Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Debugging

Am continuing to improve in energy and ambition as the after effects of that bug wear off. Now I am hoping the after effects of the avalanche of books etc. that hit my arms and head and laptop Sunday night do not get any worse than they are now. I was surprised to discover my right arm was hurting worse than the left one on which the box of books fell because I didn't remember my right arm being involved. But apparently I had time to throw my right arm over my face after the books hit my left arm and before the big sewing bag hit my head because the worst pain is when I raise my right arm over my head. Which I keep having to do to brush off this darn fly that is dive-bombing my face as I am typing this. If it's not one bug it's another! :)

Sustained typing is also uncomfortable but that is nothing new. And I am so grateful that I was able to fix my 'b' key Monday morning that I am not willing to jinx my luck by whineing about it. At least not overmuch. :)

I am probably overmuch pleased with myself for fixing that key. When I showed the detached key cap to my husband after he woke up, he agreed with me that it didn't appear broken but he would not have time to try to reattach it until after he got home from work. So I hibernated my laptop and with a magnifying glass and halogen lamp to help I examined the naked mechanism of the key and the underside of its cap and saw what looked like the slots that the tabs needed to snap into. I tried but failed half a dozen times and getting discouraged I thought to test the rest of the keys for evidence of trouble before I woke up my laptop to do my daily journal with the ailing b key. I administered several light taps to each key and found no problems. As I tapped along the bottom row, I went ahead and tapped on the loose cap of the b key which I had left laying atop its mechanism. And lo if I didn't feel a 'click' under my finger and then find that it was no longer loose. But nor was it flush with the rest of the keys. So i tapped it again and felt another faint 'click' and now I could not feel or see any difference between it and the rest of the keys.

I was nervous as I powered up the computer again but soon ecstatic as I called up my journal and started typing and found no bugs in the b key. But this whole experience has given me a scare which I probably needed. I am taking my writing tools and resources for granted again and that never augers well. This is a lesson I seem to have to relearn over and over and over and over ad infinitum. I have yet to follow through on many of the insights gleaned from the learning experiences depicted in those essays. Maintaining current backups of my files in multiple locations and formats is probably the most important of the lessons that I continue to flout. I have trouble just remembering to save my work frequently as I type and repeatedly loose an hour or more worth of typing when my word processor or blogger platform take pratfalls on me.

The inconvenience of typing without a cap on the b key reminded me once again how fragile my connection is to my files. Everything that I've done since September 21st last year that isn't posted online is on the hard-drive of my laptop. I have a copy of all my files as they existed on my in-law's computer as of September 20th burned onto a CD which is how I transferred them to the laptop. And they still exist on my in-law's computer. And I still have the hundred or so pages of hard-copy manuscripts that was all I was able to rescue during our sudden move from the Silicon Valley five years ago this month. Contemplating this makes me very very anxious.

Years ago my Dad sent me a clipping about a man who was buried under an avalanche of books in his room and had to be rescued by firemen. He didn't even have cardboard boxes but had stacked the books up the wall of his room. I shudder to think what would have happened if one of those books had hit the monitor and sliced it's fragile skin. Or if one of the larger boxes had fallen on my head! It is the third time that bag has fallen on my head! It is the second time books have fallen but the first time they hit me with enough force to leave a bruise. So on my near-term agenda now must be a reorganizing of my 'office' --that 3x5 foot corner on my side of the bed where all my reading, writing and sewing materials are.

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