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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Debilitating Computer Problems

Hello dear readers!

Over the last week and a half, I’ve had the most incredibly debilitating computer issues.  Last Friday I stayed up literally all night, trying to make my tried and true old Macintosh continue being The Little Engine That Could.  I worked for days to resurrect it!

But alas, my old computer died.  Kaput.  And with it, most of my data.  :(  I know, my husband would say as you do:  why didn’t you back it up?  Time, time, time….  Always there is something else more important!

So now, I have a new computer.  But I made the mistake of transferring a bit of data from the old computer, and now the new computer is corrupted.  And so the vicious cycle continues!  Ack!  I sat down to finally start writing for you all again, and the wonderful, new computer wouldn’t work.

I’m writing a few words on my old old laptop, that won’t work without being plugged in ever second, and even then it’s only sluggish.

Such is my world as we enter Spring.  Two weeks ago, my glasses broke while I was cleaning them – just right there in my hand.  The next week my phone dropped while I was rushing to work, and shattered the face.  And last week my computer died, and with it my data.

shattered-glass

Simple things in the scheme of things, but already both time and money were tight.  If you’d like to help this dear blogger, there is a donation button in the right sidebar, toward the bottom.  It will help a great deal.

Ultimately, I will survive.   Today before work I shall fly to the computer store, fingers crossed, and hope it’s a quick fix so I can be back up and running.  And writing.  I do love to write!!

Until then, please continue sharing what the most difficult thing is for you as you live your sustainable life.  There are some great comments started here, and very interesting ones on Facebook.  I have plans to tackle the biggest ones together, one by one.  So please add yours!

Yours, temporarily debilitated by technology ~

Melinda

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18 comments to Debilitating Computer Problems

  • Lori

    Oh no!! I’m sorry that all things electronic have conspired to take some time off in the same week. Maybe we (and by we, I mean Rob) can help you set up a system for backing up your new computer when you have it back up and running? Good luck!!

  • Oh, can i empathize…my home system caught a virus last weekend and it was like my world fell on its ear. By the grace of somebody, we were able to purge it without shelling out the ridiculous amount of dough that your average GeekSquad or CompUSA desires for this service, and I’ve learned a valuable lesson about backing up my personal data. Why is it always the disasters that bring these lessons home? Alas…good luck remedying your technological snafus.

    Garden update: Tomatoes and peppers still alive (woohoo!), but craving real sunshine. Ducks still on porch. Replanting and adding seed to marjoram and catgrass this weekend; they’ve both stalled.

    • Melanie J, thanks for the good wishes – I’m glad you fared better!! Catgrass – that is something I need to plant on my balcony I think – my cat thanks you for mentioning it. :)

  • I lost my hard drive a while back (and, no, had not backed up anything but the photos from the previous year). It seriously was like a death in the family. Good luck getting back on track.

    I did email you but totally understand why no response. I will reach out again when I get closer to project time and give you time to get back on your (technological) feet.

  • Sorry to hear of your troubles. There is nothing quite so frustrating as technology misfiring.

    I think the hardest thing about living my increasingly sustainable life is finding the balance between time and money.

    For the last couple of years I have had all the time I need to do things the way I want to do them.. but the privilege of that time has come at the expense having the money to make choices we believe we need to act on. I have come to the conclusion that our current situation is simply not sustainable from a life pov.

    We need more money to allow us to do a few community education courses, make improvements on the property and not have to fret, quite so much, when something small goes wrong that requires spending money.

    Thus now I am looking for a job. The problem is finding on flexible enough so that I get enough money to buffer us without having to give up all the time I currently fill doing a lot of really fulfilling and worthwhile things. I am honestly not sure just where that balance is going to lie but as with everything else you have to give it a try and see how it all settles through.

    Kind Regards
    Belinda

    • The balance between time, money, and sustainability has been one of the most difficult aspects for me as well, Belinda. Good luck with the job search – I hope you find something you enjoy, that works well with your lifestyle!

  • Oh dear. Trouble comes in clumps, doesn’t it?

    I have recently been dealing with some serious health issues, and part of my recovery revolves around slowing down. I’ve started meditating. The book “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron has been a great comfort to me. Things fall apart, they come together, they fall apart again…that is how life goes. Meditating on this and learning to accept it in regards to my health is going to help me with the more every day aspects of my life. It’s a matter of perspective. I hope I can remember this the next time I go spinning off into a crisis.

    Having a spare pair of glasses has saved me more than once. I can still see out of an old pair, so I keep them handy. You’re talking about backups…maybe part of living frugally is being prepared. What other sorts of backups and plans are good to have? How can you make do and solve problems with what you have on hand? Or change your perspective so the problem isn’t really such a problem?

    Best wishes to you,
    Deb

    • Deb D, I worked on a film a few years ago, about Trungpa Rinpoche, and Pema Chodron was one of the main interviewees. Very interesting person.

      I bought an extra pair of glasses, and am now regularly backing up my computer. Very insightful thought you have: “maybe part of living frugally is being prepared.”

      Best wishes to you and your health as well.

  • Bummer! Hope everything is up and running again soon. :)

  • Becky

    Hi, there,

    I’m no expert but it should be fairly easy to “wipe” the hard drive of your new computer (since there’s nothing much on there but pre-installed programs which, presumably, should have been included on dvd/cd along with your computer, for re-installation.

    After that, let this Frugal Person Who Doesn’t Send Unnecessarily recommend an expense that’s worth making: http://www.mozy.com will back up all your files, “in a cloud” (aka on the internet) via a secure upload, while you sleep, when your computer is inactive, on your own schedule, and you NEVER WILL LOSE A FILE AGAIN.

    Set it, and forget it, so to speak. It’s about $10 a month (but I have it on two separate computers) and well worth it, for peace of mind, in my humble opinion.

    • Becky, Mozy. Indeed! Thanks for the advice. Fortunately literally 2 days before my computer crashed, I’d set up Mozy. I hadn’t fully backed up everything, but I did back up the core essentials. :) Phew! I am also going to set up a backup onto an external hard drive… because why not be twice as prepared??!

  • [...] ShampooStephanie on What Is The Hardest Part About Living Sustainably, Frugally, or Green?Becky on Debilitating Computer Problems Accomplish Your Dreams You made goals or resolutions for 2010. You have life-long goals, ambitions, [...]

  • Topi

    Hi,
    I am enjoying your webpage. I got here when looking for info of chitting potatoes.
    Recently I installed a free Ubuntu (version of Linux) operating system as second operating system in my computer. It will run when Windows is crashed or gets a virus. Linux systems rarely get viruses. Ubuntu is free and the philosophy aligns very well with the green one. Please check out their web page and consider using it as a second system. It does take a little bit learning and a mind shift but thats what your page is about also, isn’t it.
    Greetings
    Topi

    • Topi, I did something similar: I partitioned my hard drive and installed a slightly older operating system, so I can restart in that mode if I need. Ubuntu sounds very interesting. Do you know anything about its cloud computing capabilities? We are starting to look for such a program for my business, as we are outgrowing our cobbled-together system.

  • [...] you all know, my beloved but old computer went kaput a few days ago.  When I took it into the shop… gasp… they called it vintage!  It was [...]

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