I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

A Lesson In the Silence

If my blog has been a bit quiet this past week, there is a very good reason: my computer crashed!

This happens to all of us and often things are not all that serious; we can nearly always restore things and somehow come back from the edge of that terrible cliff. I always managed to recover from crashes, without any real damage. Nearly always and always are very dangerous concepts.

On Monday the whole computer just gave up the ghost. She was only four-years-old but she decided that Windows would never again see the light of day. She also decided that the system itself wasn't to her liking. The result: black screen and very little else. What I am tapping on now is something new and a tad expensive - the speed though is incredible!

This is a warning to any writer who thinks that his or her work that has been sweated over is safe. Have you got back-up copies of your precious words? If you haven't, go and do it this very minute! If you can't burn to a CD or use a storage facility, then email your documents to yourself. Luckily I had done this for the major things: the book I am currently submitting, the new book I am working on.

What I may have lost, however - I am still waiting for the verdict from the punk rocker computer fixer man - are a few poems and some recent priceless photos. Thank goodness my book had been saved. I had burned it onto a CD and emailed it to myself.

When you have precious writing in your system, you have to always ask the question 'What if?'. You may have burned things onto CDs and think you're safe, but what if the house goes up and everything is melted into the floorboards? Computer files and back-up CDs are lost. Email everything to yourself, because then it's all safe in virtual reality. There are also companies, including music chains and the like, offering online storage space.

Think about all of this before you are very very sorry. Luckily my gorgeous lions were backed up on a CD somewhere - I had feared that they were only living in the computer!

They will be able to continue growling, thanks to just a little bit of forethought.

7 comments:

Minx said...

I'm still crossing everything for you only it's getting a wee bit uncomfortable now - have you heard? No I guess you haven't because we would know about it!

As for crashing, the MD supplied me with these dinky little stick thingies. They look like tiny torpedoes but have the memory of a God. He also installed my own private garage MOT/tune-up doodah which keeps the place clean and running faster than the speed of light. The MD is clever in the art of computers so I have no need for invading punky repair persons and my whole world lives in a little stick!!

Verilion said...

Good for you Minx, and your little stick thingies. I read this very late at night (or maybe not, I can't remember now) and my computer fixer-upper pissed off about ten months ago and Shameless's tale of woe left me tossing and turning all night. I am now this minute about to e mail everything to myself. Like I could have done it last night and got a better night's sleep, but always follow my motto: If it can be done tomorrow ... why not?
Shameless I've also been keeping things crossed for you - my hair.

Shameless said...

Gosh, I didn't mean to be responsible for the tossing and turning, but if that saves your work, I'm happy. And thank you both for keeping things crossed - I believe in these little things!

Maxine said...

Hello, I have one of those little stick thingys too, but have lost it, so take a warning from that!

Another issue with your computer dying, not as important as losing your work but still annoying, is to keep track of your bookmarks/favourites. Do you use a website to keep them? I use Connotea (www.connotea.org) but there are others, eg Delicious. It is really great, you can list (and tag by subject if you want) all your links, and then view them on the connotea website from any computer anywhere. Highly recommended as a backup. I find it incredibly useful as I use two computers, one at work and one at home, so if I save a bookmark onto Connotea it is right there on both computers. Minx will tell me I am getting very nerdy, serious and boring now so I will stop.

Thinking of you and hoping!
Maxine.

roger said...

It's every writer's worst nightmare - well, these days anyhow. I save on to a zip thingy. I also save it remotely through a writers' website (zoetrope) I belong to. Each writer has a private office, which has the facility to save files. Most people invite others into their offices and use it as a way of sharing the stuff in the files. I'm not that sociable, I'm afraid. But I do use it as a back-up facility. I had never thought of emailing stuff to myself. Hmm, clever.

skint writer said...

Timely post for me - getting too complacent - must back up today, probably onto a CD . . .

Shameless said...

I've just had confirmation that my hardrive burnt itself into a sizzle. That means that nothing can be recovered from the disc ... lots of photos and poems are lost, as well as lots of other files and things that would've come in handy. The most precious has been saved, luckily, but all those little bits and pieces ...! Regular saving of everything seems to be the answer.