Last night the general theme was blue. No matter where I turned, blue was the color that kept sticking out to me. At 10:30 I walked out of the apartment and was committed to procrastinating some more. My last paper I have to write in my Undergraduate career was due this morning and I’d already made great progress (700/1500 words) when I left.
Stepping out of the apartment I knew something was different. There was a blue light cast on all of the cars on the street. Normally it wouldn’t have been shocking since the blue light of the bike store I live over is always on. Still, it never had this intense of a blue cast before. Then I noticed it: the street lights were all out. Power was on in the apartments along the street, but the city’s street lights were out. Even though I recognize their importance (safety), I wish it happened more often. The street was gorgeous with the golden light pollution in the clouds above meshing with the intense neon blue of the bike shop’s light below. Also, without the street lights, the street seemed quieter; it may simply have been my subconscience filling in less details — in any case: I loved it.
I slowly made my way to the internet cafe, just enjoying the calmness. At the cafe I talked to my mom on instant messenger and did a system update on my laptop. Before I go any further, you should know that it’s always a good idea to get the complete and latest system updates from your software vendor. It’s also a great idea to at least know where your operating system recovery disk is located, and if traveling overseas, to make sure to take it with you. You never know when a computer geek will be able to help you abroad …
After the system updates finished downloading, waited until it said it was in the last moments of finishing the installation. Then I did it: I closed my Powerbook and returned to my apartment. I opened it back up and within five seconds popped up a screen telling me that I needed to do a manual restart because the computer had frozen. MY computer crashed? No way; I knew it was definitely the case, though. Perhaps it’s karma, but earlier that day I’d been telling my classmates that my computer had only crashed twice in the 2.5 years I’ve had it. I’d only seen this screen once before and I knew it wasn’t good.
When I restarted, it did the normal screen telling me it was starting the operating system software. Then, it went to a blue screen and started doing it again; and again; and again. In messing with my computer during the system update, I created an infinite loop in the startup cycle. It was NOT a pretty sight! What was even worse was that my paper, which I’d worked so hard on, was inaccessible and there was no chance I would be able to repair my computer AND type up the paper before it was due today.
Brett, my roommate, let me use his computer to type up my paper once again from scratch. Before starting on my second version, I let my computer keep going through its cycle in the event that it fixed itself. The only thing visible throughout the process was the blue screen. This blue light was completely opposite of the blue haze I’d seen earlier in the night; the blue was stressful instead of calming.
I started the paper at 11:50. An hour into it (12:50), I’d written 700 words. 25 minutes later (1:15) I’d written 1000. At 2:00am, the paper was done and was SO much better than the first version. The laptop crashing may have been a blessing in disguise: my last paper I wrote in college wasn’t a piece of crap!
This morning I woke up and went to the Accent Center and attempted to back things up before I repaired the operating system. I was able to boot the computer off of the DVD and back-up a couple of things to my external flash drive. Then came the moment of truth: I told the restore software to create an archive of the system before restoring off of the disk image. Almost an hour and a half later and the system was fully restored without my losing ANY files!