Ain’t Technology Wonderful?

I continue to grind away on revising the new UnderTheThunder (UTT) web site.

It has been an exasperating experience, actually.  After traipsing through Inkscape (a public domain SVG editor with power graphics options), I put together the new UTT logo, complete with lightning bolts and natural looking CG glow.

The process took 5 hours, mostly due to an unwelcome distraction: while I was trying to download the site to my primary home laptop, the transfers kept geting interrupted. At first I thought “Gee, yesterday’s storms must have impacted my Internet connection here at home.” I worked until 2:30 a.m., when I was too tired to go on.

I  continued the effort  this morning, but the  timeouts and interruptions got worse.  Suddenly, it dawned on me: te annoying fan noise I’d been hearing the last last week on this laptop was gone. Overcome with a wave of panic, I touched the bottom of the laptop. OW! Way too hot!!

I started a manual backup of the machine immediately, cursing aloud as the machine seemed to get slower and slower, then POOF, it turned off (probably due to thermal alarm). More cursing. Being a computer professional, I have redundant backups run daily, but I’d done substantial work since the backup ran (at 3 a.m.).  I let the machine cool off and started assessing the completness of my backup from another machine: mostly there, but my beautiful new logo was nowhere to be found.  On the Plan B.

After going to make lunch, I checked the laptop and found it had cooled tremendously. I started it up, blowing cool air into its vents myself (picture ‘computer CPR’ … or the adult version ,if you prefer).  After 5 minutes of puffing and panting, I was able to copy the missing files from the laptop to a USB memory stick, gracefully shut down the laptop (before it overheated and before I hyperventilated), and continue working on the backup laptop. Total time lost: 3 hours!

To make matters worse, I was in ‘high gear’ with inspiration moving me along with web site revisions when the crisis struck.  The lost hours wer bad enough (as I have so little spare time and my chase trip is only a few weeks off), but being dead in the water after getting so much done had completely shut down my creative juices.  And I had to run the laptop across town to the computer repait shop to have its ‘fever’ looked at by my favorite local computer doctor.

Ain’t technology wonderful?

I got some of it finished, but much of it is pretty skeletal. TO look at it check out  (Your feedback is welcome, but try to be nice; I’ve had a rough day, especially for a non-work Saturday.)

CHASE2008 blog area set up

Yesterday (25 April), Chicagoland had its first big spring storm event.  Penny and nickel sized hail peppered a few neightboring towns, but Bolingbrook only had a good lightning show and a few brief downpours. Nothing to write home about. (Oh, drat! I just did, didn’t I?)

I can’t wait to get out the the Great Plains this year. I plan on doing 3 weeks altogether.

In the meantime, I probably should spend some time updating my much-negleced web site, post some photos from past chases, some video snippets, and update my online chase ‘toolbox.

Ciao fer now!