June 9, 2005

Well now  ...  THAT was some fun, wasn't it?

In case you hadn't noticed -- and it's OK if you didn't notice: I don't think my own DAUGHTER noticed, which only lessens her chances of ever getting that pony -- *FootNotes* has been dead in the cyber water for most of the week. If you came here looking for a little mewling and menopause with your morning java, any time this past week, you were met with the dreaded "404/File Not Found/Go Read ED KAZ Whydontchoo?" error message, instead.  I'm sure this probably had some people convinced that I'd finally pulled the plug on this sorry sloppy mess, once and for all, but in fact it was simply one of those technical-difficulties- beyond -my-control sort of situations. 

(Sorry to disappoint, Cranky Denver Lady.)

My laptop crashed -- spectacularly -- about three weeks ago. O
ne minute I was sitting in bed, happily swapping out one "West Wing Season 2" disc for another ... the next minute, I was face-to-face with the worst kind of error message. "We're sorry for the inconvenience," it said politely -- white letters on an ominous black screen -- "but your parallel flange indicators are unable to intercoagulate with your operating system differentials." There was more to the message ... a lot of technogeekspeak about drive errors and booting options and possible software/hardware failures ... but that was the gist of it.

I knew right away that I was fudked. 

There was none of that false sense of Oh, I'll just reboot again, and everything will magically fix itself.  I knew right away that this was serious, and that it likely had something to do with my hard drive, which is the very worst kind of serious there is, when it comes to computers, and that this was going likely to turn out to be A Very Big Deal before I was through.  A Very Big EXPENSIVE Deal.

It was, and it did, and it did, and it was.

Seven days, six phones calls to the Bangalore call center and $312.58 in "Help Desk" subscription charges later, I finally had my beloved Inspiron back up and running. The thing that really saved my bacon this time around -- besides having a little room left on my one valid credit card, I mean, or knowing exactly where all of my system installation disks were located -- was the fact that I've become something of a back-up junkie in recent months. I own no less than three external hard drives, in varying sizes, strengths and antioxidant levels, plus a Zip Drive, a couple of memory sticks and a handful of those little portable flash drive doohickies.  More importantly: I know how to use them. As a result, I lost virtually nothing in this crash: a couple of personal journal entries, I think, and some of the Yoze-A-Myte photos. But that was the sum total of my loss.

Things could have been much, MUCH worse. 

At any rate, once I'd gotten my computer restored, feeling all relieved and happy and proud of myself for not having a complete emotional meltdown during this latest personal technology crisis,  I decided to re-upload all of my archived *FootNotes* files to the Internet. Just before the crash, I'd been tinkering with organizing my FTP files more efficiently. This was my first post-crash opportunity to test-drive the new filing system. So I re-uploaded all of the archived website files to the Internet, then typed in the secraterri.com URL and waited while my rejuvenated website sprang to life. 

What I saw on the monitor in front of me had my jaw hitting the floor. Hard.

*FootNotes* suddenly looked like it had been written by aliens. Gigantic chunks of text were replaced by these weird garbled heiroglyphics, like something out of The Matrix.  There were white spaces where there weren't supposed to be white spaces, and tables where there weren't supposed to be tables, and most of the photos were replaced by that stoopid little red "X" that screams Web design newbie!!!  

Horrified, I pulled the whole website off the Internet, as fast as I could: every journal entry, every cartoon, every chapter of "Night of the Prairie Squid,"every murky poorly-scanned photo of the inside of my refrigerator. And then I sat down and tried to figure out how to fix things. Long boring who-the-fudk-cares story short: I had to inspect and repair each and every file individually ... we're talking thirty-four YEARS' worth of journal here ... and then re-upload the whole mess back into the cybersphere, one file at a time. It's taken me the better part of the week to accomplish this ... mostly on the sly, at work, or in between Sopranos Season 5 episodes in the evenings.  

I've still got more repairs to do -- the archives are still acting wonky, in places, and there are a handful of Tree House photos that stubbornly refuse to cooperate -- but for all intents and purposes, *FootNotes* has been restored to its pre-crash condition.

Which, f you ask Cranky Denver Lady, may or may not be a good thing.  Then again, she doesn't appear to have noticed I was gone this week.

Guess SHE'S not getting a pony either.

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got the check.  thanks.