Thursday, 25 February 2010

Enough to put your back up

Is it just me or do other people experience uncanny problems with their computers? You could say I only notice when problems occur on the odd days when I urgently need my set up to work, and don't register other glitches that happen...

It's over 2 years since my publisher asked for the final MS of CUT SHORT. That was the evening my hard disc failed. How's that for timing?

Last week my publisher wanted the final changes for ROAD CLOSED. I typed out what was wanted, ready to send. My internet connection vanished. Bad timing.

Can this be coincidence? Of course, I know it is, but I can't help feeling,"As flies to wanton boys are we to the gremlins in our computers..." to paraphrase Lear, badly.

With my awareness of potential risks lurking around every corner (I do write crime fiction!) I have an automatic weekly back up on my PC. I save my work daily on a PC, netbook and memory stick. And yes, I have my back up for internet access. If all else fails, there's always my dongle.

But where's the back up for ME when I feel like packing up and switching off?

It's enough to put anyone's back up.

On a more cheerful note - see below for some photos from my recent meetings with real people!

38 comments:

Debs said...

These things always seem to crash at the worst possible moment.

Leigh Russell said...

Don't they just, Debs. But how do they know... ??? !!!

Daniel Dragomirescu said...

An interesting blog. Best wishes,

Daniel D. Peaceman, writer and editor

Leigh Russell said...

Hello there, Daniel. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Val said...

It must be a sign. Your Hard drive crashed when you were supposed to send in your first book...it succeeded marvelously.

Things went 'blip'...when you were supposed to send in the second book right?

It is going to be a smash hit then!!!

;-)
Of course I look at things a bit differently.

Leigh Russell said...

Love your comment, Val. Keep looking at things differently!

Jilly said...

I think computers know what you're thinking - so if you have a deadline they immediately go wrong! I had that happen once when I was trying to submit an essay to an Open University tutor and I found a bug that no one else had come across in Roxio the programme I was using to save the essay to disc. The bug stripped out the formatting from the essay - which had to be double-spaced etc. I found a way round it in time but it was a nightmare so you have my sympathy.

Leigh Russell said...

Perhaps there's a formula we haven't yet discovered -
computer + deadline = bug/crash
along those lines. Like a law of nature, but a law of technology...

Charles Gramlich said...

I seem to have that issue a lot with internet connections. every time I desparately need to send an email it's out.

Leigh Russell said...

So I'm not the only one, Charles. We need back up systems, to outwit the gremlins.

九份 said...

若對自己誠實,日積月累,就無法對別人不忠了。........................................

TomCat said...

Leigh, I fully understand. The Hosting Service Provider (now ex) that a nonprofit foe which I am webmaster used, was hacked, wiping out thousands of websites, including ours. Even the 100% guaranteed online backup is gone. :-(

No, on a backup for you, for only $1,836,942,613.99, I'm offering the new, improved RoboLeigh. It writes, files, fixes computer glitches and can even make coffee. ;-)

Leigh Russell said...

Hmmm - the RoboLeigh sounds a bit cheap to be worth considering. That said, there are so many ways in which Leigh could be improved... and the coffee is certainly an inducement. Perhaps I should try it.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I am a big believer things happen for a reason......however I can never figure out why!!

Gill in Canada

TomCat said...

Hi Leigh

I'm rushing through to let you know that I've moved Politics Plus to http://www.politicsplus.org/blog

I have put you in the blogroll there. Would you update me in yours?

Leigh Russell said...

Of course, tomcat! just give me time to work out how to do it...

Jo said...

I had to google dongle. (Say that ten times fast...) I wasn't sure what it was.

My computer has never crashed -- now watch it do it. *heh*

Is there a website where you can upload your work to save it?

Leigh Russell said...

That's a good idea, Jo, and I'm sure there are virtual store houses. I sometimes email MS to myself, so they are saved electronically.

Pat said...

At least once a week I have problems but experience has taught me not to panic and if all else fails I switch off and start again. Usually works.

Leigh Russell said...

That's my fallback position, Pat. If you don't work, I'll turn you off! The gremlins are usually persuaded.

fizzycat said...

I'm with Val, I think it is a good omen.
I have actually looked away from a crashed computer. As if the thing is going to behave when I am not looking!Lol.

Rick said...

The electrons are out to get you, Leigh!

TomCat said...

If you need help holler. I now have 'Other Links' set up at the new PP. If you'd like a link there for your books, email me.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi fizzycat - is our relationship with our computers the new form of superstition? Looking away from a computer when it doesn't work is as rational as not numbering a house 13 - but we all do it.

Leigh Russell said...

Oh no, Rick. The electrons are coming!

Paula said...

If I have a tight deadline on a very important story, I can almost guarantee my computer will be infected the same day. After a few catastrophies, I use three computers: a desktop with all the bells and whistles, and two laptops that can be fed by external harddrives and/or memory sticks. Plus, I use a Blackberry, where I actually could save documents, but don't have enough memory on it to bother. Like you, I email copies of anything important to myself, figuring I can always retrieve from somebody's computer. And, yes, there are online storage services, but I'm afraid of them, too. Good luck! It's terrible that we have to spend so much time and money protecting ourselves from hackers, isn't it?

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Paula - you save your work on 3 machines. I only save everything on my desktop and my netbook - but I also save it on 2 memory sticks, so perhaps we're even? I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who does multiple back ups!

Col Bury said...

Sod's law. Drives me mad, too!

Well done with the novel(s), Leigh.

Regards,
Col

Middle Ditch said...

Gremlins eh? Yeah here too. I have a super duper new mac and my words is super duper updated. Problem is .... when I send my scripts by e-mail to the cast, their computers can't read them. Took me ages to figure out what to do. Who's that Daniel? I might just visit him.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Col Bury - too true. I'm just off to explore your blog. It looks very interesting and right up my street.

Leigh Russell said...

Hey Monique - great to hear from the brilliant mind behind the addictive saga of Middle Ditch. Yes, different systems seem to mess with our documents, don't they? I sent out a few chapters of my next book to my agent from the school system which is horrendously new (horrendous only because I don't understand it!) When the document arrived, the font size had changed and was almost unreadable. Why?? (Or was it my writing that was unreadable... )

Col Bury said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Col Bury said...

Leigh,
Ditto. That's why I came over here!

Akasha Savage. said...

I sometimes really hate computer's with a passion...one day mine WILL be thrown out of a window!! :D

Akasha Savage. said...

...but not before I've saved my novel onto a memory stick!

Leigh Russell said...

Only one memory stick, Akasha? Make it three...

mack said...

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mack said...

There are so many fantastic web designers out there that share their work with the rest of us...
The article of this blog very informative and useful also.It resolves many problems of mine.
I loved it.thanks for this marvelous article...................
get point