25 January, 2010

New Low: Blog "Clip Show!"

Subsequent to this blog entry, you will find several "retro" entries entitled "From the Vault." These are actually old posts I wrote in a few user forums I infect frequent, dating back months or even years. But before they fell off the date stack there, I thought they'd fit right in here, and as a bonus, save me having to think up new material for awhile.

15 January, 2010

Apologies for the Delay

One of the things that makes this Blog so fun (and relatively easy) to write is my photographic memory.  Literally. I keep my cameraphone at the constant ready, collecting visual non-sequiturs during my daily travels, which are the memory cues to the blog entry I've planned around them. Much of my rants could so easily be dismissed as biased by surliness, if not as outright fiction, without a photo to prove I can't make this stuff up. Since my internal, organic memory is a baby step away from "completely worthless," I've come to depend on my camera to serve as my memory.  Hence, I have a "photographic memory." Hey, it impresses the girls when I say this and technically, I'm not lying.  But I digress.

It doesn't come without a price, as with most things. In this case, it was a one-two punch of both my cameraphone and my laptop deciding to fail competely within a week of each other.  Of course, I diligently backup my phone to my laptop.  So when on holiday my LG Renoir suddenly rebooted, in my hand as I watched, back to factory defaults with nary a contact, sms, or photo to be found, I was annoyed but not overly, since all but the most recent photos were safely stored on my laptop, along with all the other stuff.

My bad for not restoring it the second I got home.  This gave my laptop a few days to run its automatic background defragment (Thanks, Vista!). Unfortunately, it does NOT first run a disk check for corruption, and since something had indeed slipped a cluster or index entry, defragmenting a corrupted disk is akin to ...well, doing something horribly destructive to your disk which kills it in the same way, but with less wait and effort, than defragmenting it when it's corrupted.

Upon reboot, oh, gee, NOW Vista wants to run the disk check. Thanks heaps. Oh, look, "operating system not found," what a surprise.

Of course, I dlilgently backup my laptop to an external USB drive.  That is, at least the My Documents folder where all my personal data is.  Um, except for the folder directly off C:\ where I store my cameraphone photos and videos. Yeah, that. Adding insult to injury is that my sms and contact databases were quite snugly backed up inside My Documents.  Just not the multimedia. And for the geeks in the room, data recovery programs didn't do much because the good data had been overwritten with bad data, thanks to the defrag.

Well, in the grand scheme of things, no great loss.  I remember some of the photos I took for blog purposes, such as my Asshole Driver entry of the Maxi Taxi with no brake lights. At all. Great fun to drive behind.  Or the driver who absolutely needed to get past the traffic on DN1 at the underpass construction, and drove the car at a 45-degree angle by having the left wheels UP ON the center divider.  All I remember is thinking of Shrek III where he says "Well, SOMEBODY better be dying!"  And the photo of the Voluntari lady politician campaign poster where she bore a stunning resemblance to Jack Nicholson's "Joker" in the first Batman movie. All gone, and not worth the thousand words each that the photos would tell.

So we're starting off fresh and with a smarter data backup plan to boot!  In the meantime, I'm hunting down some of my old posts on a few expat forums, from before this blog existed but which are definitely made of the same stuff and thus deserve a home here. Hey, it's (probably) new to you...