Technical Difficulties

Between my laptop being afflicted with a virus and rendered unbootable (with the potential data loss of 10,000 words of my novel, several short stories, two radio plays, two acts of a play, audio data for five podcasts, and too many notes) and my inability to respond to any edrants emails for a while because of the draconian Port 25 requirements (“You can host your domain with us!”) and the almost total misrepresentation (“Actually, we won’t have static IPs in your neighborhood for another two weeks. Or maybe longer. [insert barely concealed laughter from tech guy]”) of my broadband provider, I’m limping along here as best as I can between deadlines. (At least one computer still works!)

The moral of the story is this: Back up your data, and back it up often. And get your broadband quote on paper, no matter what these bozos promise you.

If you’ve sent me an email to the main address, I can read them, but I won’t be able to answer them for a while. I’m sorry. Try arizona_jim at for the next two weeks if you need to get in touch with me in a hurry. I’m hoping to get back to everyone once these technical issues are worked out.

In any event, I hope to offer an update tonight or tomorrow.


  1. Ed, thanks for the chilling reminder to back up my laptop with the portable hard drive I bought a few weeks ago but which has not yet been removed from its box.

  2. Yes, use to backup. It automatically backs everything up—to two free gigabytes of online space—every night. After you get past the big upload hurdle, it uploads only what you’ve changed. I LOVE it. I hope that your novel in particular is all right. That’d be a huge blow.

  3. You might be able to get your data out by using a free Linux boot CD, like say Knoppix or Ubuntu (google them for downloads)
    Those loads the entire OS from the CD, and give you access to your hard drive, assuming the HD isn’t dead.
    If you have a memory stick or something, you can then copy the data you need out to that.
    Just remember to have a virus app ready for that memory stick when you plug it into another computer, in case the files you’ve put on are infected.

    It’s worth a shot anyways. Good luck.

  4. Ed – I’m SO sorry. You may recall that I went through a similar trial last November and ended up losing much, much data of many novels and short stories as well as a lifetime of photos. There is, however, the lovely service of data recovery from the disk doctor, which was a painful few thousand dollars. However — all was restored. For a hefty sum.

    I can’t stress it enough. Back up. Back up. Back up. In two places. Maybe three. It is soul-crushing and heart-breaking to lose your work.

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