Thursday, December 11, 2008

Digital delay

Our giant external hard drive crashed and burned recently-- less than a year after we bought it, new, I might add-- and while we scramble to raise the embarrassing amount of money it'll cost to have the data on it recovered, I thought the best thing to do would be to open up the floor to technology disaster and recovery stories.

Have you ever had a computer crash that was more than just inconvenient? Did you lose a serious amount of work because of a mechanical failure or a mysterious software hiccup? What did you do to get the data back (or, while we're at it, did you even bother)?

On a related note, the Mrs. and I have been talking about rewinding the amount of lazy-technology levels in our lives by about ten years. Meaning, for example, we'd maintain physical archives of actual things (say, a record collection) instead of ephemeral digital files (an iTunes library bloated with nonsense downloads). We'd write, proofread and mail letters to people instead of regularly sending emails with little more than a Youtube link in the body. We'd mix less in the box, generally speaking.

In other words, remember in "The Net" when Sandra Bullock's character was introduced as a weird shut-in who ordered her food online and never got off the computer? And we all knew she was strange and pitiable because we saw her act in this way and acknowledged that we ourselves didn't? That was 1995. I want to go back to that place.

Yes, I get the irony of writing about a desire to be less tech-dependent on a blog, and even more so that I'm asking you to comment about it in the comments section, but do any of you feel similarly? That buying into a sort of Apple lifestyle is the same thing as sitting on a couch and watching TV all day? Or am I just annoyed that our hard drive crashed and that I can't fix it on my own?



Blogger Jess Shambler said...

I just want to add, though I couldn't possibly sum the whole thing up more eloquently, that the fax machine I purchased at the office almost exactly one year ago broke this week. I am so fed up with planned obsolescence, shoddy workmanship, cheap disposable culture and all the other stupid modern crap that has us in this situation. I love technology, but I hate plastic, I hate waste, I hate landfills, I hate "convenience," and the lazy mind that goes with it, and I'm just about ready to abandon the whole thing.

The message to any Industry Types who come across this message in a bottle: Make stuff that lasts.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Moshe said...

This week, as I'm studying for finals, my computer had some sort of font trouble where every letter was a capital "A" in a box. I fixed the problem after spending 6 hours reloading the operating system and Word and all the various uploads. It's not really a tragic tale, just an inconvenient one.

And I have been downgrading on technology for a while now. The trick is trying to remember how you did things before the current gadget you rely on. For instance, when people came in from out of town before, how did the meetup work without a cell phone? Or when you had to go to a new art gallery in an old part of the city that you don't know, how did you find it before googlemaps/mapquest? If someone could create a list of how I used to do these things, I would go back.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Moshe said...

Oh, and the list that I want someone to create, would have to be a physical photocopied zine. That way the list itself would be a reminder of how we used to publish our thoughts that 8 others wanted to read.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you three. With everything you've said. I have ruined many a computer. Either I've just burned them out (or they burned themselves out)or I've accidentally deleted a broad spectrum of files with the wrong click of the mouse. However, last night, I got home from a bar and tried to watch the first episode of Thundercats. I wasn't really into it, but some how the notion struck me that that was a much better thing to do than to go to sleep. Anyway, I followed a link to a site to watch "Exodus," while trying to recall the song in my head and even the storyline for that episode. I can remember watching it years ago, I just can't remember what happened. Turns out I won't find out, because I inadvertently got some bug on my computer that throws pop up windows from Internet Explorer whenever it can (I only use Firefox), it says my firewall's been turned off and that I can no longer get security updates. I'm getting close to re-installing windows and just being smarter in the future.

Keep in mind, I did this last week for another problem (drivers weren't installed properly the first time) AND that I was choose watching Thundercats OVER installing the 2009 version of nortnon antivirus. No shit.

Now I can't install the program!


2:48 PM  

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