By John Gilstrap
I forgot, okay? Last week, I was immersed in ThrillerFest, reconnecting with the stunning brain trust that is a conference of thriller writers, and I completely forgot to post a blog. Sorry about that.
But this is a new week, and it's marked by both great news and terrible news; elation and frustration.
First, the good: A few weeks ago, I posted a blog that I called Serendipity, in which I recounted a customer service triumph involving the Hilton Garden Inn. At the time, I hinted at a coda to the story, and now I can report that Hilton Garden Inn placed an order for 700 copies of my new book Threat Warning, to be distributed to their managers around the globe. We'll be holding a ceremonial signing at the HGI property in Fairfax, Virginia (near my home) on July 28, and with any luck at all, we'll attract some media interest. I think it is so cool when random encounters end up in such great results. (I've actually never signed that many books at a sitting, so I'll be interested to see how my hand holds out.)
Now for the bad news: Last week, Microsoft sent me a "service pack" update that turned out to be "corrupted" and contained a "fatal error" that required me to return my computer to "factory settings." In layman's terms, I believe that means they poisoned my computer and destroyed 17.6 gigabytes of data. Gone. Poof. Not so much as a "sorry, John."
In an interesting bit of irony, the only way to access Microsoft's technical support is through their website, to which I didn't have access because they, you know, poisoned my computer.
What keeps this from being a total disaster is my new cyber-hero, Carbonite.com. It's a service that's nearly free of charge (a few bucks a month) that backs up all your data every day to their system. After this catastrophic loss of data, all I had to do was tap into http://www.carbonite.com/ and sign into my account. Click a few bottons, and a few days later (that's how long it takes to restore 17.6 gigabytes), I'll be good as new. I hope. (I'm knocking wood.)
So, here's my question for the Killzone techies: Next time one of these service pack upgrades pops up in my system, am I supposed to ignore it? Or do I just make sure that Carbonite and I remain friends?
I hate computers.