Thursday, January 11, 2007

Digital diary disaster

I use an ageing Palm m130 as my diary (and for entertainment and a few other bits and pieces). I like it. However it is getting a bit old. The handwriting recognition section is so worn that it doesn't recognise my writing any more, the clip that is supposed to hold it together has been bashed so many times that it no longer holds it together and the battery barely lasts from one day to the next! ...And therein lies the root of my digital diary disaster! I took my Palm home over the Christmas holidays but forgot to take the charger. :-(


17/365 - New Agenda,

originally uploaded by athena.
By the time I got back to work and plugged it in, the battery was so flat that it had forgotten everything. "No problem!" I thought, since all the stuff was on my office computer and all I had to do was sync the Palm with my desktop and I'd be back in business. I'd have my diary, my contacts list and most importantly, my Sudoku game back. But you know what they say about the best laid plans...

For some reason, when I tried to sync the Palm, it tried to sync with a user called DavidDMuir. Not a problem you would think but unfortunately my diary etc. was saved under a profile called David Muir. Of course, I didn't realise that straight away and followed standard Computing procedure for the next wee while... In other words, I tried doing exactly the same thing two or three times in a row, before restarting the computer, trying the same thing again, resetting the Palm, trying the same thing again and only then did I notice that my computer had a user called DavidDMuir with no calendar entries and a profile called David Muir with everything I wanted still there!

Now that I'd worked out what the problem was, I thought it would be easy to fix... but I couldn't find any way of making the Palm sync with David Muir rather than DavidDMuir. Curses! Therefore I followed standard Computing procedure 2... I used Google to try and find a solution. I couldn't find an exactmatch to my problem, but a couple of sites suggested renaming a user on the desktop and then creating a new user with the same name that the Palm was using to sync. ...So that's what I did. I renamed user DavidDMuir to Temp and renamed profile David Muir to DavidDMuir... and then I hit the HotSync button... and then I lost everything on my desktop computer too!


I was a bit upset. Backup? What backup?

I failed to find any way to recover what I'd deleted and eventually became resigned to my loss but couldn't quite bring myself to rebuild the missing data. However, two days later I remembered that I had synced with my laptop at one point in the past and sure enough, there on the laptop was most of my missing stuff. Huzzah! I've lost the most recent entries (perhaps a month's worth) but most of it is now back on my Palm. :-)

It is therefore worth saying that if I agreed to meet you, and arranged the meeting some time in December, I probably no longer have a note of the date, time or place we agreed. Feel free to contact me and check I still expect to see you. And if you think that the entry to send you a £5000 cheque may have disappeared from my To do list, feel free to remind me of that as well.

So, Happy New Year! Sorry I was a bit quiet over Christmas, but hopefully I am back into the swing of things now. :-)

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Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!
I was kind of wondering why you had been so quiet ...
My sympathies. It can happen to anyone. Once. If it happens twice ...

David said...

As the great philosopher Gee Dubyah said, "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee, that says, fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me... you can't get fooled again." Clearly it should be, lose your data once, shame on... machines in general because if they worked properly I wouldn't need a backup copy! :-)

Chris said...

Deepest condolences - now: what about that £1,000? ;-)

Ewan McIntosh said...

Welcome to the club! I've got most of my dates but missed the first 'Board meeting' of the project I help run on Monday. Disaster. Remember we're still on for the 20th Feb. We need to meet soon to plan things out. Can I send meeting requests now? Systems back to normal?

David said...

Hello Chris

Was it only £1000? See, I would have sent £5000. :-)

Hello Ewan

Yes, I got an email from Ann the other day and thought we should have a chat. Feel free to send meeting requests - I'm as "back to normal" as I get!