by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Life, the Universe, and Everything”

Irritating Things About Losing My Computer . . .

Posted 27 February 2008 in by Catriona

. . . that weren’t immediately noticeable.
  • I haven’t typed my library password into the website in four years, and I’ve now forgotten it. This makes accessing databases and electronic journals impossible, and is highly irritating.
  • all my lovely PopCap games are gone: Alchemy I hadn’t played in a while, but the loss of my beautiful Bejeweled 2 is a tragedy.
  • ditto Solitaire Till Dawn, hands-down the best Solitaire games for the Mac anywhere. How will I procrastinate now?
  • I really don’t want to spend an hour with my online banking system recreating the spreadsheet tracking repayment of my parents’ loan for the car.
  • I’ve only just now realised that my electronic Bookmarks are gone. Bugger.
  • grateful as I am for Nick’s computer, his keyboard really sucks. Yes, that modifier was necessary.
  • I’m becoming unreasonably annoyed by having to log back into my e-mail programme every ten minutes.
  • on that note, the online Exchange programme has stored all of my received e-mails, but none of my sent ones, which I suspect will cause increasing problems in the future.
  • I miss my James Jean desktop image.

None of these are as major as the complete and utter loss of one of my appendices—it would have to be the one that includes my primary source material, wouldn’t it?—but they’re frustrating nonetheless.

R. I. P., little iBook. I’m going to stop whinging about you now.

The Aftermath

Posted 26 February 2008 in by Catriona

I’m in no fit state to update properly, having spent the morning being told that my computer is irretrievably dead (thirteen days out! Why?)

It could be worse; I’ll never grumble again about Nick’s insistence on doing everything image-related himself, since that’s the main reason there was a very recent copy of the full draft on his machine. But I have entirely lost one appendix. Not terrible, but worse than I needed at this stage of events.

But I shouldn’t grumble.

I do, however, have one reasonable request.

If The Doctor is anywhere near Earth at the moment—I realise I’m not allowed to travel back on my own timeline. But, do you think you could nip back to yesterday morning and warn me to back everything up?

That’d be great, ta.

Obviously, I Learned Nothing From Teaching Academic Research Methods

Posted 25 February 2008 in by Catriona

I had a post planned out for today, in honour of The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon. In other words, I was going to write a list, of the strangest things I’d discovered while editing my thesis. (For the record, it would have been really interesting. You can tell by the way I just had to use a weak modifier to describe it.)

But then my computer died. Not just died. Completely and utterly refused to do anything but make heart-rending screaming noises.

And I realised that, while I had my appendices backed up, I hadn’t saved a back-up of my thesis itself since early December.

That wasn’t the best revelation I’ve ever had.

But if the Internet has taught me anything, it’s that the untimely death of one’s computer two weeks before you’re due to submit a Ph.D. that, as it turns out, you haven’t been backing up properly can only be dealt with through the awesome power of bad haikus.

Alas, iBook is dead.
The hard drive unmounted.
The thesis unsaved.

Packrat during work.
I just needed a panda—
Is that so wrong, now?

The panda stolen
And then the grey screen of death.
My lesson learned.

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