I can’t remember the last time a computer problem left me feeling this sick.

I’ve been using Microsoft OneNote 2003. The idea is that I would retire all of the paper notebooks that I use in favor of one digital one. Sounds good in theory.

OneNote is a cool program, optimized for notetaking, especially using digital ink on a tablet PC.

Tonight I had a crash. The component file containing my daily notes for my factory client somehow got corrupted.

The good news is that I only lost three days of notes; Friday, Sunday, and today. The bad news is that Friday and today represented a lot of notes, including work I did while on site and requirements for significant work I need to do on the financial system and for one of the sales departments. Oh, and billing information; on- and offsite times for Friday and today. The billing information I can more-or-less reconstruct, in the client’s favor, of course; lost revenue there, so what? The notes relating to work I did on the three days don’t really matter; the client trusts me to provide honest value for my billings without my providing a synopsis with my invoice. FWIW, the work-done notes are for me. Sure, I’ll miss ’em; ultimately inconsequential, though.

The to-do notes… I’m hosed. Absolutely hosed. They represent two or three hours of sitting with various people, gathering requirements. There is no way to fully reconstruct them without sitting down with the stakeholders again.

Of course, I’ve been up and down the Microsoft support site and tried everything I can find without success. I guess tomorrow I’ll actually call the paid support line in hopes that they can get me going. My partner status may get me a support call for free; let’s hope so, though I’d gladly pay quite a bit for this file back, intact. I don’t have much faith that paid support will really help, though; the knowledge base articles listed three solutions to my problem and none of them worked.

I guess if I’m going to try to stay with OneNote rather than paper I’m going to need to work out daily backup procedures for this application… Not sure that’s enough, though; I’d still have lost today’s notes.

It’s been at least a decade since I’ve personally experienced an issue with this much impact. The funny thing is, I was just considering earlier today how my opinion on Microsoft products had recently changed in a positive way. Premature, I guess.

Urp.

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