Friday, 4 April 2014

The Great Tea Debacle


I've been attacked by technology gremlins - and stupidity!

There I was, typing away the other day, when I paused to watch something on the telly. I sipped my brew, put it back safely on the table, looked down and saw tea - on my keyboard!

If you haven't already seen the NooooOOOOoooo!!! video, that's a rough approximation of my thought process.

Just FYI people, in such a situation (one where there is precipitation, rather than a motherboard-frying deluge), the correct protocol is:

  1. Turn off computer IMMEDIATELY (it's the flow of electricity which will fry the system)
  2. Take a tissue and sop it up, twisting the edges into small pointy fingers that you can push down between the keys to absorb as much as possible
  3. Borrow a hairdryer and blast it like the winds of the Sahara
  4. Leave it overnight before turning back on

What I did:

  1. Thought Oh, sh!t
  2. Gave it a light dusting with a tissue
  3. Continued typing until the keys started behaving as though they were on acid (m = e, d = mfg, enter=' etc.)
  4. Panicked
  5. Turned it off
  6. Paid it a bit more attention with a tissue
  7. Turned it back on
  8. Realised I was locked out because I couldn't type my password in to enter the system
  9. Realised I couldn't plug in a USB mouse or keyboard until I could enter the system
  10. Panicked more
  11. Eventually, through a mixture of desperation and prayer (borderline voodoo sacrificial ritual) discovered the great god Toshiba had foreseen just such a disaster upon His people and created a tool to turn your screen into a keyboard using only the mouse
  12. Managed to enter the system by employing this method
  13. Installed USB keyboard
  14. Saved files to external hard drive
  15. Shut everything down
  16. Blasted with the hairdryer
  17. Turned on
  18. Realised it still wasn't working
  19. Despaired
  20. Turned off
  21. Blasted one last time, more out of pity than hope
  22. Left for dead

Thanks to the glory of the internet, and Dad's beady eye for a bargain, managed to order a new laptop, which arrived promptly next morning.

In fact, shortly after I booted up Ishtar (I name all of my computers after deities, don't laugh!) and realised I should have named her Lazarus, because she'd risen from the dead.

Second time this has happened to me with a minor spill. Provided you turn the electricity off in time, so that it doesn't fry the circuits, give the keyboard a thorough drying out and leave to stand overnight, there's about a 50/50 chance your laptop will miraculously recover.

The only time it didn't work was when this wee muffin:

(Don't you dare bloody 'aaaaaah' her)

walked a full glass of water over the keyboard. Instead of Sula, I should have named her Sulis, as in Minerva.

Anyway. I now have a new laptop, and Ishtar has been gifted into servitude, transmitting iPlayer and 4OD to the telly. It's simple work, compared to writing a novel, but she seems happy enough.

Meanwhile, Pemberley, the hard drive that I had transferred everything to, promptly died.

One week old, and defunct.

Thankfully, I've got multiple back-ups of all my writing and business files. Several more than I had before my laptop and hard drive simultaneously died, because now it feels personal, as though something's out to get me.

Especially since 31st March was World Backup Day.

Have you backed up your writing recently? The thought of losing everything I ever wrote turned me green at the gills. I'm sure I could come to some sort of zen acceptance of it if I truly had to, but with so many helpful devices such as Google Drive, DropBox, a 500GB external hard drive for £30... why should you ever have to?

When you think of all the hours you spend writing stuff, a couple of hours making sure you don't lose it all is well worth your time.

And, on that mother-knows-best note, I should have some exciting news shortly...

RIP Ishtar, replacer of Nyabinghi.
May you stream many a memorable episode in your retirement.

1 comment:

  1. The other lesson in this is get a sippy cup. Don't laugh, I resorted to this after a time or two with the spill devil.