Category Archives: the battle of the computer

sigh…

so, it has been a couple days since my computer fell back into place, and i can definitely say that the past couple of weeks have been among the most stressful battles of the computer i have ever experienced… and it still isn’t back to 100%. 😠

my external, backup drive mounts when i first turn the machine on in the morning, but if i have to restart it for any reason — security upgrades, for example — i have to completely shut down the machine and start it up from power-off, rather than “restarting” it, because the disk only mounts if it starts up from power-off… if the machine restarts, it doesn’t power-off, and it loses the backup drive when it has restarted.

i am fairly sure that this can be taken care of relatively easily, by adding a line of text to a particular settings file somewhere, but i don’t remember where, and, at this point, i am so relieved to have a computer that actually works at all, that i’m willing to overlook this relatively minor inconvenience for the moment.

wrap up

i got my email working late friday. when i booted the machine yesterday, i still didn’t have my backup disk, and, while i futzed around and rebooted a couple of times, i couldn’t get it to mount. also, in spite of the fact that i had the cable plugged into the right hole, the sound still didn’t work, but i was going to bellingharm, so i figured i would save it until later.

i went to bellingham yesterday. ken and kamala have found a new place to live, but serentipity is going away, after 40 years that i know of. i got home at 11:00 last night, and was too tired to mess around with the computer.

this morning i got up, and booted up the computer, and, for some unknown reason, the backup disk mounted. i shut it down and started it up several times, and i still have a backup disk. it fixed itself. weird… so then i pulled the audio cable and plugged it into the front, where i can see what it’s doing. it worked. i plugged it into the back, and it still worked. so, the sound fixed itself as well. double weird… 8/

also, i screwed around with cron for about 5 minutes total (it actually took about 20 minutes, but it was screw with cron for a few seconds and then wait 5 minutes for the changes to take effect, or not), and got sigrot to work the way it’s supposed to.

so, basically, i got through the whole battle of the computer, and i only lost my fonts and my email filters… and i didn’t lose ALL of the email filters, only the “actions” for the filters… and i didn’t really lose the fonts, but i think they’re actually living on the other computer, which i haven’t booted up since the new computer made its appearance, so i’m still hoping that’ll fix itself as well…

i don’t know why, but i’m not arguing. this is the best outcome i have ever experienced in the battle of the computer, although it took quite a bit longer to come to this resolution than it has in the past.

told ya so… 8P

told ya so… 8P

it doesn’t completely work the way i want it to, yet, but it was 2% working yesterday, and today it’s back to 95%

while i’ve got my email back, it’s not completely working yet, and i’m still having to deal with peculiarities with which i’m not exactly familiar. they’re peculiar enough that, it’s my professional opinion that they may be caused by demons, and may work themself out on their own eventually… one of my email accounts apparently uses a password i don’t remember. gramps works, but it still thinks the media is on the non-existent disk… i still don’t have the fonts straightened out…

but it’s one hell of a lot closer than it was yesterday, when i didn’t have the task bar icons that i usually have, and the K-menu icons that i usually have, and my email didn’t work… and i didn’t even have to convince it to mount the big hard disk, which wasn’t even showing up as being capable of mounting until i jumped through a 3-step hoop in order to mount it, yesterday…

it’s fixed enough that i am not even worried about going to bellingharm tomorrow, but i probably won’t spend the night.

UPDATE 10:30 pm i got email working. it was a combination of trying things in a new way, and demons in the pipes. i’ve even got my sigrot working, although i don’t know whether cron is taking care of running it every 5 minutes. also i got dropbox working again. now all i gotta do is figure out where my fonts went to…

sigh…

i’m giving up, copying the data back on to the 3TB hard disk (which has now been reformatted as a 3TB disk), wiping the machine and starting over. this is ridiculous.

basically, over the past three days, i’ve been trying this thing, and that thing, and not being able to get my email back. i’ve been getting more and more anxious and more and more frustrated, and making more and more anxious decisions which turn out to be the wrong ones, which makes figuring out what went wrong more difficult…

and, the fact is, i’ve got this backup, which is all i really need apart from the data.

today i learned that you need to restore more than just the ~/.kde/share/apps/kmail directory, if you want to restore kmail. there’s a long list of directories and files, but what it comes down to is that if i restore ~/.config, ~/.kde, and ~/.local i’ll get not only all of my mail and contacts, but also all of my desktop settings.

also, i discovered that, for gawd-knows-what reason, the default for a new installation instance of Ark, the archiving program for KDE, is to “Extract Selected Files” rather than to “Extract All Files”… which is part of the reason i haven’t been able to extract all of the files i thought i was dealing with.

the end result is that, even if i could figure out what i need to replace, and what needs to stay to get things more or less back to normal, without a great deal of help, it would take a lot longer than it will to give up and start over.

significantly, i also learned that i’ve got all my shit, and now that i know what to do with it, if i start over, there’s a good chance that i will have everything back up and running, and have it a lot closer to the way i want it, as early as tomorrow.

computer, you’ve won this round, but watch out, because i will defeat you. 👿

every time i think i see light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out to be the headlight of an oncoming train…

the host provider moved my hosting services, and gave me a new IP address, the ramifications of which started on the 21st, and are still going on. literally. i tried to SEND email at 5:30 this morning, only to get an error message from my email client that the RECIPIENT “salamandir@hybridelephant.com” was rejected by the server… and this is on MY server… for some unknown reason, if i send from webmail, it doesn’t happen, but i despise webmail and will do anything to avoid it, because it’s too easy to spam and get away with it if you use the web for mail, rather than for web-related stuff. also, if i use IMAP (webmail), the mail is retained on a server over which i have no control, which means that anyone who can crack into the server potentially has access to my mail… and this is, for some unknown reason, not an issue for the technicians (if i can call them that) from the host service.

add to this nightmare, the fact that i’m still working on getting my new computer set up… it’s taken 3 days to figure out where my two USB drives are, move the data off of them, and reformat them, because, unbeknownst to me, they were formatted FAT32, which can’t see files that are more than 4GB, and i had been storing files on one of the disks that are >7GB, for quite some time. so, once i’d figured out how to mount them (because they had screwed up partition tables) i had to move all the data off of the disk (fortunately i have a new 1TB internal hard disk that was just aching to have ¾ of it taken up with old data), and reformat the drive EXT4… which means NO interaction with windoesn’t is possible — who cares about micro$lop anyway — but it will now see files that are as big as i want to make them…

AND, because of the fact that, apparently, i don’t know how to correctly backup my email files, i’m STILL having to battle with kmail/kontact/KDE-PIM to get things back in line — they still AREN’T, and — you guessed it — i’m having to use webmail to straighten things out, because Mail (on my ipad) gives me this weird error message, and kmail isn’t working…

FURTHERMORE, i don’t have things set up the way i want them on the new machine yet… i still have to figure out why gucharmap doesn’t have emoticons, even though they’re supposed to be part of the unicode standard at this point; now that i’ve got the disk reformatted to EXT4, i’ve got to figure out how to mount it at startup, so that it will be able to use the new backup software i installed; and, undoubtedly, there are a myriad of other, less important things that i have neglected to mention, simply because they haven’t happened yet, which are making my life unbelievably difficult, and leaving no end in sight. 😡