Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Buggeration and Automation

August is going out with quite a belly flop. It's actually chilly out there. The seasons are all over the place and I expect we'll see snow by November.

I'm sort of exasperated today; I can't access one of my two gmail accounts. It claims that I'm trying to access the account from somewhere I've never accessed it from before; which is rubbish; but doesn't take you any further in the process unless you want to go through a complex set of mazes and hurdles, which, I have to be honest about, I couldn't if I wanted to because I literally cannot answer some of the questions. The account was essentially used so I could access Google Docs and do some stuff while I was at work, during my last couple of months there when I had nothing to do.

As I've been in a creative mood recently, I thought I'd go and look at the things I'd done and saved on there. I can't. I can't because I can't give them 5 email addresses I regularly send to on that account. I also can't give them examples of four tags I've used. Because I don't use it as an email account - there's no need. I have my Yahoo account and my other gmail account and that's it. I don't even have a working POP3 account now. Outlook Express is now 'so yesterday'.

So, because I can't give them this information, I can't contact them. There is a feedback form and I've filled this out and been told I can't give them enough information to allow them to give me access to it. So, it looks like I've lost some stuff to the ether (either that or someone has hacked into it, which is unlikely given the password I set).

I don't mind losing stuff. In 1998, I started writing a book. It was, probably, the best thing I'd ever written at that point in my life. It was called Succubus and I'd written well over 50,000 words. While it was probably suffering from being rough around the edges, I was really into it.

In a nutshell, it told of a man who had everything he ever wanted; nice house, good career, beautiful wife; until his wife disappears. Within a week of her disappearance people started to forget who she was; the police seemed to lose all the relevant paperwork. His wife started to disappear from photos. His friends started to talk about him like he had been on his own for years and eventually no one remembered his wife, except him and he started to go a little loopy. However, an old friend of his does remember her; very well and the two of them try and find out what happened. The friend introduces the man to someone who has suffered the same experience and the three of them go in search of his wife - who they believed to be a succubus.

I was having problems with my old PC and a friend offered to fix it for me. He claimed it was a small registry problem and easily fixable; so I dropped the PC round and stupidly I hadn't done a back up for about three months. The next day, my friend called and said I could pick the PC up. As I was carrying it back to car, he casually dropped, "I hope you did a back up?"
"No," I said. "You said it was a simple fix."
"Yeah, I just wiped your hard drive and reinstalled Windows again. You're going to have to re-install all your software."
"What? You never said you were going to format it?"
"That was the simple fix," he said sounding as bothered as a pig at a bar mitzvah.
"But, you could have told me, I would have backed everything up."
"I figured you knew what I was going to do."
"I could have fucking reformatted it. I've lost three months work. Magazine stuff, my own personal stuff. How do we get it back?"
"We don't. It's gone. Nothing I can do about it."

Suffice it to say, my friend became a 'friend' and I had virtually nothing to do with him ever again. I sat down and tried to write Succubus again, but it just didn't flow the same way as it had first time around and after about 6,000 words I shelved it. It was incredibly frustrating, but, there was literally nothing I could do. An actual friend suggested trying to see if any fragments had been left, but that came to nothing and I resigned myself to the fact that a) you have to back up all the time and b) you have to be prepared to suffer the consequences if you don't.

The problem is if you store stuff on line and forget something it might as well be your hard drive going tits up for the chances you have of recovering it. It's not even like it was a blog and I could just cut and paste stuff into a new document.


Coupled with the above, the net's been up and down like the Assyrian empire all day. I don't know if it was me farting about or some Virgin problem; but all in all, I've spent far too much time here. I need to do things, even if they are housework and job searches!

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