Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Problems, problems everywhere
This is a long overdue note from me. I've been dealing with several problems for the past few months, each of which compounded upon the other to make one big problem for me. And confusion for many of you.
1. I bought a new laptop in May. I spent most of the summer getting files and software moved from the old computer to the new one, setting up preferences, getting everything to work right. I had the majority of that work done and then the hard drive on the new computer died in the middle of October. The hard drive was replaced under warranty, but the warranty does not cover any file recovery expenses on the bad drive.
2. The new computer is running on Vista and the old was on XP. So, I am still in the process of learning where files are stored on the new computer as opposed to the old (i.e. where do my e-mail files get stored, etc.). As a result some of my stuff had been backed up and some had not yet been backed up. In fact, I had a new backup software program installed and was building that routine.
3. I then spent most of November getting tech support help to recover files from the failed hard drive. And digging out old copies of files from the old computer so that I could rebuild and reinstall on the new computer. I lost the install files for several of my software programs that weren't on CD, along with the some of the registration info. So, I had to revisit web sites, re-download the software, and prove my purchases in order to get the software registration codes. That was fun.
4. One of my biggest problems --- I found out that Eudora (the e-mail program I have used and loved since 1997) is no longer being supported or updated by Qualcomm. So, I had to look for a new e-mail program to install. I settled on Thunderbird from Mozilla. Since the beginning of November I have been setting up Thunderbird, converting my old e-mail to Thunderbird, and figuring out how to use this software. I'm working on new filters and trying to figure out how to automate many of the things I had automated under Eudora (i.e. replies to specific types of e-mails, etc.). My e-mail still isn't quite yet where I want it to be.
5. During all that I suffered another big blow. The one major advertiser that provided the majority of the income for the site changed their terms and conditions in September, making the way they pay commissions drastically different. So, my income dropped 70%. This will have serious effects for me and the site. First, it meant that I could no longer afford to employ anyone to help me on the site. So, my sis-in-law had to go find another job and I lost the only help I have for my site. Now it is only me working on the site alone for the first time since 1998.
6. In April I had been asked to find a new server for the site, so I moved it. As a result I also lost the tech support I used to have for the little tweaks here and there. In October on the TMG cruise I found help (yay!) through one of my genealogy computer-geek friends, Jeri Steele. She and I will be working on updates to the scripts that help me deal with new link submissions, the What's New posts to this mailing list, etc. We're just starting work on that.
7. The e-mail to the mailing list fell behind for several reasons -- the computer problems I had as described above. But, I have also had increasing episodes of inappropriate (waaaaaaaaaay inappropriate) links being submitted each day to Cyndi's List. So, each day I have to go through and remove those before the messages are sent to subscribers on the. And the CyndisList mailing list is set up to be moderated so that I am the only person who can post messages to the list. I forward the clean version of the message to the list, then I still have to go into RootsWeb to release it from the moderated section in order to get it sent out to the list. I'm finding that there has also been an increasing problem with spam sent to the CyndisList mailing list, so I have to sift through hundreds of those every day on the RootsWeb mailing server just to find my own correct messages to release them. What I'm saying, in a nutshell -- just to send out a simple message to you each day has become an incredibly unsimple process. I'm working on ways to re-simplify this.
And last, but not least--I'm a single mother of the most wonderful 10-year-old boy in the world. He is always my first priority. Evan is now in the 5th grade and his life is getting more busy, hectic, and more social as he gets older. Naturally, he gets my attention first, then the site and all of you. That is as it should be.
OK, now that you know why my e-mails have been behind and sent in large bursts to you, you also know the reason why I feel my head is exploding most days. My goal is to have most of the e-mail problems at my end resolved by the end of this year. Thank you all for your patience and understanding in all of this. I'm really sorry for all the inconvenience and confusion it has caused you.
Now, back to the e-mail (and blogging soon),