Thursday, November 21, 2019


Quick but important question:

Is anyone reading this?  Does anyone care?

I guess that's two questions.

The short version is that I feel like if I shut down Stealing Commas it wouldn't really inconvenience anyone.  No one would care, and I'm not even sure that anyone would notice.

Given my lack of output writing-wise, I feel like that might be the reasonable thing to do.

But those are feelings.  Facts might be more useful here.  So, if you're reading this, please leave a comment saying so.  If you care, please mention that as well.

The long version is after the break

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Quick computer question that hopefully isn't important, but could be -- (deleted files and Chromebooks)

Chromebooks don't have a recycle bin.  Deleted things are deleted.  I deleted what looked like some empty folders.  Then I realized it wasn't showing me hidden files.  So I could have deleted some important stuff.*

Now, they say anything deleted on a Chromebook is gone for good, but I haven't zeroed out anything, which means that that's probably not entirely accurate.  Especially since the hard drive I deleted things from was external, which means I can and have removed it, which means they're not going to get overwritten (unless they already were, which would have needed to happen almost immediately.)

The thing is, though, you can't just install shit on a Chromebook.  It needs to be Chromebook compatible which most things aren't.

Right now, everything but the Chromebook is out of commission, which means that if I want to recover those folders, and the files they may or may not contain, I need to do it using the Chromebook.

So, we come to the question: How do I recover erased files on a Chromebook?

Please remember that I am well aware that there's no native function for doing that.  I'm not asking "Where is the Recycle Bin so that I can take the files out?"  I'm asking, "The files are well and truly deleted but have (almost certainly) not been overwritten, given that, how do I get them back?"

Basically what I need here is either "This is an app on Google Play that is simultaneously: capable of doing the job and Chromebook compatible" or "Even though you know nothing of Linux, you need Linux.  Here is a step by step --leaves out no details no matter how obvious they may seem-- process to recover erased files with the version of Linux you can install on a Chromebook."

The Linux thing is in the beta stage right now, which means it might not work completely properly, but this is the key thing: it used to be that you had to swap your Chromebook into developer mode to use any Linux thing whatsoever, and that process can (apparently) erase every fucking thing you have.  The beta stage "install Linux with the push of a button" function doesn't require any such tinkering, and is relatively risk free.

It also doesn't give you much in the way of control.  There are literally no options.  You push the button, it installs Linux, and you have no input on what that actually means.

(Even if you can't help) if you're reading this, thanks.


* Important stuff not actually from the Chromebook, I was supposed to be copying something, but instead I moved it, when I noticed the mistake I canceled the move, and I was undoing it, but the Chromebook didn't merge the relevant folders so I took a look inside to manually movie the files in the folders into the places they were meant to be, and didn't find any files to move.

I deleted the seeming superfluous folders, and only then did it occur to me, "There might have been hidden files."  I checked, and (sure enough) hidden files were hidden, so I have no idea if I deleted any or not.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I'm terrified, and somewhat sick, and without a real computer, and my depression is pretty bad

Ok, let me pause for a moment to say: FUCK!

I was a fair bit into this post when everything just crashed.  Usually that's ok.  Local storage means that it's saved.  Nothing was saved.  Well, the title was.  So now I'm already crying as though I were a fair bit into writing this, and . . . it wasn't brilliant or anything, but I thought that what I'd written did a good job of capturing what was . . . again, fuck.

I thought that I'd managed to figure out what to say and how to say it.  I thought that I was communicating well.  It's gone.  I don't know if I can do it again.

So . . . anxiety.

Usually my anxiety takes a back seat to my depression.  With depression making me either a hollow shell with no emotions or a despondent wreck, there's not a lot of space for fear.  Sometimes I literally forget I have an anxiety problem.

That's probably not surprising.  It wasn't diagnosed until we made real progress in dealing with my depression because it wasn't until then that it got a real chance to shine.  That progress is fucking gone.

It's two years and nine months (less ten days) now since I fell down those fucking stairs and, basically, reset everything.  If you're reading this, and I'm not convinced anyone is, then you've heard me talk about all that.  I'm not getting into it again.

And on that topic of the possibly fictional people who read what I write, if you do exist and you are reading this, then I haven't exactly been giving you much to read lately, have I?

Mostly it's been sporadic updates like this one, saying the same thing as all the others: I'm not writing much, or at all (depending on the month) when it comes to fiction, my depression is really bad, my financial situation is increasingly terrible (which means that if I don't get help I'm doomed, but there's no fixed timetable so it's a sort of limbo of doom thing), I've been having a series of problems regarding access to medication since July or August (I've lost track) which may or may not be related to my pharmacy closing circa the same time.

All of that crap?  Still true.  Still have terrible depression, still not writing fiction, still need money, still suffering the fallout from the medication stuff.  (Though at least I have all my meds now, unfortunately that hasn't made things go back to the way they were before the problems.)

Today, though, there's something new.  Obviously anxiety.  I'm not sure why today.  Everything that's bad today was just as bad yesterday.  And the day before that.  And the week before that, and (with the exception of my ever worsening finances) the months before that.

It's not like anxiety needs a reason.

Anyway, pretty sure I'm the worst I've been short of a nervous breakdown.  The feeling in my chest is as visceral as an injury or a headache, but instead of pain it's fear.  That's the dread.  The terror doesn't really have a location.

Actually, the terror has receded.  Apparently my "take as needed" anxiety med does actually accomplish something.

Regardless, things are very much not good.

I want to give up.  There's just one problem: I'm not actually doing anything.  There's nothing to give up.

I'm failing to do a great many things, so you might think I could give up trying, but that's a fundamental misunderstanding of the way in which I'm failing.  I'm not managing to try.  I get out of bed.  I attempt to make sure I get enough to eat and drink over the course of the day, and then I try to get to sleep on time.

Anything more than that and I just . . . can't.  Not right now.

I have the lingering remnants of a cold.  Ordinarily it wouldn't be too much of a problem, but with the level my depression's at right now, it's enough to stop me from doing pretty much anything.  I can read certain fanfiction.  I can play certain, fairly mindless, games.*  I can't do much of anything else.

It's not that I try and fail.  It's that I can muster the . . . something to try in the first place.  Energy?  Willpower?  Emotion?  I'm not sure.

So, I want to give up.  I can't give up because there's nothing left to give up on.

I want to curl up in a ball and fall asleep.  Darkness take me.  Then not wake up.  Not as in "die in my sleep" as in "Call in Maleficent so that I can be in an enchanted sleep forever."

I didn't know that "passively suicidal" was a thing until this year.  Now that I do . . . well, I think I said it when I published it.  Indifference contains way more of myself and my life than I ever intended.  It just sort of came out.

Everything either of the characters says about their condition applies to me with the one exception being that it wasn't the edge of a roof for me.  It was the edge of cliffs.  I haven't been in a position to be dangerously close to the edge of a cliff in a long damned time, but back when I was . . . well, the views are amazing, but looking back there's something else that's clear.

I used to think that people who were concerned about my proximity to cliff edges were being needlessly concerned, overly protective, or just worried over nothing.  After all, I wasn't worried.  I wasn't afraid.  I was the one who knew exactly how close I was, I was the one who could feel what my footing was or wasn't like.  Surely I would know best whether or not there was something to fear.

I never got introspective enough, on that particular topic, to realize what was going on.  Falling and getting hurt scared me.  So much so that I always erred on the side of being afraid when I was perfectly safe, not on the side of feeling safe when I was at risk.  Falling and dying, though . . . that wasn't scary.

And that was the disconnect.

I did have more information.  I wasn't necessarily good at judging risk, but I was the right combination of "good enough" and "cautious" that "I'm not at all worried about falling" almost always meant I was well and truly safe vis-à-vis falling.  If this were a case of "If you fall, you're probably get scraped up" then my approach of relying on whether or not I felt like I had something to worry about in the falling department would have been a safe one (to the point of being detrimental, actually.)

But it wasn't a case of whether or not I'd get scraped up and "whether or not there's something to fear" doesn't just depend upon the facts of the matter, it also depends on what one is afraid of.  I wasn't afraid of dying.  The prospect of me dying was frightening to other people.

I think the only thing left is the computer issue.  I got a Chromebook as an emergency back up option.  Primary computer and secondary computer are both non-functional.

I'm really regretting not spending more money to get basically anything else as an emergency back up option.  The last thing I need right now is more debt, but fuck is frustrating . . . I don't have words.

Secondary computer has been having problems with the power jack for ages, that's why I got an emergency back up option, and it finally broke completely.  All of the computery bits are still working, but with no way to charge the battery, it's a paperweight.  Well . . . several paperweights.

Secondary computer's hard drive is now, effectively, a USB stick.  That's good.  What was on it wasn't lost.  Yay.

I would, perhaps, be more enthused about that if primary computer weren't also busted.  (And I'm massively pissed off at myself because it's my fucking fault.)

The primary computer's charger broke.  It was the cord, and if it had been on the outlet side that would have been great, because that's not actually a part of the charger, it's just a power cord.  I don't think I've ever had one of the power cords that connect outlet and charge break.  I do, now that I think of it, believe that I might have once had a dog bite one into three pieces.  (It wasn't live at the time, the dog was fine)

So the cord that's built into the charger broke, which means that the charger broke.  I bought a replacement charger.  Same specifications, same manufacturer, but not the exact same model.  In my defense, it didn't say it needed the exact same model.  It said the specifications it needed and that a charger from the same manufacturer was preferred.

The new charger would power the computer, but it wouldn't charge it.  So I looked that up.  I found out that with the type of computer I have, sometimes after a charger goes wonky things need to be reset before it will work properly with the next charger.

It's a really fucking simple reset too, just disconnect the battery and the BIOS battery.  Somehow I managed to fuck something up when I did that.  I don't know how.  I don't know what.

I just know that now the computer won't start.  I can get into BIOS fine.  I can run diagnostics too, and they assure me that everything is peachy, but the moment the computer tries to start anything else (Windows be it normal or in safe mode, Windows' special "Hey, we noticed that Windows isn't starting" repair thingy, a recovery drive, whatever) it freezes.

It freezes before it even leaves the "We were afraid you'd forget what kind of computer you're using, so we put the logo here" pre-operating system loading screen.  The dots that go around in a circle to let you know that things are happening and the computer hasn't frozen stop moving.  Nothing happens.  Waiting, as expected, accomplishes nothing.  The only thing I can do at that point is power the damned thing down.

The best part of all of this, though, is that the problem I was trying to fix wasn't even the problem.  In spite of not saying so anywhere, the computer just needs the exact same type of charger it was shipped with.  Once you ignore what you're told it needs (and should be compatible) and resign yourself to paying for a factory new charger of the latest design, which is nowhere stated to be functionally different from the previous model, the thing charges fine.

It's just that before I did that I opened up the computer in an attempt to fix a problem it didn't have and, in the process, somehow did something that ruined everything.  What did I do?  No fucking clue.  The diagnostics all say everything is fine.

If I'd just spent the money on a factory new charger to begin with, I'd never have had the problem that led to me opening it up.  If, when the charger that was supposed to be compatible didn't charge it, I'd gone with my suspicion that there was something, not stated in the specs, that made it need the latest iteration of the charger in question, I still wouldn't have messed things up.

Whatever's wrong with the computer isn't just totally and completely my fault, it was also utterly avoidable.  All I had to do was not attempt to troubleshoot it.

And I really do have no fucking clue what happened.  Did I bend something?  Did I accidentally complete a circuit and zap some vital thing not checked by the diagnostics?  Is there some BIOS setting that got flipped on reset and fixing things is as simple as flipping it back?  No idea.

I just want to back up the hard drives before I try to have primary fixed, and that is one of many reasons why I'm finding the Chromebook frustrating.  It's built for being online and storing things on Google Drive.  When it comes to dealing with files on physically present drives, the interface is rudimentary at best.

More than that, though, the way I want to back up the drives is by creating disk images on an external hard drive.  If I had a functioning Windows computer, that would be easy.  I don't.  I have a Chromebook.  As near as I can tell, this thing doesn't know what a disk image is.

Originally I was just going to re-post what I said at Ana's two days ago.  The anxiety, though, seemed worth talking about, and it only happened today.  So I started writing about that, and then I lost everything, and then I wrote more, and now we have all of this.  I haven't really covered what I said over there, though, so I'm still going to re-post that.

From the main open thread post:
Sorry this is so very late.  Depression has been really bad.  I have food and water, but it's hard to think, hard to move, hard to get the food or the water, and hard to remember that I'm supposed to be eating or drinking it instead of staring off into space.

Normally I'd reserve such "Woe is me" stuff for the comments or my own blog, but this is really late and I figured you all deserved an explanation.
And the actual comment:
If there's a polar opposite of keeping on top of things, that's what I've been doing lately.

I've been having problems with medications since August or July, I've lost track. As of last Friday I'm back on all my meds (until the next problem crops up.)

For the longest time it was my most important medication. There's a story there, not particularly interesting (just stupid), but that's not the point. I've been back on that one. It was just that once I got back on that one something went wrong with another one.

So, the one that was most recently a problem . . . it's my ADHD med. It has a nothing half-life. It doesn't need time to build up. I should have been back to normal circa last Saturday. The past week has been just like the months leading up to it. No improvement whatsoever.

So, anyway, getting back to the first sentence in this comment. Someone came by a day or two ago to tell me that if I didn't pay up (within a half hour of being notified) my water would be turned off. I've never been that far behind with a bill before.

Water isn't the problem, though. It's not a major expense and the late fees are negligible.

The thing is, back before all of this (so before August or July) there was something else. I think it was alternating between being sick and exhausting myself helping my sister, but everything's hazy right now.

I don't even know where things stand, but I know I'm thousands of dollars behind on . . . everything.

If you have money to spare, you should probably give it to Ana, but here's my thing anyway:

⁂  ⁂

* Did I mention I have a tablet?  Ana gave me a tablet.  Ana is awesome.

For the first time I have a "mobile device" (though I'm still not sure why laptops aren't considered mobile devices.)  I can play Subway Surfers without needing to borrow someone's iPad.

Ana installed Seedship before she sent it to me (I presume; I don't think it comes standard), and for a while I was saving humanity by shepherding them to a new home, but I'm seriously at a point where "Is this planet good enough, or should I hold out for a better one?" and "Would I rather damage be done to the cultural or scientific database?" is beyond me.

I'm also playing the Gameloft MLP game.  It's not the first time I've given it a shot, but the Windows version hasn't been updated since the dark ages, and I was never able to do well with Android emulators, so attempting to play it on PC never worked out.

I discovered the hard way that I'm not the kind of person who can just play a game like that.  It's one of the the things where you're supposed to play for a little while, set up some tasks that last hours in the process, leave, come back, and repeat.  That's . . . not how I operate.

Without setting some ground rules for myself first (which I didn't do originally because I didn't know I needed to) I will grind the fuck out of such a game.  I'll do the "play for a little while" tasks non-stop.  That fills the space (during which I'm supposed to be interacting with the rest of the world instead of playing the game) between when the long tasks start and stop, and I level up absurdly quickly at the expense of, you know, losing my every waking moment to the game.

Now that I have set some ground rules for myself, though, that's not a problem.

It has a story, so to speak, and thus a substance of a sort that Subway Surfers lacks, but it doesn't have the same kind of choice and consequence and evaluation that Seedship has.

Expanding on the difference from Seedship: you want to do [whatever] it'll tell you how to do it.  For example "Send Pinkie Pie to do such and such; now that that's done, gather this many [thingys]" rather than have you make high stakes decisions, which could result in complete disaster, which will shape the future (or lack thereof) of the human race.