16 June 2008


I return to my little home on the internet after what seems to me like aeons, but what in reality was only a few days.

My computer (the professor) died, you see. The hard drive just gave up and petered out. According to Philippe, the dude at the place where I brought it for a second opinion, it was broken in several places. I now have a new hard drive, but it is of course entirely devoid of everything that makes my computer my computer.

And of course, I hadn't backed up in a looong time. I lost all of my pictures, all of my music (although I'm going to try to reinstate what was on my ipod), archived emails, translation work, poetry, and my thesis. Yes, my thesis. I have some piecemeal versions of things stored on a little flash drive, and everything dating before last summer is on the external hard drive. But, but, but... I'm mourning even the loss of my web browser bookmarks, because I had a lot of research discoveries stored in that list.

Last Wednesday and Thursday were spent in horror and denial. I felt very very alone, not only because I was without my computer (my source of pretty much all connection with the outside world, plus all entertainment--movies and music), but also because in this country of PC's, I didn't know where to turn, and my husband was out of town. I called my brother, international cell charges notwithstanding, ostensibly to get his advice on some attempts at resuscitation (I initially thought it was just a question of a too-full hard drive) but really just to hear his voice.

Friday I flew to Italy to meet up with the Mister for a quick visit to Florence, where he had presented at a conference. It was my only chance to see him during a long stretch of his travels, so at the last minute I had purchased tickets. Although when Friday rolled around I wasn't very much in the mood to leave town, it was a good thing I did because I could somewhat escape my computer woes (and, not incidentally, escape the frigid air and incessant rain that this country seems to think is acceptable weather for June).

Philippe called when we were standing in front of the beautiful Santa Maria Novella, only to inform me that it was impossible to rescue the hard drive. If sackcloth and ashes had been available, I would have been wearing them, accompanied by garment-rending and gnashing of teeth.

Dragging my feet, because I knew it would be depressing, I went to pick up the computer today. And indeed, it is depressing. I don't know where to start to make the machine feel like mine again.


Astrid said...

What a horror! I hope you manage to get your thesis back together again.

You have my sympathy as I can think of nothing else to say...

(Hmmm... maybe I should buy that external hard drive I've been thinking of for a long time to back up my stuff)

Robin said...

Thanks, Astrid! I'm going to try to rescue the data from the old hard drive...several people have told me it's possible...