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Steve Jobs, where are you when I need you?

So yesterday morning, my beloved Powerbook–which hasn’t given me a moment’s trouble in four years–gave a single hiccup and died. Thoroughly. And me with the final deposit of my dissertation still looming (it has to be formally accepted by the university by next Friday), a speech at the Smithsonian this Saturday, and three weeks worth of Medieval World manuscript not backed up.

(YES, OK, I know, I DO back up on a very regular basis. I email my folders to my Gmail account AND I back them up on a thumb drive AND I print everything out. But this last three weeks, what with Easter and whatnot, I’ve been out of my routine. Also I never really bother to back up my email, so if you’ve emailed me in the past two weeks and not heard back, your messages are GONE.)

So I went charging off in a panic to the Apple story in Richmond (sixty miles away) and got myself a new computer. Which is very cool, I must say. Tons of memory and power and a camera with built-in effects mounted on the screen which practically BEGS for you to take art shots of yourself and post them all over your desktop.

(That last one is Ben, by the way.)

The bad news (besides the scary prices of new Macs) is that the techie at the Apple store couldn’t retrieve the data from my old hard drive, so I had to haul it over to a data recovery specialist who is now scanning it–a process which will apparently take three more days to complete. By Friday he should be able to tell me if he can get anything back.

I’m feeling strangely calm about this, mostly because although I stand to lose a lot of research if he can’t resurrect the data, I haven’t been that thrilled with the direction the manuscript has been going. I’m almost excited about the prospect of backing up and starting over. (Or I am now, although when it went down, I wept and clawed at my hair for nearly an hour.)

I’ll post an update about how the Smithsonian lecture goes next week. And although I said in my LAST post that I’d update you about any developing publicity plans, I can’t. Want to guess why?