Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sorry, normal service will resume shortly

*Much wailing and gnashing of teeth* because my PC crashed and I lost the saved-as-draft post on women bloggers, and 8000 words of the book yesterday. I have been working flat out on the book to catch up, as the deadline looms ( end of January).

Thus, emails, comment moderation, blogging, phone calls, texts, eating hot food more than once every three days, exercising, dance classes, taking baths, reading, surfing, wedding stuff, a social life and everything else I enjoy has been sacrificed on the altar of Dire Necessity. Yesterday was absolute hell on wheels. Today better, as I have backed up everything and am emailing myself the saved MS at regular intervals in case the hard drive dies. A Trojan attack has been repelled and malware sought and destroyed and still my PC creaks and shudders. I miss you, I miss this blog, but it will be finished soon and then I can be celebrating. J and I are planning a trip to Amsterdam, to celebrate my birthday in February and a year of being engaged. I am looking forward to February, a lot, when everything gets back to normal, (though I will be in editing hell for a few weeks I suppose. But I am very pleased with the way that the book is going. And the publishers are being lovely.)

At leats the discovery of melatonin means I can sleep again. Best wishes and please bear with me whilst I type,type, type like the wind. Back soon, I promise, with lots to say...


Blogger Septuagent said...

Have you tried Mozy ?
It backs up whenever the PC is unused for a time.

January 24, 2007 10:25 pm  
Blogger City Slicker said...

Poor you - good luck with it all. Maybe forced revision is a good thing? Trying to be opimistic

Am in NYC right now and planning to stock up on melatonin. It is lovely. Let me know if you need any as you know is illegal in UK. Can post to you when back in Big Smoke.

January 25, 2007 5:53 am  
Blogger ejh said...

Bloody hell. I mean I lost a posting yesterday when Blogger was messing about but eight thousand words?

A crude way to keep this stuff saved is to email files to yourself: that way they exist even if the PC fouls up.

Curiously, I've never been too hampered by losing material (this used to happen all the time with floppy disks) because I can usually remember what I wrote, and in truth the revised version can be counted on to be a sizeable improvement. (And most blog writing, when you think about it, is basically a first draft published without editing: it can bebefit from an enforced second attempt.) But not eight thousand words. Christ no. I hope you didn't lose any footnotes.

January 25, 2007 9:25 am  
Blogger Philip said...

I usually save every time a sentence comes out right; but if you're facing a deadline there's really nothing to be done. Your computer will, as a point of cybernetic honour, screw you up.

January 25, 2007 1:54 pm  
Blogger Robert Newsom said...

I have found that the best solution for me is to just frequently save what I am working on to both the hard drive and to one of the nifty little USB memory sticks available everywhere. Here in the US I can find them for about 8 pounds for 1 gigabyte, which comes out to a LOT of words. It is a great solution for other reasons as well. As an adjunt professor I have no office at the college where I teach, and no computer there is dedicated just to me, so I do a lot of my work at home. The little memory sticks let me carry everything I need in my pocket. I LOVE them!

Melatonin is illegal in the UK? That strikes me as odd, as it is relatively harmless, but it sort of fits with some of the thoughts I will post this afternoon on my Cousin America blog.

January 25, 2007 2:48 pm  
Blogger Gracchi said...

Computer crashes are evil. They always happen to me when I've written something that required a lot of work just at the moment I save it. Good luck with all- eight thousand is a lot to lose- I did once lose fifteen thousand words of my Mphil thesis and had to write it again- if that makes you feel any better. Good luck with it all though

January 25, 2007 3:05 pm  
Anonymous Andy Ramblings said...

ouch. I feel for you on PC crashes. I've had 2 too many and now have a good automated backup process. Everything gets backed up to an external harddrive.
So, a case like yours, I would have just restored the relevant backup.

Hope Feb is Fab for you!

January 25, 2007 7:33 pm  
Blogger Flaming Nora said...

Rachel, just in case you're in need of some extra words to add to your mighty eight thousand on women who blog... I've been blogging over at for over a year now and have my own other Corrie-related blog too.

January 25, 2007 7:56 pm  
Blogger Ms Melancholy said...

Doesn't life like to bite you on the bum sometimes? Keeping thinking of Amsterdam...x

January 25, 2007 10:06 pm  
Blogger Leighton Cooke said...

This happened to me recently on a smaller scale when I lost about five hours work. Hope you finish in time. I'm crossing my fingers for you.

January 25, 2007 10:42 pm  
Anonymous Not Saussure said...

Is Melatonin illegal in the UK? A quick search with google suggests plenty of places with UK street addresses have no qualms about advertising they sell the stuff.

January 26, 2007 12:02 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

It's not illegal, not like say, crack it, you just need a presecription here whereas in the US they sell it like Nytol as a sleep aid. In fact a tumble thorugh wiki reveals it to be a non-toxic antioxidant panacea for all sorts, including migraines, dementia and immune disorders.

Thank you for all the advice, I have found out that saving the book as a single file is frightenign my feeble-memoried computer, so I am going to divvy it into chapters. At least the bonkers deadline stops me angsting about who is going to read it, because there isnt time to stress about all that for once, which makes a change from my usual self-doubtathons typing away in pre-deadline days of yore.

January 26, 2007 12:43 am  
Blogger ejh said...

Your computer will, as a point of cybernetic honour, screw you up.

When I wrote this the printer packed up less than a week before deadline. Moreover this was a crude old-fashioned printer into which each sheet needed to be fed individually: it was going to take three days to print out the MS as it was. In circumstances like these, technical breakdowns tend to be followed hard upon by human ones.

(Ironically, this is my second attempt at making this posting - the first one scewed up...)

January 26, 2007 8:13 am  
Anonymous Rohen said...

Your computer will, as a point of cybernetic honour, screw you up.

Aint that the truth

Mine decided to die on me on Sunday Morning the very day I actually needed it desperately.

I now have had the motherboard replaced and need to take the sodding thing to a data recovery specialist

Im not best pleased but I hadnt backed up anything except for my considerable music collection having already lost all the five harry potter audiobooks and countless MP3's the last time the external hard drive died I may even take that to the data recovery people and see what they can restore

I didnt even have a back up desktop pc this time so the moral of this story is

Backup every day before you go to bed and save anything you want kept really safe emailed to your googlemail address as that should not fail unless there is a nuclear strike somewhere.

Patsy Hewitt is busy dismantling the NHS and I would urge everyone to go and sign the petition on the Gov No 10 website to sack her lots of doctors want her out as well as bumbling John reid

In fact sack the lot of them and lets have a general election and lets us bloggers stand as MP's

January 26, 2007 12:14 pm  
Anonymous seth said...

hi rachel,

i know pc gear isnt cheap in the UK but maybe its time for a new one? i use a 5 year old gateway and it just doesnt have enough hd space and memory for my needs. microsoft is rolling out windows vista on the 31st in the us;maybe i can get a good deal on an xp pc.

hope alls well with u and j,..and did u get a chance to watch that cnn series i told u about?

seth :)

January 26, 2007 5:34 pm  
Blogger mad muthas said...

sleep well - you deserve a peaceful and refreshing night of sweet dreams.

January 26, 2007 6:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two sorts of people who use computers; those who have lost data, and those who will loose data. Welcome to the Club.

I guess you could start to backup your important data to CD.

January 26, 2007 6:53 pm  
Blogger Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I so HATE when the hard drive crashes. Someone suggested Mozy to me as well when my pc went kaflooey.

January 26, 2007 10:38 pm  
Blogger Newmania said...

Hmmmm ,so first of all you were busy with your wedding and now , very next thing , a freak computer accident. well well that is a run of bad luck. Tsk tsk

January 28, 2007 1:35 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

I'm in book deadline hell, so blogging will have to wait uintil February.

January 28, 2007 1:43 pm  
Blogger kobwebby said...

I hear No10 is looking for a capable pc too!



Comodo Firewall

January 28, 2007 5:39 pm  

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