Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Missing work

I find perhaps the single most demoralizing thing having to repeat work that was already done.  (This slightly edges out having my advice ignored, particularly when it leads to avoidable problems (and more work for me) down the road.)  Fortunately, this doesn't happen all that often, but not long after our move here, I lost an external hard drive that wasn't that well backed up, and in fairly short order after that, a desktop computer died, as well as a laptop.  All these failures in short order led to a significant loss of files.  I actually think a few files were on a USB drive and I'll keep my eyes open for that.  I am finally ready to start digging around in the basement to see if I can find the data DVDs from around that time.  But in a lot of cases, I will simply have to try to check the various books out of the library again and take the notes all over again.

There were quite a few notes on Jean Anouilh's (in French and English), but I will hold off the longest on those, since I am the most convinced I backed this up somewhere else.

Of the other items, there was Gillespie's history of the Twin Towers.
Gottdiener's The City and the Sign
David Harvey's The Condition of Postmodernity
Elizabeth Smart By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
Zach Mason Lost Books of the Odyssey
Turgenev A Month in the Country
A couple of monographs on Mark Tobey (while the library here has a slightly different selection than Vancouver, they actually have quite a few for an artist from the Pacific Northwest)
The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora (this cannot be found in either the Toronto Public Library or Robarts, but I shall attempt ILL since it is in the Vancouver library system -- apparently the big fees only accrue for books borrowed from US libraries).

While extremely annoying, this is not the end of the world, particularly given just how bad the failures were.  (I did lose many shows recorded off BBC Radio 3, but those were gone forever and it didn't really bother me as much as I thought when I lost them.)  I'll cross these off the list after I feel I have sufficiently recreated my notes from the first time around.  I'll definitely feel better after I have gotten through the list, particularly if I am able to get that Flora book through ILL.

This actually reminds me of another catastrophic failure I had back in college when I lost all my creative writing (probably another computer died on me, but I can't remember the details).  However, I was working with a poetry professor who actually had all my submitted poems from two semesters in a big folder, and I was able to borrow that from him and make copies.  That was an interesting time when people were moving from analog modes (writing in notebooks and then typing into a computer and printing everything out on dot matrix printers) to the early floppy disks that were pretty vulnerable to going bad.  Today's USBs and portable hard drives are a lot more durable, but not infallible.  I guess there is something to be said for putting everything up in the cloud, but I'm not quite ready yet.  I'm generally better about backing things up than I used to be, particularly anything that I consider creative writing.

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