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Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Revenge" and a Full Plate

This past week, the second story in my Kismet series, Kismet's Revenge, was released in paperback from The Wild Rose Press. How did I celebrate this momentous occasion? By fighting with my computer's hard drive for a week, of course! Apparently, my trusty desktop--let's call her Della--had decided she'd taken about as much of my many documents, story lines, photos, and blurbs as she intended. In a nutshell, Della crapped out.

Ordinarily, this would be a bit of an inconvenince, but with my trip to RWA National in Orlando coming up next week (and all its obligatory paperwork: reservations, flights, transportation receipts, schedules, etc., carefully stored on Della's hard drive), inconvenience became apocalyptic drama. You see, in my local chapter, I not only serve as President, but I'm kinda the unofficial Control Freak in Charge. Which means, I not only had my information for National, but my chapter mates' stuff, and stuff for the chapter at large all stowed in Della's trusty megabytes.

I began treating Della with the usual disk maintenance. But defragmenting was impossible since I need a minimum of 15% free space to run that particular program. Current free space? 0%. Okay...deep breath...not a tragedy yet. I ran my virus software, malware, and crap cleaning software. After all that, current free space jumped from 0% to a whopping ...0%.

Yup. No change at all. Time to go into the Programs section and clean stuff out of there. I moved 138 files-- mostly WIPs and documents related to chapter business--from my desktop to my Yahoo group where I archive and store important info. (A side note: I highly recommend some kind of Yahoo group or Google storage thing for everyone. While I use Carbonite for storage of all my computer files, if Della should ever reach a DNR stage and I don't have the means to replace her immediately, I can access any of my important stuff from any computer anywhere with my Yahoo group. Best of all, it's free.) 138 files deleted from hard drive and transferred to Yahoo group. Current free space...0%.

Hmmm...I'm sensing a pattern. Flipped my Auto Restore settings to 2-4, rather than the 15 it was set on as the factory standard. Current free space...2%. Yay! Progress. Back into other Program files to delete. In going through the actual C Drive, rather than the autopopulated list Della gives me in Add/Remove Programs, I found some files I hadn't used in eons. Old publishing files from programs that no longer exist for documents for an organization I'm no longer a part of. Still 2%. And we're only up to Tuesday of the week.

I removed--one at a time--the series of 4000 fonts I'd downloaded to Della when I was a newsletter editor. Kept only the basic. Up to 6%. On Thursday, I looked in my Music files and discovered something unusual. When I'd switched to a new I-touch from my loyal old MP3 player (which, after eight years of fantastic service, had gasped its last the week before), I had to transfer all my music from Windows Media Player to I-tunes. Approximately 500 albums, more than 3000 songs. (Yeah, I'm a music buff with extremely bizarre taste. I have everything from The Mills Brothers and Etta James to Lady Gaga and O.A.R.) But my I-tunes said I had more than 12,000 songs! Okay, I'm a music buff, not a crazy person. Opened my I-tunes to discover every song I'd transferred from WMP had replicated itself five times!

At this stage, I knew I was in serious trouble. So I broke down and bought Della a shiny new external hard drive, transferred all my music files over to that. Nothing else, just my music files. Current free space: 16%! Woo-hoo! We have lift-off! Finally defragmented, got in to my files for RWA National and quickly printed all the receipts, reservations, and handouts that I needed, tucked them into my annual "National" folder.

For the last 24 hours, I've been manually deleting the four extra copies of every song I transferred to I-tunes. The external hard drive is happy to help and Della, while weak, will hold out a little longer so I can shop around for her replacement and not buy something in the heat of panic.

So if anyone's been wondering where I've been this week, now you know. But I did manage to squeeze in an appointment with a tattoo artist. I'd take a picture of my new "pretty", but I'm afraid Della couldn't take the excitement. So if you'll be at RWA National and spot me there, ask and I'll be happy to show you my little masterpiece.


Tina Donahue said...

I feel for you Gina. I hate computer problems. I have them - it seems - on a daily basis. :) Have fun at nationals. Love the cover of Kismet's Revenge!

Katalina Leon said...

Gina, what a victory to quell computer problems on this scale. I'm in awe! Enjoy the Nationals, I wish you a great time with NO further computer troubles.

jean hart stewart said...

I'm beyond impressed...I don't have enough computer skills but do anything but cringe at the thought of what you went through. Yikes. Jean

Molly Daniels said...

I'm with Jean. YIKES!

Glad you had the know-how to do all that:) That IS strange about your music replicating itself.


Thanks, ladies. I'll admit, even my dh was impressed not only with my computer savvy, but also with the fact that I kept at it all week. I'm stubborn like that.

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