Monday, August 1, 2005

There are days when I love computers, and days when my computers respond to that love by biting my hand.

I decided recently to shift my weekly duties around so that I’d have one day per week free from any chores. I could still fill that day with projects as I saw fit that day, but I’d have nothing scheduled for that day.

Yesterday (Sunday) was my first attempt, and I only had one holdover from the week’s chores: Backups. Well, that would be no problem; my backups are pretty well automated. It was time for my monthly backups to DVD, as well, but that wouldn’t complicate things much.


Everything went smoothly until my final backup. I ejected the backup drive and removed the Firewire cable…but OS X had not completely ejected the disk. I plugged it back in: Drive unrecognizable. Arrrg. OK, boot into DiskWarrior, which apparently can recover anything. Well, anything except this: DiskWarrior couldn’t make heads or tails of it, either.

So I raged for a bit. That drive had the last remnants of stuff I’ve been collecting for over ten years now: bits of fiction, articles written in a fit of pique, old audio clips created by friends, movie files culled from long-vanished back alleys of the ‘net. Nothing that I needed, but they were all tethers to my past. I’d scan through them occasionally and chuckle at a clip of John Cleese or Rowan Atkinson. All gone.

After an hour or so I calmed down, realized my frustration wasn’t making the drive any better, and decided to go ahead and re-initialize the drive. As that commenced, I realized: This is crazy. I’ve spent most of my free day mucking about with backups.

So I stood up, walked out of the house, and drove to my parents’ house. I’d intended to do this, actually, and we had a good time eating dinner and generally chatting. There’s something so relaxing about that: I don’t have to be or do anything except myself, and same with them, so we can function together with almost zero friction.

Got home, IMed with a few friends, read a bit of Candide, and went to bed at a very reasonable hour.

…and woke up at 11:00 this morning. Ack! Alarms went off, but in my bleary state I shut them off and went back to bed. I think the stress of the backup situation—and what a ridiculous thing to be stressed over—exhausted me. Got in to work to find that my main project had wanted to perform a build with my assistance this morning, but, um, I was fast asleep at the time. And I’d forgotten to give the password to my backup person. Oops. We got it straightened out, and nobody got upset that I could tell.

The rest of the workday passed in a blur; I was supporting another project as well while a co-worker took care of other business. Which is a great way to pass a day.

(Incidentally, I enjoyed Candide for awhile, until it became apparent that Voltaire was going to hammer his point through the table, the floor, the foundation, and eventually well into bedrock. I put it on my “Done” pile.)

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