Monday, April 6, 2009

Squinty McGee and His Near-Sighted Notions: Update Part II

Memory Card Redux. On Wednesday, after the presentation, a friend takes me to Future Shop and I buy a new memory card. It's very strange, because when I go to pop it in, I learn it has been used. And not just pre-shipping stuff a company may include. I mean, it is very obviously pre-owned. It contained virtually every facet of its previous owner's life: personal photos, a resume, and payroll information for his business. Some very confidental stuff. I contact Future Shop to complain, and send the former owner an email. But before either get back to me, the point becomes largely moot, because on my way home on Thursday, I lost the card. In exactly the same circumstances that I lost the first. I'm assuming my pockets have a hole in them that sews itself up when I'm looking at it.
So: today I got yet another memory card. And to make sure this one stays safe, I've attached it to my key chain. And nothing could possibly go wrong there, right? (I'd add another link to the post where I speculate that I do this sort of thing deliberately, but... it's depressing enough, frankly, and it'll be worse by the time we're through here.)
Saturday Night.
After that week, you can imagine that I wanted to let off some steam. So I went out with some friends on Saturday night, to celebrate one friend's recent B-Day. (Happy Birthday, said friend! May your twenty-fifth year be less prone to object-oriented mishaps than mine.)
It was a night of discourse, drinking,and dancing. While my opinion on dancing is somewhere very close to Stephen Fry's--because at heart I am a man in his late fifties--I wouldn't have traded the other components for the return of my memory sticks. (Well, maybe not the first memory stick. That was not a happy couple of days. But the second one, anyway.) Usually, social gatherings like that make me go into "bolt" mode an hour or two in, but this stime, I stayed out to the bitter end, and I'm glad I did. Gang, to mix metaphors, you're all top drawer in my book.
Current Status.
I wish I could end on that happy note, but the autobiographical pact created by Philip Lejuene that we studied in the blogging class that instigated this blog compels me to be honest. My internet was giving me trouble today, but I needed to turn in a school assignment, so I had to get it to the university, one way or another. So, I trudged through the snow, picked up the latest memory card, and trudged back home to transfer the appropriate files. Now, on the first trip out that day, I had worn my glasses because I was trying to be conservative with my remaining contact lenses. But the snow was coming down at such a rate that I decided to wear my mask toque for the longer walk to the university. And if you're wearing a mask toque, you're not wearing glasses, because they don't fit well underneath it, your ears aren't there to allow you to wear them over it, and they'll fog up anyway from the temperature difference between your breath and the outside air. So I put the glasses into a case, tossed them in my bag, and walked to school.

Once I got to school, though, I was in for a surprise: the glasses weren't there, and I had forgotten them at home. (Or, alternatively, they're there, but I can't see them. Yes, I am THAT nearsighted.) So for the past hours, I have been sitting at a computer, with a monitor inches from my face. Because that is how dedicated I am to this blog.
Alternative ending for the previous sentence: dedicated I am to preserving chances to complain.

Take your pick between them. One is probably more accurate.

Later Days.


Carol said...

PoC--I can't take it anymore. You need to stop using memory sticks. You're only going to continue to lose them. If not in immediate, dire, emergency-causing situations like the ones you've been regaling us with, then eventually. And then you'll have no copies of your old work. Which, assuming you want to stay in academia, you're going to want. Believe me.

There's an easy solution to all this. Set up a gmail account dedicated to all your academic files and email everything to yourself. Works in progress, finished drafts, reading notes, class notes, lecture notes, pdfs of articles. Everything. Hell, you can even have your university emails forward to it, if you want to keep everything school-related in one place. (This becomes especially useful when you're teaching and you have mountains of student emails to deal with. Also, it solves the problem of losing archived emails when you leave a school and lose the email account, which I believe you mentioned a few months back.)

The brilliance of this system is that it's a) portable; b) not possible to lose stuff (the key selling feature for you, I suspect); and c) searchable (you just need to develop some basic tags, and a system where you name the emails something descriptive enough that you'll be able to search for them later).

I've been doing this for the past 4 years or so, and I haven't lost a single thing since. (Either from losing the media the file is stored on, or from losing track of where I've stored the file on my hard drive.)

Person of Consequence said...

You're right. I've been making movements towards that model--the gmail account's set up, and it's all ready holding most of files from my Math department employee days. There's only been two things that have held me back in this regard: a current sporadic internet access that makes any electronic transmission of files undependable, and my own tendency to mix up the files I'm working with, and accidentally deleting the updated version.
I think I've got the first, short-term problem sorted out, and the bigger problem will, probably, fix itself with a bit of practice.

Of course, there's the always nagging worry that society will collapse, electricity will no longer be provided, and I'll bitterly regret not having paper copies of everything, but in the event of total societal collapse, I'm probably not going need most of those files anyway.

Anonymous said...

dear PoC man,
Firstly, your misfortunes make me feel better about myself. And second, always have two copies of everything. email cant be trusted. Well gmail can...not hotmail though. Damn microsoft. May they burn in Hell. Just signed myself up for gmail today, never usin hotmail again
sincerely, brother-oC