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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

It's Y2K all over again

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Letting out some steam

Even a few phone calls hasn't eased my anxiety of what is ahead...

Today, I did a bad, bad thing. Well, it has nothing to do with a girl unless hard drives are females. [The phrase "did a bad, bad thing" reminds me always of a Chris Isaak song. I'd tell you which song it was if I hadn't lost 10,000 songs off my PC today. That isn't the bad, bad thing. It's only part of it. All those songs are backed up by CD or CD-ROM.

The bad, bad thing is that I lost data dating back to 1995. Nearly every file I have worked on since then I had kept. Well, I am sure I can recover 95% of that as

I have CD-ROMs backing up all that too. But the really bad, bad thing of all this is that I spent hours tagging those songs. Correcting spelling, researching label and other things. AMG and Gracenote are all right, but they still miss a ton of stuff. I had each song tagged by genre, style and sub-genre or sub-style. All of it gone! Poof! The data was organized meticulously. 100s of 1,000s of files categoried into twenty categories. Poof! Gone! E-mail dating back to January 1, 1997? Poof! Gone! Well, even that is backed by CD-ROM. I'll probably only lose the last two months of e-mail. Except all that too was meticulously filed by personal or businss and then by 20 categories. Oh, crap, I just realized I lost two months of financial data. I made the mistake of backing up to hard drive only eight weeks ago after deciding that a third internal drive was not gonna get accidentally deleted before I had my DVD-RW fixed to back up everything.

The lesson today, if it takes four hours to back up data, take the extra five minutes to physically remove a hard drive before restoring the other drive. Didn't get a warning about that, I didn't. I was just killing the c: and d: drives. Sigh.


moving forward
Sunny side up: Connecting to the Internet was painless! I am using Windows ME and Internet Explorer 5.5. So very 2000. But you know what? My PC is so speedy! None of that bloat from countless applications. Maybe I'll hold off on the OS upgrades and reinstalling of bloated Adobe graphics apps and office suite software. Yeah, right. I live and die on Excel.

Oh, and wow! But you wouldn't believe how much of your more (alas, but not most) crucial info can be so easily stored away on the Internet. For me, that means I get to recover all my contacts (up-to-date as of Saturday). Alas, I wiped out my e-mail earlier today cuz well I had... wait, I'm focusing on the good here, but I still should have a ton of recent e-mail either in Hotmail, Yahoo!, Google or IMAP. Multiple redundancy. I breathe it. Oh, all my website files are all good. That's a major, amajor plus. Cannot imagine the work that would have been lost there. okay, this isn't so bad. Anyway, had this happened one month later, I'd have been prepared.

The lesson again, if it takes four hours to back up data, take the extra five minutes to physically remove a hard drive from the PC before restoring the other hard drive.

Well, time to see whether or not my self-training as a digital archivalist/recovery guru pays off or not. Then again that may cost money for the applications required to do that properly. All I've really done is read and researched it. Self-training? Bah! Reading ain't experience. Like Robin Williams said in Good Will Hunting, "gotta see a man about a mule".

Yeah, I know, Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise. I can't recall what Robin said on the park bench to Will but he did say in a story told in his office, "gotta see about a girl"!

Baby, did a bad, bad thing... - Chris Isaak

...straight from the CD. Almost can hear the pops and crackles of the needle-like laser. There, I feel much, much better.


Laughing in the Face of Digital Disaster,
Or thirteen hours later in "losing" everything

The lesson as always is to think when panicking. That and read 2005's Moneyball, Malcolm Gladwell's cognitive psych book, Blink while waiting through all of the restarts. It is amazing how clear my mind gets when I fret. I have been absolutely lucid the entire time since realizing what was happening upon the advice from Microsoft. It helps also that I realized that once I got to Windows XPsp2 that I'd be able to recover all my files, all my music and all my e-mail. So happy!

Thanks to all those who took phone calls from me tonight. Er, yesterday. My brother shared a phony* bit about Blink he had read at slashdot:

Master of Disaster: What's this book about, this Blink?
Kernel Chicken0711: It's about first impressions.
Master of Disaster: Good, then I don't have to read it.

*Oy, I just crashed. I meant funny and that the dialogue was paraphrased, and thus I naturally wrote "phony". Does not anyone understand? President Bush is a goddamn genius!

I may not have sounded it, but that joke made my night. And then I sat down and read the book. Report later.