Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bad News, Good News


You wouldn't think that a little plastic fairing that fits over the front bumper of a Mini -- a bit that I cleverly tore off my car on Thursday last, and I wasn't even drinking so I can't use that as an excuse -- would cost all that much to repair.

You would be wrong in such thinking.

As soon as the replacement gets in from where in the U.K. it has to come and gets painted, I get to leave my car there for a couple days for them to fix it. Seems the whole front end has to be taken apart to do the job, so the labor is going to be a bitch. Talking here the cost of a couple-three house payments, and a thousand-dollar deductible on the comprehensive policy ...

Ick.

The good news is that it can be repaired, good as new, and that we can -- eventually -- pay for it ...

I will drive more carefully from now on ...

More in the good/bad news department: It seems that I have a new book upon which to work. Can't tell you what it is until contracts are signed, but it will be another hoot to write and I am looking forward to it. So much so, in fact, that I started writing some set-pieces even before the outline has been approved. Not much risk there, but some -- they could decide to go in a completely different direction. I doubt they will, and I can rewrite what I have to fit a wide range of applications, that is the joy of a set-piece.

That's good.

Bad part is, I managed to cleverly save an older file over a newer one, thus losing ten pages of material that is simply gone. The new Macs have an autosave to a separate hard disk that backs up everything every few minutes, so even if you trash everything on your desktop, you can get it back. I, alas, have an older Mac, and when I not-so-cleverly went to back up the file -- and still unsure how I did it -- I overwrote today's file with yesterday's back-up

Ick.

This is going to result in a new procedure with back-ups, involving a fool-proof method that I am even now trying to figure out. And hoping I'm not the fool to prove it. Saving it, sending it offsite, then backing it up on the flash drive, maybe.

Rewriting ten pages from memory, even that which is only a couple hours old, is tricky business. It's happened to me before, and the rewrite is never exactly the same. Sometimes, it could be better, but you'll never know for certain, since you don't have the old version to compare to the newer one, and the assumption is always that it is slightly worse and that you left something out ...

So, my output today was twenty pages, but only ten of them count ...

Never a dull moment.

4 comments:

J.D. Ray said...

Are you running any version of OSX? If so, look into rsync. It's a Unix utility that's included in the base package of OSX. If you Google for info on using rsync to back up OSX, you'll find a wealth of information and probably more than a few turnkey solutions.

BTW, I've been really happy with the TimeCapsule that I bought to back up my two Macs. I am, of course, running OS 10.5, which is a prerequisite for using a TimeCapsule.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, I' running 10.4.2. I've been holding off on 10.5 until I can get a new iMac and TimeCapsule -- my son has it and is happy with it.

I'll check out rsync. Thanks.

Todd Erven said...

That's too bad about the Mini.

One of my wife's co-workers backed into mine in the parking lot about a year and a half back. Little tiny gouge out of the front bumper... big huge bill from the body shop.

Luckily the bill didn't go to me, but I was still shocked at the price.

Dan Moran said...

JD, not clear how rsync would prevent Steve from having had the problem he ran into. I use rsync myself; it overwrites the destination and doesn't keep archive copies.

rsync -ruv --delete-before /media/750A/ /media/750B/

Backs up one drive to another. It's slow with huge numbers of files -- it generates a list of all the files in the source and compares it with all the files in the destination in one big hash, as far as I can tell. It's go a lot faster if it'd do a path-based comparison -- load the files in /media/750A/folder1/, compare it with /media/750B/folder1/, write the differences. Continue on to the next path ...

This is what xxcopy does, I believe. It's several times faster, handling the same size filesystem, than rsync. But it's a Windows utility.