Monday, June 29, 2009

When you want to show the computer who's boss!

This morning I had a long review post done and finished. All I had to do was copy and transfer it over to Blogger when something went wrong and the whole thing was lost.

Every single link lost. All the structure. None of the text left. The air was blue for a good five minutes.

Then I decided to switch off the computer to teach it a lesson and go and draw Rembrandt instead.

I actually went into town to a lunchtime event at the National Gallery to hear about Degas worked (fascinating - more about this later this week). After which I treated myself to a nice lunch and a long sketch of people at lunch - which you'll see tomorrow on my sketchbook blog.

After Self Portrait at the age of 63
pencil and coloured pencils in sketchbook

Then I went off for a tour of the National Gallery and decided to have a go at drawing Rembrandt. So here's my version of Self Portrait at the age of 63. It's not very good - the shape is wrong and the colours are wrong - but it was very nice to just sit and draw in the National Gallery.

I think I might have another go at getting it better.

What do you do when
  • you've just had a major technological frustration?
  • and/or you want to show your computer who's boss?

Making a Mark reviews......


  1. Katherine, it always amazes me how much you are able to pack into your days, and that's without keeping your blogs updated. That alone would be a days work for me. You must be so well organised. I wish I had a female's multi-tasking skills.

  2. I think your strategy is right on the money, Katherine. I used to stubbornly keep trying beyond my patience level, stressing myself out further when things got too frustrating, and generally speaking it doesn't improve anything, even if it's just in terms of being able to think things logically through.

    So now I do essentially as you describe---I slow it down a notch, I take a breather, go for an overall break or switch to something I have really been looking forward to working on so I can feel productive on another level---and return to the problem only when I feel renewed enough for another try.

  3. I kept frantically reading because I just knew when you got home and turned on your computer, there it was!! - a fantasy. So sorry because that is so frustrating but you've mentioned good alternatives instead of beating ourselves up for the rest of the day.

  4. I am probably the most patient animal on Earth... I just start over from scratch. No computer hiccup will get to see me upset!

    An idea: try using Windows Live Writer for posting to Blogger. It makes things a lot easier (no need to copy, for example) and can automatically save your drafts while you work. I love it.

  5. Oh, I was hoping there would be a happy ending too. If I wrote blog posts like you, the air would be blue for a lot longer than 5 minutes! My eldest had a pc for a few years that drove him mad so he developed techniques to cope with the frustration, the best was that he'd just walk away from it and come talk to the family! I think he learned some valuable lessons from that thing, especially during his early teenage years!

  6. Computers and software do indeed teach you a lot about strategies for dealing with frustration

    I was drafting using Google Docs and the automatic save was part of the problem! I cut rather than copied - which was really really stupid of me - and then inadvertently lost the clipboard content and in the meantime the software had autosaved the file....with no content!

    Now I need to be able to deal with the frustration of me doing really, really stupid things!

  7. Oh, if you use Google Docs, it has revision history, which lets you go back to any previously saved point! So you should be able to undo the cut even after it saves the modification. You can get to it from the Tools menu.

  8. Wow - I never knew that!!!

    Thank you so much!!!

    I've now located the version before everything disappeared.

    Well this post was definitely worth doing. I've now got my draft post back - which is an exhibition review of David Hockney's latest London exhibition. I just need to check what if anything is missing and then it can be posted on Thursday.

  9. What a great post and I learned something valuable about Google Docs too. I had a horrible couple of days trying to rebuild my website using the New (should have been a clue--New is just another word for Beta) Web Builder software my webhost offers. After starting from scratch 4 times and talking to way too many useless tech support people in India, I finally came to the same conclusion. I walked away and had a great painting day instead.

  10. P.S. I always compose my blog posts in WordPress, which works fine. Is there a reason you don't compose yours right on your blog?

  11. Yes - the window space you get with Bogger is ridiculously small. Fine if you're writing for Twitter but not fine for me with my long posts.

    You could always try the people who do my website. Very easy to set up and maintain and very helpful support people.

  12. Lol, I had this old computer a few years back. I'm just now catching up to technology. But it was ancient. There cam a point when I was writing a blog and the thang just crashed whil in the middle writing this masterpiece. I tried to reboot and the thing wouldn't even load to the Windows desktop.

    I got so angry I busted the bajesus out of it. Then littaly through it out the window. It crashed on the pavement outside. That is teaching the computer a lesson. It felt so good. I even bloged about it, though the blog isn't up anymore.

    Thanks for this post! It was an excelent read.

  13. Zsu, thanks for that wonderful tip about Google Docs and revision history. That is just super info and I've never used their software very much but will reconsider. I just don't like not being able to save a copy to MY HD. Is there a way? besides a pdf file.

  14. You can download and save a file as text / RTF / pdf / Word / Open Office

    Remember - when it's on the web it's always there.

    When it's on your hard disc it's only there so long as you back up (in an accessible way). If your computer misbehaves you may lose it.


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