Breaking the logjam

· Miscellany

As my to-do list grows (book project, consulting projects, conference coming up, taxes to do soon, clients deals to do, and more) I’ve had one of those two or three day periods of just trying to do the same things over and over. First there was a recalcitrant zip file that was showing up corrupted on my client’s FTP site. I tried re-sending it. I uploaded the uncrunched files individually. Still no luck. Finally, I downloaded the file again and e-mailed it last night and got the confirmation this morning that it came through OK.

This shouldn’t be a big deal but this one file transfer was holding up a huge project and making me later and later. It was very frustrating. That zip file was also the last significant bit of data from my old Phoenix desktop machine that ran my downtown office from about 1998 to about 2000. At this point I’ve liferafted everything off that machine and am ready to wipe it and then donate it to the Oakland schools. It’s only a Pentium “pro” but it should make somebody a good Linux server. I’d keep it for that purpose myself but it’s just too friggin’ big. One of them old towers. It’s got two ethernet cards in it (one was for the Internet connection – first ISDN and later DSL – and the other was for my old office network, before I had a hub.

The other problems involved some beta software I’m testing. It’s running on a new/used/refurbished thinkpad I bought on eBay the other week (my first eBay purchase ever). I was having a setup/configuration problem and literally spent days reinstalling and retrying the same configuration steps and variations. Hour after hour while all my other priorities slipped by unattended to. Finally asked some authors on a mailing list for help last night out of desperation. This morning the advice came flooding in and something simple I somehow hadn’t tried worked like a charm.

I feel like I’ve come unstuck from molasses, ready now to go back to knocking off to-do items (after I go grocery shopping this morning, that is). It got so bad there that for the last few night I’ve been dreaming about zip files and server hierarchies.

Then this morning another call out of the blue about a small consulting project (white paper) I had discussed with former colleages literally months ago. They’re ready to run with it now. When it rains, it pours.