Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Games - Day 3: The Agony

On Sunday morning, I sat down to make what should have been a quick fix to a web site I authored/maintain. At most, it should have taken me 5 minutes to finish because I had already done the work, and all I needed to do was upload the page. Maybe 2 minutes.

I opened my web authoring software (FrontPage 2003, for those of you who need a good laugh), checked the page, and then closed the page. At that point, for reasons still unknown to me, everything started going wonky.

I can now no longer open the folder containing an entire section of this web site - the largest section that I work on most often, of course. When I try to open the folder, FP just hangs, saying it's "retrieving folder contents," and then it returns an error message saying FP is busy. On rare occasions it will open the folder, but then it will hang again when I try to open a file.

So what does this have to do with the Games? I'll tell you.

I spent yesterday on my computer, creating restore points, uninstalling FrontPage, reinstalling FrontPage, rebooting, reinstalling my entire Office package that was inadvertantly removed along with FrontPage, rebooting, trying to restore (3 times) and being told that nothing had changed (huh?), rebooting each time, cursing MicroSoft, cursing Symantek for causing my computer to take 30 minutes to reboot (thanks to Norton Internet Security), soothing a cranky toddler who was being ignored by Mommy, testing FP and finding that NONE of this helped... AAAAaaaaaaaaaaaagh!

You get the picture. Many hours were wasted. Tears were not involved, but a lot of R-rated language was.

What's the status now? I put a temporary patch on the problem and then gave up. Sometimes a little time and space away from a problem will help me solve it. Adult beverages also help (but none were consumed).

Any suggestions from you web gurus out there? I'm considering an upgrade to Expression Web (since FP is no longer supported by MicroSoft)... would that help? (And while I would LOVE to switch to Dreamweaver, I simply can't afford it. I don't earn any money doing volunteer work, and I don't think my husband will approve the expense.)

So, back to the games. Here's what I accomplished - in the midst of my software nightmare - yesterday:

4. Write, Write, Write!

Tasks completed = 1/2? 1/3? (task C)

Last night, I spent some time writing up an article that I had been researching for a couple of weeks. I still have some polishing to do before I schedule it to publish.

5. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!

Tasks completed = 1 (task E)

For about the past 4+ years, the DAR has been busy digitizing and indexing member applications and "supplementals" (subsequent applications for different ancestors submitted after one becomes a DAR member). The purpose of the Descendant's Project is that the DAR genealogists can have this information available at their fingertips rather than have to dig through files of old applications (which they used to do). Some of this information is now available to DAR members in a special research section of the DAR web site.

I have already entered about 150+ applications over the past few years (and have earned my pin!) but have been on a hiatus for a while. Each participant is asked to enter a set of 10 applications in 10 days, roughly 1 per day. Depending on one's typing speed and the clarity of the digitized image, it can take anywhere from 15 min. to 1 hour per application. Not a lot to ask, especially when the work can be done from home in your pajamas!

If any of you DAR members out there are interested in participating in this terrific project, and you don't know who to contact to get involved, please let me know. More help is always needed!

Copyright © 2008 by Elizabeth O'Neal

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Miriam said...

Sorry to hear about your troubles, Elizabeth. Wish I was knowledgeable enough to help. :-(

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Miriam. I finally did get it fixed last night, and the solution was so unbelievably simple (and stupid) that I nearly hurt myself with the forehead slap!