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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Technological Joys

This is Steven Petrick Posting.

One of the joys of the modern age is the computer crash. They are annoying, but what is truly annoying is when the crash destroys, or at minimum corrupts, files that you had open. (Sometimes, in my experience, they corrupt files that you did not have open also.) Corruption happens even when you saved the file, and sometimes all you can do is go to a backup file saved somewhere else and try to redo the work you have lost.

For me, it is always harder to redo something than to do it the first time (not that the first time is easy). I am never sure that I have reinserted everything I had thought of the first time, and I am never as patient trying to get everything back in (in part for fear that memory will fail me further on what it was I had done before). The result is that when reading and replacing corrupted or lost text, errors happen (an example is when I was looking at text that said, quite plainly, plasma-D I instead typed plasma-F, that the D and F keys are right next to each other is not an excuse). I just do not re-proof as well.

Worse, every time I am working on a document I tend to think of something else to say, or see things that need to be edited because the phrasing now seems wrong to me (although it obviously seemed fine when I typed it the first time).

I am not sure how much of my life has been lost to computer crashes, or how much creativity has been destroyed over the years. Sometimes it seems like at least a year of my life has been lost that way.

Worse is the frustration from these incidents. There is nothing that you can really take it out on. (The last incident was caused by a corrupted GIF file, but the author was not sending me a malicious upload, he wanted me to look at his SSD, and I have read other GIF files without incident.) The principle cause of the angst is right there in front of you, but smashing a computer, while possibly cathartic, would really only make the situation much worse.

So a few more hours of my life lost, a little more embarrassment from an improperly checked document being posted, resulting in more correction.

Life, however, goes on and truly I would not wish to live in a less technological age or in a less technological country.