…about disasters.

Those of us whose lives are involved in our computer usage live with the knowledge that disaster can strike when we least expect it…our faithful (or not so faithful) silicone friend can turn on us, can become an ugly, vindictive monster, wreaking vengeance on us for all the times we’ve railed at it for not doing what we expected. In short, it can crash. And crash hard.

My “faithful” friend, who would probably have been 97 in human years, died a couple of weeks ago. An annoyance, but not a disaster. At least, that’s what I thought at the time. I’d suspected the coughing, the passing out at odd times and the slow gait at which my friend lumbered along the ‘net paths, meant the end was near. So a few months ago, I bought an external hard drive, copied everything onto it, and smugly made a religion of CD file backups since that time.

I was covered.

Or so I thought.

My new silicone friend and I are making tentative forays into acquaintance and, I hope, eventually, friendship. Things haven’t been as dire as I’d expected. Until this week.

A crit partner discovered three errors in my novel, On Berryhill Road. Yikes!

I loaded my page layout software, pulled out my latest CD backup of my novel files and loaded it…and discovered the font I’d used for chapter headers was not available on my new computer. Sigh. I found the online company which owns the font, plunked down my plastic and bought it. Installed it. Now…ready to go.

But…the first page doesn’t look quite right. I page through the document and discover it is now only 207 pages, not the 250 pages it was originally. Huh?? How can that happen?

It can happen when the font of the body text is a different version than the one on your old computer, with different settings for leading (spacing between each line of text of a paragraph). And when the leading cannot be exactly duplicated when you load the file onto a different computer, no matter what adjustments you make…..you got problems, honey.

So now, after a search through other typefaces available to me on my new computer, I found one which will give me an approximation of the original font, and I’m going through my document, page by page, changing the font (and for those of you who’ve never used page layout software, this process isn’t at all similar to what you can do in a word processor, which is: select all, choose font, voila!).

Yesterday and today, instead of working on my latest WIP, I’m doing monkey work. Page forward, highlight text, select font. Deselect. Page forward…..

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8 thoughts on “…about disasters.

  1. Oh my, oh my. Way back when I first began work on a novel, I hand-wrote everything in notebooks. I knew that was archaic, and once I reached 300+ pages I transcribed it onto my computer. Ease in editing and saving, don't ya know? I'll think of you kindly as I go out to buy a gross of good pens today, Tommie Lyn. Argh!

  2. Katharine, I'd be in even more trouble if I had to write it by hand (assuming CreateSpace would accept and publish a hand-written file), since my handwriting is illegible, even to me.But thank you for the kind thoughts…

  3. Tabitha, so glad you decide to visit.But, about my recent experience, I just have to say…wonderful, terrible technology. It reminds me of something I've heard men say about women: can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

  4. Tommie – I commiserate you your fate with your faithful friend turning on you in your hour of need. That is such a scary time! All the doubts and panic seem to arise during the restore process…. The searching out of fonts. The refreshing of documents. The re-installing of programs. Boy howdy do I recall those times! That would be what led me to purchase a 4GB thumb drive which I use as my backup. I also plan on purchasing DVDs and using that to backup my pictures and images (very important when you utilize those for website design). I hope your new friend treats you better than your last one. And might I suggest saving the fonts used in each novel in your novel folder? That's what I do now.

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