Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Is the failure of my research at hand? Perhaps, perhaps not. In the stupendous heat, the fan to my laptop stopped running, and consequently my hard drive motor died. I am waiting to find out if Dell will service the laptop while I am in France.

The good news is that I lost only one day of data. I save everything to CD frequently.

More good news: I can also still use my digital camera.

More more good news: I have a nice, extended warranty, and Dell will fix the problem.

The bad news: I will not be able to read the files I photograph until I return home. One of the things I have relied on is making a quick determination of the value of documents and photographing them for later scrutiny. This is especially useful when reading Suetterlin, the handwriting component of Fraktur, the old German script. In the age of popular literacy, not everyone wrote perfectly. Reading on a computer allows me to look closely at words that are not easily read. Besides, with the photographs I can hang out somewhere other than a stuffy archive.

More bad news: I can't access my notes on the files that I have left to read. I'll have to start over with the catalogs in order to find out the tasty morsels that I want to consume. I am especially saddened because I finally broke through the early 20th C French bureaucratic mind. German bureaucrats, when Germany ruled Alsace-Lorraine, worked more readily with private organizations in the areas of cultural and social works -- the empire used associations (Vereine) to encourage public participation at the local level in order to discourage it at the national level. Associational life was not a priority for France. When Alsace-Lorraine returned to France, the French bureaucrats reordered the files, obscurring the evidence of "self-administration" in the process. I was puzzled that I found nothing on monument and landscape conservation (Denkmal- und Landschaftpflege), which was common in every German Land. I realized that I would have to look up each conservation effort individually. Ugh! Now my notes on that are gone

Well, I am waiting to see what happens. Wish me luck.
I am having similar problems with my laptop right now - it needs a new heatsink/fan (~100.00). It just shuts off with no warning.

It seems like you could find somewhere that could fix it there?

Good luck!

See you.
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