I spent the vast majority of this week doing something that anybody who spends a lot of time with computers is probably familiar with: dicking around with my computer. And when I say “dicking around”, what I really mean is “desperately trying to fix the fucking thing-holyshitIhopeIdon’tloseallmyfiles”
I came in to work on Tuesday and for some inexplicable reason, I wasn’t getting an HDMI output signal from my laptop. There’s a good chance I could have just plugged in the VGA and everything would have been fine, but you know what? Fuck VGA. Seriously.
Anyway, this is on a machine running Linux Mint (which is derived from Ubuntu, which is derived from Debian, which is… blarrrgghhh). So dicking about with it is not something that the average computer user is capable of, but I like to think that I’m better than the average user, what with how I’m a professional programmer and all that.
So was I able to fix it? No. No, I was not. What I did do was systematically make things worse. At one point I managed to prevent ALL video output from the machine. Really though, all of it. I don’t think the BIOS splash screen was even displaying. Oh man, that was just fantastic.
At any rate, I was able to backup from some of my most recent mistakes at that point and got the thing displaying on the screen and all of that. However, things were still not working right. Primarily, compiz was completely busted. This meant I could only have a single desktop/workspace, and holy crap does that suck. I’m sure a lot of Windows user’s have no idea what I’m talking about, but once you start using multiple workspaces, you can’t really go back.
Also, the computer would completely crash all the time. So… that’s pretty great.
After spending literally dozens of hours trying to fix the thing, I eventually came to the conclusion that I was just going to have to backup and reinstall everything. Oh man, my favorite. I just love tarballing gigs and gigs and stuff and hoping I’ve gotten everything before completely erasing my hard drive.
Oh yeah, one of my giant tarballs just happened to be busted. Super. It’s a 22 gig file containing everything I had in ~/Documents/, probably nothing important in there. Nope. Certainly not the novel I’ve been working on and conveniently forgot to backup anywhere else.
Luckily, I found a program for recovering data from busted tar files and I’m currently running that. It’s been running for a few hours now and has processed a little over 3 gigs. I’m sure it’ll be done real soon.
So what’s the lesson in all of this?
There is no lesson, sometimes shit breaks and you can’t fix it.
On a lighter note, I’ve learned some useful things having to do with backing up various things on a linux-machine (and also Firefox!). Maybe once I’ve gotten everything settled in I’ll post some info about some of it.