Downs And Ups

Have you ever had one of those days where you wish with all your heart you could just crawl back into bed and pretend it never happened? For me, yesterday was one of those days.

It all started at about ten in the morning.

I use a USB memory stick to store my writing files on, mainly for the fact that I can plug it into pretty much any computer to hand and get on with some word-churnage. I also use the same memory stick at work for transferring files between computers when necessary. Normally this isn’t a problem, but yesterday my world collapsed when one of the office macs threw up an error message as the stick was being ejected by the OS. Reinserting the stick revealed an empty directory, no sign of any of the 7.5GB of files that should have been on there. Where had all my writing gone?

At that moment, panic set in. I couldn’t remember when I last did a back up, though I was sure it wasn’t that long ago. Unfortunately I couldn’t check as I was at work and my back up drive lives at home. Was it two weeks ago? Three? I really wasn’t sure. Hastily I scrambled around the internet for some software to attempt a recovery, heart pounding as I tallied up how much work I may have lost. Anxiously I waited for the two hours it took for the recovery software to do its work. Alas, when the recovery had finished I was no better off. The most recent files it had been able to save were from the beginning of last week. Everything I’d updated on the stick since 25 february was gone, corrupted by a minor technical glitch.

As it turned out things weren’t as bad as they could have been; when I got home I checked my last back up and was pleased to see that it was last Tuesday, 26 February. Given that my output of new words has been quite low in the last week all I’ve really lost is a couple of page-setting files (which I can remake), some cover design work (which to be honest I wasn’t all that thrilled with anyway) and about five thousand words of text that shouldn’t be too hard to replace. However, the sense of shock and feeling of dread I suffered when I thought I’d lost more was enough to make me change the way I store my files. From now on, any files I change on the memory stick will get backed up to both my desktop and my portable hard drive as soon as I’m back in front of my computer. In addition I am no longer going to use my personal memory stick for work-related stuff, even if it is easier and quicker than shoving files over the network or sending them by e-mail.

Anyway, that was yesterday and this is today. Today has been a much better day. Today the first five copies of the anthology have arrived and that sense of achievement I was talking about in my last post has filled me with lots of happy. So if you’ll excuse me I’m going to sit and fondle my creation for a couple of hours, grinning like a Cheshire Cat as I do so.

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