Update on technology or "Damn you to hell, you fucking piece of shit"

I don't ask a lot of my Palm T|X. Keep track of my calender, remember a couple of hundred addresses, run a little weight management software, don't fuck me over...

Can I express a little frustration here? I wrote a huge chunk of text, probably 5000 words, laying out the opening sequence of a WIP. It fleshed out the setting, had a bit of teaser backstory, interesting character and relationship development, a very small piece of puzzling foreshadowing and a main character who gets shot in the head to close out Chapter 1.

Can I show it to you?


Why not? Am I fussy and protective?

No. I can't show it to you anymore because its gone.

I typed it using a folding Palm keyboard with an IR link to my Palm T|X, saved to a Palm 256MB SD card. At some point over the weekend, the unit got jostled and turned on. Somehow, in the touch screen bump and grind, the Bluetooth activation screen came on. I never use Bluetooth on this thing because it sucks power like Lady GaGa.

The battery was run dry, partly from the Bluetooth being accidentally toggled on and off, and partly from having the screen on for 36 hrs.

There was enough power to let me keep typing on the flight from St. Louis to Chicago, although a battery warning light came on every two minutes toward the end. Finally, it went out completely. Sanguine fool that I am, I assumed that because my work was saved to a flash card, it wouldn't matter in the long run. I could just get it all back when I got home.

Oh, you poor deluded child. So trusting. So innocent. So very, very wrong.

I thought I was prepared. I brought along a USB-to-wall socket adapter and a USB cord for the Palm. I found an outlet in the airport and plugged it all in, only to discover that this particular cord links to the data connectors, but not to the power connectors.

Because I was on a roll and I really wanted to keep working during the layover, and on the flight back to Philly, I bought an iGo power unit to recharge the Palm. It was slow, but functional. I gave it some juice as I ate dinner in O'Hare, then turned it on.

All gone.


You heard me. All gone. The file was there, but it was 1k in size and empty. No text.

I've spent the last hour or so running all of the little data recovery tricks I know on this SD card. I'm still trying to think of some way to dig into it. I used to use Norton Utilities for this sort of thing, running disk analysis on the platters sector by sector, reading and transcribing the raw hex code to recover ghosted data.

No such option at the moment.

Oh, you little piece of junk. I use you every day for years on end and you are fine, fine, fine. I ask you to do one simple little thing, and you screw it up.

I will never trust you again.



  1. Oh my. That burns. If it's any consolation your angry rant is wonderful, but that's poor compensation for losing those words, and that flow. *sympathy*

  2. What really pisses me off is that long stretches of unbroken, uninterrupted time are so rare! When given the opportunity to have an hour or so to really get into a groove, the words flow like water from a tap, and the story just flies out as fast as I can type.

    Gone. Ugh, I'm just disgusted. You can *never* recreate those really great turns of phrase that absolutely make a scene. It's like putting the first facets on a raw gemstone - you'll never be able to cut the same stone again!

  3. That really stinks. The other day I lost a paper notebook full of ideas to a deluge that literally washed my words away. Technology or the clouds, it is just a sobering reminder that we have to sit down and pound it out yet again.

    Hang in there, man.

  4. Sorry to hear it lost everything. I wish I could offer some technical help, but all I can offer is sympathy. While I know you were on a roll and the juices were flowing, the scene will come back. Maybe not the same, nor possibly even as good, but it will be back. And, as you edit it, it will be closer to what you would have anyways at the end of the day.

    Not that any of that help...

  5. @Richard and D.Paul: Thanks for the thoughts and wishes, guys.

    I'm trying not to take this as some kind of a sign.

  6. I totally sympathise. I lost about 3,500 words of my WIP in a random backup accident recently. I too know the hurt of losing words you will never be able to assemble in that order again. All the best for redoing this stuff in Nanowrimo.


Thank you for leaving a comment. The staff at Landless will treat it with the same care that we would bestow on a newly hatched chick. By the way, no pressure or anything, but have you ever considered subscribing to Landless via RSS?