Software Can Kill You

I’ve finally gotten back to writing after several weeks of depression. A chapter of the novella I’m working on has been hanging all that time, and last night, I finally finished it. Today I find that the backups weren’t doing anything. As far as my documents folder, Dropbox, my thumb drive, and Time Machine are concerned, I haven’t done zilch on that chapter since Sunday. It was a wrestling job to get it all written just the way I wanted it, and now it’s to be done over again. I don’t think that’s going to happen today. I need time to get over being punched in the gut by the program I’ve relied on for so long. This is the second time it’s happened. The first was months ago, and I’d forgotten it even happened, putting it down to a temporary computer glitch. I can’t keep doing this.

6 thoughts on “Software Can Kill You

  1. Ouch! I know this feeling, or the feeling you get when you “accidently” (on purpose, but you didn’t mean to) press “no” when asked if you want to save changes to document (yes, I did that. *hangs head in shame*). This is part of the reason I always write on paper first, in case my technological savvy fails me (again). Hopefully it’s just a temporary glitch and starts working again.

  2. It’s bad enough when you do manual backups and forget to do them. But when you’re depending on the software to do it automatically, and it fails, that’s even more devastating. The program backs up automatically when it closes, and I do manual backups every few hundred words. Not a single change was saved at any time during the day.

    So now there’s a long discussion on the software forum. Everybody is making suggestions about what *I* might have done wrong, and none of it is relevant.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear that! It’s a horrible thing when you’ve just come back to writing and something like this happens!
    I hope you can recover it, after all, but if not that you are not too disencouraged. It really is such a nasty blow to creativity.

  4. I did finally manage to settle down and replace the missing material, but I have a terrible memory, so it’s a bit shorter, and not as good. No one was able to figure out what went wrong (still on my shoulders as the wrongdoer), but at least there was one suggestion for setting up a script that will either confirm each backup or show that it isn’t happening. And I will also look at the file info each evening to confirm that the modification date and time are current before closing. If not, I can copy and paste to my text program so that nothing’s lost.

  5. Egad, nightmare. I once lost Chapter 2 of 6 doing something stupid, and I could never recapture the original flavor. Now I have too many copies of everything, some of which don’t get updated.

    I found this advice after the fact. Probably, this won’t help but:

    You may already use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+ Z (for Windows) or Cmd + Z (for Macs) to undo any mistakes you make in text-editing programs like Microsoft Word. But did you know that those same commands can undo dozens of other computer mistakes–such as deleting the wrong file or giving a folder the wrong name–and even reverse errors made in many other computer programs, games and websites? Try it the next time you need a quick mistake eraser.

    I cut this out of a magazine, but I think it only works if you realize your mistake immediately.

  6. Thanks, cm. I’m familiar with the keyboard commands for undoing, but in this case, there was nothing to undo. The backups simply didn’t work. The program gave every indication that it was saving throughout the day, but when I opened the file the next day, none of the changes and additions had been saved.

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