Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I’ve got a bit of a cold. Nothing serious, and there are still three days (counting today) for huddling and hoping it passes. I’m well enough to shop and cook.

We had a full-scale computer crash yesterday. I still can’t imagine what happened. I wasn’t in the room when it went down. When I got there, the Toshiba was dark and unresponsive. As if the battery was low and it had gone to sleep to protect data, perhaps, but the battery was fully charged.

We wept and pressed buttons and plugged the power line in anyway, and eventually it woke up and started again from the beginning. The document my husband was working on proved to be corrupt – three pages remained of 28. The Dropbox version was complete – as of the evening before. My husband’s work of yesterday was apparently gone.

OpenOffice then popped up to say that it was reconstituting the document he had been working on. It did, successfully. It had a funny name with lots of “%”’s in it. And then we lost it, somehow or other. By this time it was late, and even after a fortnight’s total abstinence from cider, my synapses don’t fire very well in the late evening. So we closed up shop. I even pulled the Ethernet cable out of my desktop computer in hopes of preventing Dropbox from copying a corrupt file on top of a good one.

This morning I started afresh, found the reconstituted file, Saved it As the proper one.

I mention all this because as soon as I had done so, my cold seemed to be much better.


I should finish the second sleeve of the Relax without difficulty today.

Now I think I’ll go and start huddling.


  1. Phew! You had me holding my breath with that description of near disaster.
    Drown your cold in garlic (do they have the peppermint scented capsule form there?)

  2. Anonymous9:41 AM

    My sympathies: I'm just now on the upturn from a bad cold/bronchitis I caught at the airport. Don't you just hate it when people are hacking all around you...you KNOW you're in for it, and it's THEIR FAULT?!

    There now, I feel much better. Heartily recommend it.

    1. =Tamar2:58 PM

      Some years ago I began wearing a bacterial-protection mask (Johnson and Johnson product readily available at the drug store) any time I had to be in an airport. I lowered it for identification purposes but kept it on while on the airplane and, usually, while in the airport. It stopped my getting "airport throat".

  3. I have two Toshibas though one is much newer, they both do occasionally "shut up shop". I have found by accident that the answer is to remove the battery then put it back in again ( you just need to unclick the battery case cover usually)Then boot it up as normal and it seems happy again. Usually also it will find files that were being worked on at the time. From my experience it happens often when too much is going on in the machine, it is as if it turns it's back to the wall and declares itself tired out!

  4. I hope you feel better soon!

  5. My daughter swers by garlic in olive oil.
    Hope you feel better quickly!

  6. Have lurked in the background for some time.

    May I make a suggestion? Teach your husband a few critical keyboard commands, which will help reduce the severity of these constant technology snafus. Most are fairly universal from program to program, but you'll want to confirm what works in OpenOffice.

    The most important keyboard command ...
    CTRL-S: SAVE the open document now

    Then when a crash occurs (as it inevitably will), you lose minutes of work rather than hours, days or weeks.

    To establish the "save regularly" habit, try setting a timer at 15 or 30 minute intervals. Every time it pings, your husband should press CTRL-S to manually save his work.

    Hope this helps and hope that you feel better soon.

  7. Anonymous1:30 PM

    Can you bear another computer-related suggestion? Turn on AutoSave in OpenOffice. Go to the "OpenOffice" drop-down menu, then the "Save" submenu, then you should see an option to automatically save a back-up every so many minutes. (You get to set the time limit.)

    Now, I hesitate to mention this for one reason: if something disastrous has just happened and then it auto-saves, work might be lost. However, I think that risk is outweighed by the greater likelihood of a crisis such as you experienced yesterday.

    Feel free to discuss with the Young Men in the family who are more tech-savvy when you all are together soon. They can help you set this up, weigh the pros and cons, and perhaps also resolve some of these crisis-inducing issues. My thought would be to turn on auto-save every 5 minutes, but also make sure there is a copy saved somewhere other than the laptop and DropBox (to prevent a bad automatically saved document overwriting a good one).

    Good luck. None likes computer problems, even programmers.