday: Focus: Emotional Equilibrium.

I found out I’d be spending the next two weeks training co-workers from other offices – on stuff that I didn’t have put together yet for myself. (It’s not because I’d procrastinated (this time), but because I haven’t been given a schedule – nor told the shape our National Seminar would take this year.)

There was other stuff going on too. I don’t remember what (Oh yeah. The CEO showed up unannounced!), but we’ll just say my disposition wasn’t the sunniest even BEFORE that event. A very brave, nice, friend offered to take me to dinner Monday night. We agreed to meet at my house about a quarter to seven. I’d been so busy at work, and not on-line, that I really wanted to get something writing done and resolve some correspondence before he showed up.

When I arrived home – my LDC screen was black. I assumed my computer had gone into “hibernation mode”, so I restarted it. It wasn’t hibernating because I still had a dark screen after I rebooted. Instead of stressing about this, I picked up the morning paper and read until my date arrived.

After a great dinner, I looked at my computer again. I found if I touched the toggle switch for screen-up/screen down, I’d get a 30 second glimpse of display as the screen refreshed.

Tuesday morning Focus: Getting ready for Wednesday

I brought my laptop to work. When I plugged it into the external monitor, everything was fine. I called Dell. I spent about an hour on the phone with them disassembling my computer – and proving that the LCD screen really HAD gone bad. Thankfully, it’s was still under warranty, so they said they’d be out in 2-3 days to fix it.

I spent the rest of Tuesday at work, actually WORKING!, and getting ready for the arrival of the first group of trainees. That night, I took home my OLD work laptop and got some more stuff done.

(Digression) I have a BRAND NEW work laptop! It might be great, I don’t know. I don’t have time to set it up – and it’s Vista – so there’s a learning curve that I just don’t want to deal with right now, so it’s acting as a third screen for my internet/web-based work because it is networked, so I can move stuff between it and my OTHER laptop.) (/Digression)

Wednesday Focus: Getting Ready for Thursday

Dell called to say they were coming to my office to fix the laptop. Since they’d said “two to three days” before the part would arrive, I hadn’t brought in my computer. I spent the day in the office leading a “How to prepare data for a National Seminar (when you’re not prepared)” meeting.

At the end of the day, there were documents that HAD to be ready to go for the next morning’s session, so I brought home my WORK laptop, since it was, you know WORKING.

Thursday Focus: Ignoring the Obvious

The Dell guy showed up. Because I was buried in the conference room I didn’t talk to him when he left (I didn’t even know he HAD left). Mid-afternoon my coworker, ADD Boy, told me that my LCD screen had been replaced, but the tech said my motherboard and hard drive had crashed.

Me: “Ha-ha, very funny. But he said the screen is fixed, right?”

Co-worker: “Yeah, but YOUR HARD DRIVE AND MOTHER BOARD are dead.”

Me: “Ha-ha, very funny. We’re busy in here, go away.” (he might have tried a few more times to make me believe my computer was dead, but I wasn’t falling for his joke.)

Late in the afternoon the GM came into the conference room.

GM: “Why was Dell here? What’s wrong with your laptop?”

Me: “Screen died. They came to fix it.”


Me: “No – my old one.”

GM: “Why are we spending money on the old laptop when you have a new one?”

Me: “First, I don’t have time to set up the new one. Second, it’s not work’s laptop, it’s mine (They look/are exactly the same) and I need it to live, m’kay?”

GM: “ADD Boy says the hard drive and mother board are gone?”

Me: “No, they’re fine, he’s just teasing me.”

GM: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes, everything BUT THE SCREEN is working JUST FINE.” (*if I ignore the blue screen that seems to come up 2 or 3 times a week*)

At the end of the day, I had some documents that once again HAD to be ready to go for the next morning, so again I brought home MY laptop (so I could rejoin my life) and my work laptop.

I started MY laptop. I got the red screen of death.

I started MY laptop. I got the red screen of death.

I started MY laptop. I got the red screen of death.

I started my WORK laptop and Googled “Red Screen of Death” – then I just ignored MY laptop and got my work done.

Friday Focus: Making it Out Alive

Friday morning when I got to work, I casually I asked my co-worker if Dell was returning SINCE MY MOTHER BOARD AND HARD DRIVE WERE FRIED. (I only yelled at the end)

I wanted to say, “OH MY GOD, YOU BIG BLOODY IDIOT WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME MY COMPUTER WAS DEAD???!!! WHY DIDN’T YOU LET ME TALK TO THE DELL GUY YESTERDAY!!!???” But you know, he did try to tell me. Three times. *sigh*

Because I was SO CASUAL (and nice) when I asked my question, ADD-Boy said he thought the guy mentioned he MIGHT be at the office “sometime today”. Thankfully I had brought MY very, very, broken and dead laptop to the office on the off chance Dell would show up again and not just laugh at me.

The Dell guy showed up. THIS TIME I talked to him. He confirmed. Everything dead. NOTHING TO recover from the hard drive. “Catastrophic event” I think were the words he used.

Thankfully, I back up my home computer everyday (automatically) to the work server. So I was all cheerful. NO PROBLEM … I’ll just RESET UP MY COMPUTER. *sigh*

So – besides stressing over the National Seminar where we’ll be demonstrating PROGRAMMING CHANGES THAT WE DON’T HAVE YET, and training coworkers on presentation skills (as I hurriedly throw together presentation outlines), I spent the afternoon and Friday night re-installing EVERYTHING to my home laptop. (Ssssh. Don’t tell the GM. If I have time to do this, then I have time to set up that damn Vista computer.)

Saturday Focus: Restoration

I’m fairly pleased. There are a few things that have made this setup easy. First – I LOVE FireFox/Google Docs/and FoxMarks.

FoxMarks tracks all my bookmarks between my laptops – and synchs them up. I’ve had to spend NO TIME recreating all my links. (which is good, because I have 75 different ones just for “cotton” and we won’t even get into how many blogs I track, not to mention categories like “cars”, “hotels”, “banking”, “bills”, “investments” and “cooking”).

Our proprietary backup software has also helped me restore everything**. (**Except for the new directories I’d made and hadn’t included in the backup.) *sigh*

I thought I’d lost most of Josiah (my novel), because I’d just moved all those documents into a new directory as I “reorganized” and (**see note about things not included in my daily backup).

Also including in “**see note” was my second whole semester of my Fiction Writing class. The on-going albatross known as “Fish Out of Water” and “Flume Tender’s Cabin” were also gone. (Because you know, they were in new directories NOT included in the backup.)

THANK GOD for Google Docs. I save almost everything there too so I can access it from work/the road/home so I’ve just had to go in and re download my stuff (or the most recent revisions). There are some things that have been lost. The two Josiah documents I was most worried about were my story time-line and background/research documents. I found fairly recent copies of everything in my Google Docs folder!

I’m still finding odd drivers I need to download (audio cards), and I don’t think my graphic card is running the right driver (but I’ll let the guys at work figure that out). Overall I keep telling myself there are two good things out of this:

  1. I (generally) have a good backup system which has SAVED MY BUTT and don’t care who teases me about backing up daily.

  2. Because I’m reinstalling everything on my laptop, I’ve gotten rid of a whole bunch of “preinstalled” crap that I never wanted in the first place.

Last week, in spite of everything, we had a good training session. I’m not so hopeful about the group of coworkers coming in this week. BUT, I’ve been proven wrong in the past. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong again. In any case, I better quit messing with this laptop and get back to “work”.

It’s back to focusing on the National Seminar, again.


Anonymous said...

Good grief Mit! Sounds like you went through quite an ordeal! I'm glad you were able to recover all of your docs (I love Google Docs as well) and your writings...which, by the way, I have never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever seen!! How about sharing your talented works some time, eh?

Good luck with the seminar!



Anonymous said...

Thank goodness you found "Josiah"! I haven't seen or heard from him in so long, I thought maybe he was lost down a shaft!
<3 M.O.T.O.R.

G Liz said...

I think I know what created the entire situation..."Fish out of Water"!!! :-)

I am sooo sorry you have had to deal with this situation all week. I am impressed with your ability to handle it the way you have, and it sounds like you could each me a thing or two when it comes to Google Docs.

Hang in there!

saturday's child said...

Good Grief! To have to deal with this AND the training all at the same time. Quel nightmare!

I'm going to start using GoogleDocs and Foxmarks. AND more regularly back up to my external hard drive.

Good for you for having a regular and frequent back up of your computer.