Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Succumbing To Entropy (Part III)

What Happened In May, 2005

This last class, Search Engine Marketing, which I took from April 26 to June 6, was plagued from beginning to end by computer problems. I re-installed Internet Explorer twice, along with the last several service updates. I turned to one of my spiritual practices, Sanskrit Mantra, for assistance. Ganesh is the Hindu expression of God that is called the Remover Of Obstacles.

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha

That’s the Ganesh Mantra. I was using the Ganesh Mantra, in earnest, to help get rid of the computer problems. The next day, my computer was running a bit sluggish, so I re-booted. That is, I attempted to re-boot. It would not.

It turned out that the one file, NTUSER.DAT, which contains all of the software settings, had become corrupted. “No problem,” I thought. I would just go to my backup, and restore that file. No. The system cannot back up that particular file while the system is running. So, really, there’s no value for doing backups, except to save user data. I managed to shoehorn together the system, using a computerized variation of the “pound in place, and paint to fit” technique that we used to joke about in the machine shop. But I still needed to re-install most of my software. And it was the final week of the class. And I had customers sending me orders that I needed to fill.

I was super pissed off. Of all the files to be corrupted, the one that holds the whole system together had to be the one. If architects built houses the way computer programmers write software, one woodpecker could destroy civilization. There was absolutely no reason why this should have happened in this way at this time. One tiny little beam that holds up the entire tree house of my system, by homework, and my business, and a woodpecker has to come along and drill a hole in it, causing the whole tree house to collapse to the ground.

It appears that the district manager at the newspaper agency has had computer problems of her own in June. Her computer lost its mind. One day we didn’t have any route lists, at all, for any of the routes. Another day, everything was all messed up, the counts didn’t match, there was new addresses in the route list that weren’t on the bundle mail start / stop list. I never hear the details of what happened, but I can tell when something’s up by the way people act all depressed and unresponsive. The manager took a week off recently.

I wish I could afford to take a vacation. Even if I could, I’d need to find a substitute paper carrier. And train him. Fortunately, I have a second route now. Fortunate? Yeah, I can afford to pay my taxes now. I can buy some time, and go back to building the business outside of the paper route.

Om Sri Angarakaya Namaha
To Be Continued...

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