The Blue Screen of Death and an Exercise In Roughing It

Last night, when I got home from seeing an out-of-town friend, I opened my laptop so I could update #365poems. Instead of a text document, though, I was faced with this, the Blue Screen of Death:

blue screen of death

I googled the issue, tried every fix described, and ended up with a computer stuck in a neverending loop of restarts and recovery failures that had me jamming my fists into my eyes and weeping — yes, weeping — because I have clients I am working for, and that laptop is the thing that makes most of my creative work possible. I felt like someone had cut off one of my hands.

(I don't mean to downplay the reality of what it must be like to actually have one of your hands cut off. I can only imagine. I mean, I did once have a uterus that was cut out of me after a bit of an issue with cancer, and now I'm stuck with a version of Phantom Limb Syndrome in which my non-existent uterus pretends to have menstrual cramps most months, so, if you're mad at me for appropriating someone's real life hand loss, you can imagine my phantom uterus as some kind of payback.)

This morning, I restarted my laptop with the hope that it might have forgotten all about its near death the night before, but it was no better, so the Palinode and I took it down to OTV Tech. It turns out that it will have to stay there until at least Tuesday of next week while I muddle through as best I can primarily on an iPad mini without any of my files and programs.

I felt this surprisingly profound sense of loss after abandoning my laptop to the hands of strangers, so the Palinode and I went to Afghan Cuisine, where I tried to drown my sorrows in piles of buffet food:

lunch at Afghan Cuisine

Not even a Fentiman's Rose Lemonade helped:

Fentiman's Rose Lemonade

So, now I am sitting here trying to adjust to my tiny iPad mini keyboard and hoping against hope that I won't have to drop a pile of cash I don't actually have right now on another laptop. Thankfully, I should be able to recover most of my files, because I keep an active CrashPlan account to save my sorry butt when things like this go down.

Seriously now, if you don't have an automatic system in place that backs up your computer offsite, DO IT. CrashPlan has allowed me to reupload all my stuff on at least two past occasions when my laptops have gone belly up. It's worth the cost of a few bucks a month.

muddling through on the iPad mini

I'm going to spend the rest of my evening and probably part of tomorrow eating my feelings and watching Netflix while I plot exactly how much work I can get done without my files from an iPad mini. This is 2013's First World version of roughing it for an internet-dependent worker such as myself.

me, thumbs upping

If anything, this will be a good exercise in creative problem solving, determination, and learning not to tie my personal and professional worth to temporary plastic, metal, and glass machinery.

Here goes!

I am taking part in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, which has me posting a blog entry every day throughout the month of November.