Computer Blues

Computer screen with out of service noticeTechnology is a wonderful thing. A boon to us all, a time-saver and a wondrous miracle of information, communication and connection…

… when it works! :)

And when it doesn’t? It’s a pain in the proverbial, a huge time-eater and a frustrating, bang-your-head-against-the-wall monster of immense proportions!

That’s exactly what it’s been for me for the last three days.

I’d just completed a gazillion (well it felt like that, at the time) improvements and tweaks to all our sites. And our main BJ Seminars International site had gone through a major overhaul – new focus, new design, new content.  The work on all the sites had been done mainly in an hour or few here and there  – but the whole process had taken a couple of weeks.

I’d finally finished it all off, working late on Saturday night.  I knew that, now it was done, a full backup of all sites was needed. But I was tired. And of course those backups could wait until the morning, couldn’t they?

Boy, was I wrong!

Computer Help KeySunday morning heralded a catastrophe.  All our sites were down, and a forum on the host’s site gave me the bad news.  The server had spat the dummy completely and managed to crash beyond repair.

A major server dysfunction. A complete rebuild needed, with re-installation of the operating system. All data unrecoverable except from backups.

But there was worse to come.  Although our hosting provider backs up every week and every month, for some unknown reason (still not known) the backups they had for many sites were from mid January at the latest.

At that point I found myself wishing with fervent longing that I’d decided doing those backups had been more important than sleep the night before!

But there was no point in chasing shadows.  So, while the techies were doing the looooong process of fixing the server, I began the painstaking task of gathering together everything I could find and remember about the changes I’d made to all sites, as well as the new design and content for our main site.

I scrounged for scribbled notes I’d made on WordPress plugins I’d installed or widgets I’d moved. I looked for any text copy I’d saved, instead of entering it straight into WordPress. I even searched through all the bits and pieces that were still there in my extended clipboard program, Clipmate.

Another brainwave was to search Google for cached pages.  I was able to get a screen grab and the source code for a couple of web pages we’d changed – though sadly not for any blog content.

By Sunday evening, I was looking at a fairly meager store of material – but at least I had something.

By then, a couple of our sites were ready for work. The techs had started restoring the backups they had, beginning with domains starting in “a” and working alphabetically through the list. So Appreciative Inquiry Australia was ready first, followed by BJ Seminars International.  I began working on those on Sunday night.

In the wee hours of Monday morning they were followed by Chris’s blogs, Chris Chats and Chris Chi.   Later on Monday Positive Change Core was ready – but it wasn’t until Monday night that my own Sue James blog (this one) was restored.

The one needing most work was our main BJ Seminars site …  so there are indeed silver linings in every cloud. As Chris so wisely said, it was just as well his name is Bennett, so we are and not something like !  :)

Computer screen with bandaidWorking for 36 hours straight – minus hurried meal breaks and an hour’s power nap – I managed to bring five of the sites back to where they were before the crash. Even including some of the blog posts for which, fortunately, Chris or I found the copy stored somewhere else as well.

At that point I could do no more. Gritty eyes and a very fuzzy brain meant bed was my only option. My own blog – poor baby – had to stay out in the cold for another day until I returned from work on Tuesday night.

So … after that long saga, I must apolgise particularly to Miss Eagle, whose lovely comment on one of my posts is now lost, along with the post itself.

I may be able to re-write those lost posts of course. So anyone who actually does read my blog …. :) …. may see them again. But right at this moment, the creative spark that inspired them is cowering away in a dark corner, refusing to come out.

Ah the vicissitudes of life!  I’ve definitely been singing the computer blues over the last few days.

But I do know there are salutary lessons to be learned out of the whole experience!  There’ll be gifts of wisdom I can unearth from the mess.

When I’ve had a wee while to rest and reflect, I’ll figure out what they are. :)


  1. Hi Sue,
    I definitely can relate to your horrendous technology problems!! I feel for you tremendously! I had a similar problem late last year! It’s scary how much we rely on technology these days….but hey! It’s all lessons learned!!
    I was wondering if you still had your article called ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’? It was such a beautiful piece of writing; one of which I shared with some friends, and when I went to view it again the other day, I could not find it! I do hope it hasn’t been lost in all your troubles, and I hope to see it up on your blog again soon!

    Onwards and upwards….keep smiling…:)

    • Hi Lauren – and thank you for those words of sympathy. :) Sadly yes, the “I’ve Been Everywhere” post was one that was lost … but I plan on trying to recreate it. It’s lovely to hear that you enjoyed it and thought it worth sharing. Now I definitely have an extra reason for attempting to reproduce it rather than let it fade into obscurity. :) Watch for it soon – I hope to be able to re-awaken the muse over this next week, once I’ve had a chance to rest up a bit. I shall do my best! :)

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