I’m playing with Xara on my Macbook (over Parallels) because well, because I have an unofficial requirement to fulfill in our project. I put together an animation that I can’t speak about because none of this stuff is released. Half of the stuff I’ve been putting in the project will likely never see the light of day. So anyway, what started as a quick and dirty image edit session in Xara of the Christmas holiday turned into what I hope will turn into the “new thing” at MapQuest. I get the whole thing put together and find out that I’m waaaay off the requirements spec. Ya’ see I’m doing this splash screen thing and I didn’t know they had a spec. I looked for the spec but didn’t find it. Getting to the point (’nuff babbling) I reviewed the spec and decided that I could do something really similar with Xara and have it finished before day’s end. And that I did. I mocked up a quick animated sequence around what the official requirements doc illustrated and finished just before quitting time. I was a little late so instead of pausing the VM like I normally do, and quitting I decide to shut the clamshell and pack it up. I knew it was a bad idea but I had to get to day care to get my youngest and it was getting late.

Picked up the little one and sped home to give her a snack then it was off to Gymnastics class. I got the little one changed and into class when I went upstairs on the balcony and opened my Macbook. (I usually work on the Mac while she’s in class because they have WiFi here.) I get the spinning wheel of death. Sometimes I can work around it by putting it back into sleep mode and waking it up again. I wasn’t that lucky this time. 3 minutes turned into 10 minutes turned into 15 minutes before I had it and started pushing all kinds of reboot and power off sequences. The danged thing finally reboots OS X and I cross my fingers as I go to launch Parallels. Windows of course needs to boot instead of resuming the earlier session and I begin to get worried. When Windows finally starts I go to open up my project again to see all of my work gone. Either I never hit the save button or my saved changes didn’t make it to disk prior to my closing the clamshell. (I write most of my files to a network drive mapped to a folder on my Mac through Parallels.) The desparation I felt when I saw all of 2hrs work lost. I really tried to be pixel perfect in my revisions! I’ve just been wrought with not only random laptop freezes, but Blackberry crashes and oddities, and desktop drama. Maybe it’s just me. When I use a device I push it to the limits. I don’t just settle with the default functionality behind the mfg software. I gotta go into menu options, tweak and customize. I gotta run and Idea in OS X while I launch Eclipse in Parallels, and screen record with iShowU in one of my dual screens while I invoke a Maven multi-project build over remote desktop and config Outlook filters on the same machine. I gotta do it all, and have it all done in tandem.

when I crash, I crash hard. And boy does it hurt. You’d think I would have learned by now but I haven’t. I can’t be satisfied unless I have all the cool plugins loaded. I’m not happy unless I have groovy automation sending remote commands through a Linux proxy controlling a remote Tomcat instance secured by a firewall while getting hot deployment confirmation streamed as an audio feed using a Text To Speech engine. I have to have this same confirmation played back via WiFi on my iPhone. By the way, does anybody know how to recover data from a Parallels crash?