Monday, September 05, 2005

The Desperate Hours

Here's a consoling thought; at least I got the basic concept right when I decided to run a second hard drive on the PC as an internal back-up. Making the backup drive bootable? Pure bloody genius. The only flaw in this little piece of DIY brilliancy is when it came to the crunch, at six o'clock this morning, was this; that script I'd written to copy files from one hard drive to another each time the machine shut down wasn't working anywhere as well as I thought it was. Small, but rather devastating mistake involving a couple of missing asterisks. It's the old nail, horseshoe ... kingdom story. I've fixed the script, and now I do have back up, but that's very much a case of stable door, horse, bolted.

Here's another consoling thought; the data in the three files that had simply vanished from the hard drive when I tried to open them this morning is still on the other hard drive. That's why it's sitting idle right now; one way or another I'm getting that data off there, even if it means going over the entire partition sector by bloody sector. I'll lift it off in chunks of hexadecimal if that's what it takes. It's safe, as long as the drive isn't being written to, which is why I've switched to working from the reserve drive, with the other mounted strictly read only.

But that's pretty much the lot when it comes to consoling thoughts, right now. There's no way I'll finish the three day writing binge with anything like a completed work, not when most of the good stuff has, for all intents and purposes, simply vanished. That became pretty clear at around eight this morning. So did a pressing need for sleep; I'd taken on yesterday's portion of the writing frenzy with the motto, "Make friends with your insomnia" but this morning insomnia was no longer my friend; just a bloody unwelcome house guest who wouldn't take my repeated hits to bloody well clear off.

I futzed around with fsck a little, and decided I had two options; reconstruct most of what was aready written and then grind on to the finish - all in sixteen hours, or get some sleep and a clear head to deal with the technical issues. I took the sleep and the clear head. And the half a temazepam that Zeppo Bakunin kindly provided so that I could calm down enough to sleep; I was on the verge of one of those messy "blokes don't cry, they just get on with life" fits.

Realistically, What are my chances of getting the data back and getting a more or less finished work of 90 to 100 pages by midnight tonight? About as good as a three-legged greyhound's chances of winning at the Sandown dogs. So that's that.

Tonight, I'm going to take myself out into the back yard, turn to the South Celestial Pole and have a quiet word with the ex-God; we parted ways several years ago, after a barney over which of us actually existed. I've more or less put up with the little episodes of peevish attention seeking beehavour over the past few years but this time it's gone over the line. Time to get an intervention order.

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