Dowloading Restoration

Kage Baker hated change. She loathed it with a deep and personal loathing, and the requisite heat of a thousand suns. She went to truly insane lengths to try and avoid it.

This required her to cling to favourite garments until they literally came apart in the wash, and to books that had to be bound in protective Saran Wrap and gaffers tape in order to be read, and to games and music in media formats for which we no longer had any system capable of playing them. When I cleaned out her bedroom closet for the last time, I found 7 pair of worn-out white Chuck Taylor All-Stars;  concert t-shirts from when Ian Anderson was thin and lithe and wore tights and a codpiece on stage; and a box of 8-track tapes. Among many other weird and fabulously antiquated items …

I don’t mind change. I’m not a knee-jerk innovator – it usually takes me a while to get into a new fad, or read a popular book – but I really rather like new things. My hesitation in seeing new blockbuster movies or turning up my nose at fads in chocolate (if I never see another acai berry, it will be too soon) is not caution but merely arrogance. I simply don’t like to be told I ought to like something. And it did save me from the Twilight books.

However, once I get something the way I like it, I want it to be stable. If updates or alterations are required, I prefer to make the decision myself. I don’t even let Microsoft or Adobe load updates automatically – they have to flash me an “Attention, please” screen and humbly explain to me what they want and why they think it’s needed. About 1 in every 10 updates is pointless – but I want the chance to catch the little parasite, and prevent it from eating up space on my hard drive.

That attitude has saved me from many viri, and much malware, and untold cookies, too. However … nothing is changeless. Rocks erode. Liquids sublimate. Radioactive elements decay into stolid lead, and one dark day the universe will be a thin soup of nothing but autistic hydrogen from one end to another. Last week, something supposedly incorruptible on my hard drive was corrupted, and my computer system died a swift and inexplicable death.

Well, Dear Readers, it was awful. I managed to keep some work going on my Buke and a borrowed laptop, and luckily I was between deadlines … but it was irritating and slow on the borrowed machines. And the tech working on my hard drive was apparently a whiz of a technician, but was human as a second species: he had such difficulty in actually talking to me and explaining what he was doing that I eventually lost my mind, my temper and my shit and subjected him to a tirade. When I ran out of breath, he said (I swear), “You’re mean,” in a quavery little voice and refused to speak to me any further. I suspect he was one of Kage’s Little Stupid Guys (or a hybrid thereof).

I had apparently sent him into a coma under the counter. His supervisor took over, and behold! My computer was ready in under a day. All Kage’s work, all my writing, all our photographs (including rare family photos and the only recordings I have of her voice) were already safely stored in backup. However, despite the initial assurance that all my nifty customizing programs would also be saved – none were. I think my rabbity little tech just agreed to everything I asked or said, so I would eventually shut up and go away.

The result is that I do have the most important things back safe and sound, and my OS is shiny new, and my system is working. However, it has none of the special files and plug-ins and programs and gadgets that smoothed my way and let me sail among the pixils … it took me quite some time to get back into Word Press here, and finally enter a new blog entry.

So now I am busy downloading all the goodies I’ve loaded over the last 8 years (!) that vanished into the void. Be patient, Dear Readers; I’ll get there, and things will finally be back to normal.

Then I can start reconstructing all the amazing bookmarks that Kage had saved so carefully. Language, history, literature sites; weirdnesses and lost cities and rare viands. Nightengale-studded truffle tongues: recipes for, location of, cheapest vendors for. All the stuff she saved on her computer so she never had to let it go.

I’ll find it all.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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2 Responses to Dowloading Restoration

  1. Becky Miller says:

    Well, at least you get a chance to clear off some of those add-ons you’re no longer using. AND you might find a new one that is better. I HATE hard drive crashes! Even with backups, they cause havoc and mayhem. Ah, well, at least you had backups, right ?


    • Kate says:

      Becky – yes, I had backups for everything that really mattered – all Kage’s writing, all mine, most of the photos, the recordings … what sent me into fits was that the initial report from the repair tech (Jose) was that there was no data on the hard drive. At all. My backups are on an external drive, of course, so I knew they were safe; but good old Jose was maintaining that my tower hard drive was totally blank. I knew that had not been the case when I left it with them, because I had been able to coax it into a brief, abortive almost-opening, and had seen the drivers and programs right where they usually were.

      I didn’t know if they’d evaporated on the drive to Frye’s, or if Jose had somehow reformatted the drive without making copies; though, I must admit, I feel the latter is more likely. It was during my interrogation on the third time he called me to ask if I would give him the system password – because he still couldn’t find any data and was sure it was in some hidden space – that I flipped out and got “mean”. The system has no password, you see … ultimately, the Repair Department Manager was able to not only restore my system but find dozens of programs that Jose had sworn did not exist.

      I lost a few things, programs downloaded years ago and not used frequently. But everything I use on a regular basis was either backed up or re-loadable from disk. And, yeah, it’s a lot neater now. And faster. But, oh, the sturm and drang to get it fixed! Jose was apparently constitutionally incapable of actually telling me what he was doing. God knows why.



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