I’d emailed Nathan over at Speaking Out on Life* last week and received a reply that he was glad I’d contacted him because he’d had a hard drive crash awhile back and lost all his contact info. I booted the computer Monday morning before taking the kids to school and when I returned, sat down to check e-mail.
Not as in no mail, but no response when I clicked the mouse, keyboard, or anything.
Great. Check batteries. They’re fine. Perform a hard shut down, wait a few minutes, boot the computer again.
And get the Blue Screen of Death.
What is this, a copy of Win95 that somehow was slipped onto my computer when I wasn’t looking?
Reboot and get the same thing.
Stare at the computer and grumble that I have better things to do than spend time getting the computer back up and running, like, oh, writing and voice-over stuff.
So I reboot again and see if the computer will pull itself into Safe Mode. Then I try System Restore (the computer was working fine Sunday).
And get the same BSD.
This is just wonderful.
So I reboot into Safe Mode and spend the next couple of days transferring everything off the hard drive that I’ve downloaded, written, or voiced over the past couple of months. And yes, it did take a couple of days simply because A) I’d dumped more on the hard drive during that time than I’d thought, B) transferring anything off the drive in Safe Mode is an agonizingly slow process, and C) I decided since it looked like the techno-deities had decided to shoot my week away I might as well hop back on the console and play Dragon’s Dogma again.**
Awhile back I’d pointed out some of the problems with the lack of control over pawns in the game. As soulless beings in the world of Gransys (the setting for Dragon’s Dogma) they operate on the level of dogs or other pet-like animals, following the Arisen (your character), running ahead if that’s part of their “character” or if ordered to with the Go! command, which of course, I think of as Fetch! Or coming back to my side with the Come! command. “Come here, Fido! Good boy.”
Unfortunately, they can’t receive direct commands, such as, “Cast the maelstrom spell on that group of bandits approaching us,” or “Pound the chimera with bolide” (a meteor-storm spell), but instead confront the more heavily armed and armored types in one-on-one combat. Even if the pawns in question are spellcasters and should be hanging back as far as possible from guys waving around large instruments of death or giant, multi-headed monsters that want to eat them.
This week I discovered that another irritating tendency of theirs—jumping over fallen logs, treasure chests, rocks, and so on—can lead to their direct demise, especially when said chest sits at the edge of a steep drop.
My party was wandering through SoulflayerCanyon when I approached a chest sitting at the tip of a narrow ledge. I opened the chest and two of the pawns jump over the chest going, “Look at me! Look at me!” When I turn back around, I have only three pawns following me. The other had disappeared entirely. No hovering at death’s door and could I make it down fast enough to revive the stupid jumper. Just gone.
Fortunately, my son came to the rescue again and asked when I’d last saved (only a fighter or two previously), so I was able to exit without saving, reload, and recover the pawn. I did so, re-fought the encounters, saved again (once determining that a pawn hadn’t taken another nose-dive off a nearby cliff), and approached the chest again, which I opened then backed away as quickly as possible. This time the pawns didn’t jump around.
The next ledge up, though, both my main pawn and a secondary pawn did their leaping act and wound up far below, crying out, “I can’t take this much longer” as their life bars hovered at death’s door.
Oh, my computer is now recovered. Seems there was a conflict between an updated AV program and the firewall. Once I uninstalled both, reinstalled one and replaced the other, things are running as normal. Still slow, but running.
The dino-computer still lumbers on.
*Nathan split his original blog, Speaking Out (in Class), apart a few weeks back. He now runs Speaking Out on Life (linked above) and Speaking Out on Sex, the latter containing all the mature-themed posts that had been lumped together with everything else in the original blog.
**Any excuse to play video games is a good one, in my opinion.