In the middle of my panic about losing a heap of data, Steve sent me this link.
I remember an older and wiser colleague once telling me that you could track the disintegration of a project by the equipment that was being installed in the office. I don't know if it still works this way, but it used to be that all projects started by installing desks and computers, then as the schedule slid, and the working days got longer, they brought in coffee machines, then toasters, fridges, microwaves, and finally mattresses. (One of the big advantages of doing this stuff at home is that all those are already to hand).
These things are funny because we recognise a truth that isn't so funny, but they are the kind of comment that helped skewer me to my original plan, and stop me from just walking away. Now I have (pretty much) all the data back, and a (pretty much) working network. And Chris should be pleased that I've also got a working copy of Linux, that hosts a working GIS database, which I can access from elsewhere on the network.
So I'd say that standards for success didn't slip much at all. I lost a little bit of data, through my own incompetence. And for some reason that I can't fathom we are unable to use one of the printers from an old Windows laptop. Otherwise we are not just back where we started - some progress has been made.
In some ways this has all been a bit of a blast from my past. I may not be a technical wizard, but at least I've still got that stubborn determination not to be beaten by some stupid machine (whatever it costs in lost sleep).
Until I mess it all up again, I am going to give myself a little pat on the back, then get to play with my new GIS database.
Oh heck, that'll be after I've done the tax form.