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Poll: Have you ever been unable to complete a job due to technical difficulties?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:16
SITE STAFF
Feb 8, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever been unable to complete a job due to technical difficulties?".

This poll was originally submitted by Clare Corado

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Angeliki Papadopoulou  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 06:16
Member (2006)
English to Greek
+ ...
Delayed yes, Feb 8, 2008

unable never!

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:16
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not yet Feb 8, 2008

The investment in a portable back-up computer was worth it.

Early in the game I relied on a 24-hour workcentre close by but the slowdown caused by working with unfamiliar equipment got to me.


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Mark Nathan  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:16
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
Falling trees Feb 8, 2008

During a storm a couple of years ago a tree fell down severing the phone/ADSL line. Francetelecom had to deal with hundreds of service calls, and being in the middle of nowhere meant that we were somewhere near the bottom of the list. The phone line / internet was out for nearly a week, which left me feeling strangely powerless, so I did a load of DIY jobs around the house to keep busy.

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Fernando D. Walker  Identity Verified

Local time: 01:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Delayed Feb 8, 2008

When I began translating, I had only one computer which, of course, broke down when I was about to finish the job. Fortunately, I had made a back up of my work and had sent it to my e-mail account, so I could finish it at my girlfriend’s house. I was only a bit delayed, but the client understood my situation. Now, I also have a notebook, a pendrive and take actions beforehand.
Best,
Fernando


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Close calls Feb 8, 2008

Unable no, but as others have mentioned, I have had some close calls. The worst was when I reached the last paragraph of a 250-page document. The document just closed down and a little window popped up warning me there was a problem with it (as if I couldn’t figure that much out for myself ).

I was able to send it off to a computer technician and he was able to restore it.

Wow, that was a close one!


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Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:16
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Delayed Feb 8, 2008

How about blackouts?

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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:16
English to Dutch
+ ...
Faulty document Feb 8, 2008

In the final phase of the work, the document turned out to have so many faults in lay-out and formatting that it could not be finished. Clean-up was impossible and the lay-out was a mess. MS Word kept on crashing.

I still don't know why these problems did not come up right at the start, but in the end I had to practically rebuild the whole document from the ground up.

The document I delivered did contain the translation, but so much had happened to it, I don't think it could still be called the original project. And of course, delivery was terribly delayed.

Another document from the same end client had the same problems, but the second time around, I knew what to expect...


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Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:16
French to English
Back-up Feb 8, 2008

I've had a few close calls ... but I was never late, or unable to complete a job.

Once a short document wouldn't clean up, so I had to re-type it in a hurry (it was less than 300 words). I could have done FR to remove the hidden text and markers, but during that panicked moment, re-typing seemed like the easiest way out. Once I had calmed down, I realized that the mistake was mine, I had forgotten to check the right box during clean-up

Another time, my computer crashed and could not be turned on again. I wasted a few hours trying to re-install Windows and other programs, then finally gave up as nothing was working right and moved to a back-up computer. I was really glad that I had been following a regular back-up procedure, I didn't lose a single word of my translation, only a few hours of my time.

Yet another close call was a rather big project, at the very end my word file somehow became "corrupted", and I was on deadline. I fell back on my most recent back-up copy, which also turned out to be ... corrupted. I could have gone back to my previous back-up and retranslated with the TM, but that would have been time consuming, and I had made a lot of final edits in the last copy, so I would have had to go back and open up all the segments to make sure they were the latest version ...

Finally, I used the word help menu, and did the "open and repair" option, and it worked! Phew!


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Sandra Bertolini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:16
German to Italian
+ ...
"Technical" problem Feb 8, 2008

I never had technical problems I couldn't face (:-) ).

Only once I couldn't deliver a job due to a "technical" problem: someone stole my laptop, my baggage (I was travelling abroad for work), my phone ... and I couldn't really do anything else than calling the client and explaining the weird situation I was living.

I'm not sure if this is a real technical difficulty but it was enough "difficult" for me


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xxxPoveyTrans

Local time: 04:16
German to English
Lessons to be learnt Feb 8, 2008

I learnt my lesson last autumn when my laptop died during a job for a very prickly client...sadly the entire machine gave up so I couldn't rescue anything.

I am now the proud owner of two networked computers, I back up daily both remotely and onto hard-disk just in case.


[Edited at 2008-02-08 16:38]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Almost Feb 8, 2008

Scary, it's almost happened to me a number of times but has never kept me from delivering.

That is, except for one time at a huge conference when the interpreting equipment ceased working, but it was not my problem, it was someone else's. They had to hunt down the technician, he had set everything up, said goodbye and took off (much to my chagrin) and then it failed!

So we just sat there until they found him and he got us on line again.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:16
French to English
+ ...
No .... Feb 8, 2008

... unless going into labour a week early counts as a technical difficulty! Fortunately I'd finished the first draft and the job was for a very good client, so they accepted it un-proof-read.

As others have said, there have been some close shaves though, with computers freezing inexplicably. Nothing I've never been able to resolve by switching to another computer or sending from a friend's computer or library in the event of the telephone line being down. Usually makes me resolve to back up more often, but somehow I always lapse until the next time....


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:16
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I had to resort to an internet cafe... Feb 8, 2008

My computer died at the beginning of a very long job, so I had to finish it at a computer cafe, which cost me, but it was still worth it. With the money I earned from that job, I was able to buy a new laptop!

Amy


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Daniela Koleva  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:16
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Almost Feb 8, 2008

Once I was really unable to finish the job... Well, I finished it a couple of hours later, but it was too late for the client. It was a contract they needed urgently... My monitor went out just when I was about to finish it (two paragraphs were left)... Well, I went to an internet cafe and sent what was done and the rest of it I translated it via the telephone.... (So you can imagine taking my hard disk, going to the cafe with it.... explaining to the guys over there.... Well, later I thought I could find other solutions, but at that moment this was the one that came to my mind....) So, it was half - half.... It was one of those moments in my life when I really freaked out.... and knock on wood... I hope it will never happen again.....

[Edited at 2008-02-08 15:57]


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