The Crash of 2007

So last Thursday there’s me, sitting and doing the final rewrites of Extras. And I do mean final, because the manuscript is due to copyediting on Monday. (Yikes!)

Sitting with me is writing companion and corruptor of youth Maureen Johnson. We have a conversation that goes like this:

Scott: Dang! My computer is acting funny. I better reboot.

Maureen: Yeah, mine was acting funny before. This is the evil computer table.

Scott: Heh, heh. Hmm, this is taking awhile . . .

Ten minutes pass.

Maureen: Still spinning?

Scott: Yeah. You know what? I’m just going to go for a walk. You mind texting me when it’s done rebooting?

Maureen: Sure.

Scott walks to Broadway Panhandler. Looks at the coffee machines. Looks at the knives. Ten minutes on, a text from Maureen appears!

You now have a mouse pointer.

Yay, comes Scott’s reply.

He looks at the knives again. Wanders over to the Games Designers’ Workshop store and looks at tiny goblins with laser guns. Many more minutes slowly unfold.

You have a task bar, but no dock, comes fresh news.

I hate the earth, he replies.

Scott, you see, has not backed up the manuscript today. Yes, he is good and backed up last night. But the last two hours were smooth, flowing rewrites! And he doesn’t have time to piss around. This thing is due Monday!

More time passes. And endless non-time, a frozen hour, if you will.

Desktop icons are appearing!

Argh. On my way.

But not before looking at the knives at Broadway Panhandler again. Knives may be needed.

Scott returns to find his computer almost booted. He launches Mail, which takes another twenty minutes to grind into existence. Sends himself the all important Extras file.

Scott: I can’t tell you how much this sucks.

Maureen: I made you an appointment at the Apple Store.

Scott: You are like unto an angel.

They head to the Apple Store.

Genius-Bar Guy: Nothing can be done here. This hard drive is totally pooched.

Is this the end of Scooter?

Dark days for Scooter. And yes, my hard driver is named Scooter.

Genius-Bar Guy: But wait! Here comes TekServe to the rescue! (Or rather, they are a short cab ride from here.)

One new computer purchase and a short cab ride later.

Scott: Can you save Scooter, TekServe?

TekServe Woman: We don’t know. Your hard drive is pretty pooched.

Scott: *sadness*

TekServe Woman: *Smiles wisely, like a veternarian who has put down many a pet, and has seen sadness before.* Don’t worry. We’ll try. Are there any files in particular you need?

Scott: Hmm, maybe a . . . folder called “Extras.” (In which the manuscript has been saved every single day, showing the entire development of the work! Argh.)

TekServe Woman: Don’t you back up, dude?

Scott: Yes, every time before I travel. Well, except the last time. So, maybe last October? You see, I was waiting until the day we leave for Paris. Which is Monday. By the way, um, can you get this back to me by Monday?

TekServe Woman: *raises eyebrow* We shall try.

Scott heads home, saddened. At least he has a new 15″ G4! With a cool new remote control for playing music! (But he has no music, unless he rips all his CDs again.) And a great new version of Mail! (That doesn’t know his addresses, and has lost all of his spam teachings.) And wicked fast Wifi! (But Safari has none of his bookmarks . . . )

It is not the same. Scott works doggedly on the rewrite for Extras, but the larger keyboard is maddening! Key rewrite notes to himself are gone! It is a time of pain.

Then on Saturday, TekServe calls!

TekServe Guy: We have your computer. Your data has been rescued, and a new hard drive with that data installed!

Scott: The crops are saved! If by “crops,” I mean hours of hideous work!

Scott plunges back into the rewrites, full of joy. He is finished just in time to pack for Paris. The world is happy again.

Except . . . why are people banning Maureen? Stupid school boards who haven’t even read her book?

Don’t they know she made me an Extras-saving appointment at the Apple Store?

I am so calling TekServe about this crap. Maybe they can fix it.

First amendment good. Maureen’s book good. TekServe good.

Plus: Everyone go back up their computers. Now.

104 thoughts on “The Crash of 2007

  1. Ohhhh, dude, this freaks the hell out of me. My computer’s hard drive has been making rattling sounds for about a month and a half now, and I am unable to back it up due to backup drive malfunction on BOTH my backup drives. As soon as school is out, I’m going to go fix it, but Margo (mine is called Margo) is rattling ominously AT THIS VERY MOMENT. And it scares me.

    I am very sorry about Scooter. But at least you saved Extras!!!!

  2. Scott, I was just wondering something. With you being a writer and all, when you post things, do you do a rough draft and then final copy of your posts? Or do you just sit down and write it all out?

    Just wondering.

  3. Congrats on recovering your data. My hard drive died a horrid death in March–I was the walking “back up your hard drives” lesson in my school for a few weeks. Luckily I’d just gotten a new computer and had emailed myself both drafts of my novel. I lost a ton of lesson plans, but the novel lives.

    Glad to hear about Extras!

  4. woah!!! almost lost Extras….a very close one!!!!! good thing its still going!!!!sorry about Scooter yes very sadl. at least i have computer tips for the future(plan on bein a author) my computer is just….old. there’s no point in backing it up. but im gonna get a new one so thanx!!!!

    *nice way of telling your crash crisis

  5. OMG! WHOA!!!! Hope all goes better!!! (i’d die if Extras was lost) (evil computure) lol!

  6. I would have had a heart attack!! I remember when my hard drive got fryed (and i mean literally) and i lost everything except for what i had backed up months before. Always back up! I have a thumb drive because of that now.

  7. I’m so sorry! ut in the end all was well, so it’s not too bad. I also have to say that this is abput the best excuse for not blogging I’ve heard in a long time: I was wondering what happened to you.

    Needless to say, I’m elated for Extras, keep up the good work!

    oh, and sorry about Scooter.

  8. oh i should probably do that since i have 708 pictures on my computer..i guess thats what you get for liking photography..i would a contest today and i got a whole wopping $10! haha i had a dog named scooter but he got ran over..

    hope you have fun in paris

    (sorry for not capatilizing its all justine’s blog’s fault haha)

  9. oh poor scott! that must have been heart-wrenching, haveing your baby in deaths way. God that would be horrid. I believe Scooter is to young to die. Wait, is he?

    (im not sure fun is the right word for all the work that will happen there, but o well)

  10. My computer got fried last month! i just got it back(by the way my computers name is Kenzie). but i have to get a new one. i am getting a laptop for my b-day thats only 57 days away! i need it for school and home. my mom gets my computer! and i need it because i am writeing a book and i travel a lot during summer! ( yes by myself!)

  11. yeah that kind of really sucks!! hehe and um atleast you made your dead line right?? thats always good and you still had time to pack for paris!! yeppe

    also maureen…. i read your blog but it wouldnt let me post… actually i read it like um sunday idk?? hehe any way sorry bout that it sucks but the lady sounded like someone from gilmor girls if you wathc that show she kind of reminds me of!! hehe but she does! its true!! any way good luck with that 🙂

  12. Woah. I like, almost died. My friend’s drive crashed a while back and he lost ALL of his art except what he sent to me, and all of our movies that arent on youtube. the loss of a hard drive really sucks. I need to back mine up soon, im getting paranoid ._.

  13. Good story, minus the parts where Extras almost died. I think I would die if my computer got fried. And I have no idea how backing stuff up works …

    Poor Scooter :[

  14. Finally!!! My computer is possessed. It took me forever took get here.It was made in 1998.It almost died thousands of times and I feel for you. Once it decided to freeze and shut down right after I finished a 12 paragraph essay on Sweden. And, no, I had not saved it yet. On the happy side:-), you did not lose extras.If you did, I would have a major bone to pick with TekServe.I have no idea how to back up a computer.:-(

  15. wow, thats sounds maddening! that sucks. oh well, you got everything back, so it was a happy ending.

  16. Freaky! I remember a couple of summers ago my hard drive crashed. It was a painful nightmare.
    Anyway, Congrats on saving Extras! Gotta love TekServe! Have fun in Paris!

    post script. My county banned Maureen’s book, which made our whole school go buy her book. We all loved it! Defy the System!

  17. From personal experience, I’ve to realize computers are evil and spiteful inventions…
    But yet they cause you to become addicted to their uberness…

    They will be the death of us all ._.

  18. Thank GOODNESS all was saved. Maureen is a wonderful person who helps with text messages and Apple appointments! Her book should not be banned. What does Oklahoma know anyway? I’ve been down there. They can’t even get the color for dirt right.

  19. omg that was a truly humorous story.

    this may sound kinda gay, but i am writing a book of my own.

    well like of course it’s not gay because you know what i mean but it seems gay to me because like only two people (my twin sister and my best friend) know that i am writing and they say that it is REALLY good. i am on page 90 of it but like sometimes i get hung up and dont feel like writing at all, but i really want to finish it because i myself think it is excellent (not to be all stuck up or anything because i’m not like that.)

    well just e-mail me or whatever you want if you want to talk about it.

    k’s later

  20. Thank GOD you saved Extras. If it died, many crazed fangirls (and boys) would have died with it. Also, Maureen’s book so should not be banned. It’s awesome! I’m with Dawn, Oklahoma knows nothing. (Except how to fight darklings. They’re good at that.)

  21. hallelujah!!!! extras is SAVED!!! yaaaaaaaay!! it’s a good thing Scooter is better, too…. my laptop got infected by a virus and died… *moment of sadness* but now we have a flat sreen Dell pc which is awesome!!! so im getting better… gradually… ok, so it’s not getting much better, but the flat screen is a good replacement… for now….why should maureen’s book be banned?!? that is sooooo not cool….

  22. wow close call. Well fist i had a used laptop from my dad it was way old it couldnt use xp it was old faithful. then i got another used laptop cheep cheep i could barley get xp on that one it got the blue screen of death (scary hense the name)it was called old brrruwwwwwww .then i got a brand new shiny one named Mr. Lappykins(wich im useing now)

    that would suck if extras was lost (i already preordered) hey how come TekServe Woman reminds me of dr.cable (tech. i guess)

  23. If Extras died…so would I. My computer sucks. It’s sooooo slow, even though it’s fairly new. =(

  24. Oh, gawd Scott! You scared me soooo bad!! For a while there I was thinking Extras might go poof! AH! I would die!! Very suspensful story… savannah liked.

  25. Glad you recovered your work. That would have sucked complete donkey butt, so to speak.

  26. Omg! I am so glad that you got the data back! You are so lucky. I have been counting down days until the extras come out only 154 more long days of waiting. Can’t wait!! Thanks for the AWSOME books Scott!!

  27. That kinda thing happens to me all the time! I know how you feel, much sympathy for the stress, but YAY! *mutters under breath* “I despise computers”

  28. I completely despise my computer. I spent like six hours attempting to download two cds on to my ipod. (Arrg!) Then for some reason it kept telling me that I was logged on, when I wasn’t, to the internet. Then it freezed on me, and I lost like a page or so of this story I’m working on. Let’s just state this load and clear: All computers are evil!

    By the way, I’m bery happy that you got all your data back, and that Scooter is up and running.

  29. Yikes! Glad you were able to save Scooter.

    Yeesh, looks like I’d better learn how to back up Funyan before something horrible happens. o.o

  30. Wow, I can’t believe they would ban that book. Not to mention I had no idea that you and Maureen were friends, although I am still reading through your blog archive when I have time. I love her books, and even if I don’t support homosexuality, I don’t fight against it because it’s not my choice to make. I hate it when they ban books, especially some of the more educational ones. I don’t know if they actually went through with it, but our school was strongly considering banning First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung, which was one of the most impactful books I have ever read in my life. America just seems to be falling apart…

  31. scott, where were you when you blogged this. my computer at my house crashed and my dad is unable to get it working. it has almost all of my mom’s pictures saved on it from the last 2 years and i need them because i have to do a 50 slide show prestation about me and i need those pictures.

  32. I know this dosent have to do with this blog but i thought you would see it first just so you know i love the trilogy and am sad to see a new character i wish one day you will find time to make a book with tally still the main characters and explain what happened to them after. every one was sad about zane [[i was too cried forever]]] but even then i always wanted david and tally to be together the whole time at the end you said they were together but i want to know more although you wrote that it didnt seal that they were really together as a couple …i know your very busy but if you could respond some how im sure it would be really appreciated.. i dont even know if youll read this…PS. your triliogy is not at the top of my book list they are the BEST books i EVER read in my life

  33. I agree with Mariah. I am SO glad to see them togather, but when Zane died, that was hard to get over. But I can’t wait for the extras to come out!! I’ve been counting down days!! Only 154 more!! EKKKK!!! I can’t wait!

  34. OMG i would cry for a month if Extras was never published! My computer got fried a few months ago but my dad(computer guy) recovered our data! yay!

    btw i reread Specials yesterday and cried even more than the first time….i think it was cause i knew what was going to happen and i felt really really bad for Tally

    Have fun in Paris!

  35. I’m so sorry about Scooter! A bit of advice though, i have found that naming electronics tends to give them a presonality, which normally makes them crsh or do stupid stuff. my first cell phone’s name was jenny, who was very lazy, and the thing never wanted to turn on or charge and would shut off for no reason. My current phone, Anchovy Sardine is a hyperactive little thing that randomly beeps and vibrates and all sorts of crazy stuff.

    Also, i have not read Maureen’s book yet, but i read her blog about it. That mother has no right to remove a book at a high school library. I attend a jr/sr high so they have to be a little stricter since we have 7th graders yet i have read much worse than what maureens says her book is about from my school. also why is homosexuality such a bad thing? Many of my friends are gay or bi and i love them just the same. banning books because they contain certain types of people as characters is teacking us to hate. and that mother needs to let her daughter go a little! she cant control everything her daughter will do forever and cant hide her from the world

    i am so glad extras was saved. i would have died if that book was lost!!!!!!!!!

  36. OMG!!!! I am soooooo glad that Extra’s was saved!!!! I would have gone CRAZY if it hadn’t been!! And by the way I thought that I was the only person on EARTH to count down days for a book!! But i’m not!! lol I’ve been counting down for a long time!! I started at 172…. but anyways I am so happy!!! :):):)

    Have fun in Paris!!!

  37. This seems to be the Week of Shot Computers, eh? My computer–filled to the brim with my writing, my 187 page story, my new story and countless other masterpeices–had stopped working! Arg! Can you believe it? Luckly I have everything backed up but now I have no computer 🙁

    But I’ve found one I want! It’s pink and supports Breast Cancer reasearch. Did I mention that it’s pink?

    Good thing Extras was saved!


  38. That SAME THING happened to my OS 10! We had to download the hard drive onto an external (extensive techno babble here) and then it started working again. Mabye, a virus that gets Mac’s? Or aliens! …Zombies!!!

  39. Wow, and to think that twenty minutes prior to me reading your post, I was freaking out about nearly losing a five-definition assignment for English.
    Yeah, I wish I had backed up my computer before it died and we got a new one.
    I had written a lot on that computer. Lots of stories.
    They weren’t great or anything, but they were fun to look back at and read…
    Sigh, now this subject is getting me depressed.
    I would very much like to name my computer.
    I’ll get back to you when I have a name.

  40. Thats so cool that everyone has a name for their computers!! LOL 🙂 The reason I couldn’t do that is because I would forget the name, and then I would rename it, daily!!! So there would be no point in me naming it!!!

  41. This is off-topic, but today I saw a guy with Scott’s exact face. I thought it was him for a second, and then I remembered that 1) Scott was in Paris, and 2) that guy was wearing jeans.


  42. My computer’s name is Fido. My laptop’s name is lapdog. That is what you get when your father names computers late at night. Bah.
    I am currently reading the book that has been banned by the insane school board. Why must they be so ignorant?! If you ban a book people will read it even more! Don’t they see? It’s just like those “do not open” signs. You know someone will open whatever it is that is labeled as a unopenable thing.

  43. Oh, poor Maureen. I totally love Maureen. Aww. That saddens me.

    It’s like this our stupid schools can ban Maureen’s books and all that other stuff but they can’t even ban their students from cussing out teachers or wearing skimpy clothes. Stupid public schools.

    Well, I’m glad that you got your computer fixed and Extras saved. I would be terribly, terribly bummed if you didn’t.

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