Technology for Dummies (and hedgehogs)

Like most mothers I wear many hats. (Not literally. I only have two real hats.) Sometimes I’m a mum, sometimes I’m a blogger but a lot of the time I’m just stupid.

Stupid Me gets bored easily.She is slapdash and hates having to wait.

Stupid Me ploughs ahead regardless,  safe in the knowledge that Not So Stupid Me will sort it out later.  Like the time Clever, Creative Me spent 3 months knitting a cardigan in beautiful maroon angora wool. Stupid Me put it in the wash because it looked ‘a bit on the large side’.

Last week Clever, Creative Me was trying to create a flow chart and somehow Stupid Me got involved…

Despite Googling ‘how to make a shit hot flow chart’ + ‘hedgehog in a party hat’ the Internet was not forthcoming.  All I found were boring people talking about boring stuff I couldn’t be arsed to listen to.

Seriously techy peeps there is a definite gap in the market  for engaging  tech guides presented by woodland creatures wearing novelty head gear.

So anyway to cut a long, dull story short I downloaded something that did stuff it shouldn’t and ended up sitting in front of all  the files on my server, and, well, er….

You know those files you shouldn’t delete? I deleted them.

Not by mistake. But because I couldn’t be bothered to find out what I actually needed to do to fix  the problem. Even as I pressed the button I was thinking, this is probably a terrible idea but what the heck, at least I’m doing something.  For one brief moment I felt alive.

Then I realised I had deleted all the content files from my blog and my website was blank.

I felt sick. There could have been someone out there at that very moment trying to find something mildly amusing to read about parenthood and my precious blog was gone.

I called Mr Eeh Bah. I knew he was in the middle of the week from hell at work and I thought – what he really needs is me phoning him and crying.

I was right.

My news cheered him up no end. He stifled his incredulous laughter. ‘You should never delete files from your server, everyone knows that.’

Actually everyone doesn’t know that. I bet if I stopped ten people in the street and asked them about deleting files from their servers I would receive a mixed bag of replies. And I’d probably get banned from the town centre.


People who know stuff about computers and the Internet probably know that you should never delete files from your server but people who set up a blog to moan about playgroup because no one at home listens to a word they say and then somehow end up in charge of their own website, well, they do not know that you should never delete files from your server.

They apparently have to learn the hard way.

None of this addressed the problem of my deleted website. Mr Eeh Bah kindly offered to help fix things when he got home.

Why hadn’t I thought of this?  I had totally forgotten Mr Eeh Bah has a degree in computer science. I could simply put my feet up and wait for him to come home and rescue me.  Stupid Me is even more stupid than I thought.

Obviously though I wasn’t going to do that.

I mean duh!  Why on earth would I ever sit and wait for him to sort out my problem when I have Google and a devil may care attitude?

I decided I was going to solve my own problem and then I would find a willing hedgehog, put a party hat on it and start making technical how to videos with him. (The hedgehog- not my partner with the degree in computer science.)

I watched Dr Sue Black’s Think Bomb and formulated a plan. First I drove to the posh supermarket and bought a shitload of Tunnocks. This is an often overlooked stage of technical support but probably one of the most crucial. I also nearly bought cat food for the hedgehog I did not have but decided against it.

Back home I trawled through endless boring how to fix your website guides. Every answer I found started by saying how awful it is when all your work is deleted by hackers. Not one single instructional video or how to guide entertained the possibility that you may have deleted all your web content yourself because you couldn’t get a flow chart to look quite right.

I wish I had been hacked. Being hacked is definitely way cooler than being the person who deletes things because they were distracted by the lack of hedgehog based tech support available on the Internet.

The next couple of hours were fraught and tedious. Instead of boring you with the details let me plant in your mind a mental montage of me swearing at my computer, eating vast quantities of Scottish biscuits and poking around piles of leaves in the garden looking for spiky mammals.  A montage which is cinematic shorthand for: Installing an ftp client and copying the deleted files from my backup to my server.

I have no idea if this was the correct thing to do but it fuck it. It worked.

By the end of the day my blog was back up and I was shoehorning lessons about the importance of never deleting files from your server into my children’s bedtime stories.

‘On Monday he ate through one apple. But he was still hungry.

On Tuesday he backed up all his files and ate through two pears, but he was still hungry.

On Wednesday he ate through three plums and commented on how you should never delete any of the files on your server, but he was still hungry.

Are you two even listening? There’s a test on this tomorrow.’

At the end of the day I felt weirdly elated like the time I gave birth using just a giant bar of Dairy Milk as pain relief and it convinced me  I could do anything as long as it didn’t involve standing up for too long.

Managing technology is exactly like bringing a baby home from hospital. Terrifying but its surprisingly difficult to really fuck it up.

If I learned one thing from this whole debacle it would be that the stuff holding the Internet together is not as scary as it looks. And that there are not enough hedgehogs how to guides on the net.


4 thoughts on “Technology for Dummies (and hedgehogs)

  1. Well thank heavens for Tunnocks and grim determination. Was on edge of seat worrying for you half way thro. Actually started thinking if I could cut and paste bits from your site I might have on mine like comments etc over the months. Love the idea of integrating computer studies into The Hungry Catterpillar x

  2. You could have emailed me you know…

    But also well done on fixing it yourself. Just don’t purge your database because then you really are fucked.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *