This happened to me just as I was finishing Base 6. The hard disk suddenly started going crazy (I use old hardware), the cursor stopped moving, and the system locked hard after the disk activity died down. I crossed my fingers and waited to see if it would let go, but after a few moments, WindowMaker crashed, taking X with it. I have never seen this happen before.

I was exceedingly annoyed, as I had been working on that writeup for around 20 minutes, and had just been putting in the brackets. Since it was never submitted, I was pretty sure it'd never been saved to disk. At that point it was just text floating in the Enter your writeup field of the page. So I sat there in horrified awe for a few minutes, then, without starting X again ('cause I was mad), I fired up VIM and started re-writing the writeup.

After a few pathetic sentences, I said to myself, man, this sucks. There's got to be something I can do. It was at this point that I remembered that under Linux, all the main memory in the machine is accessible through the /proc/kcore pseudofile. I used less to search the file, and there it was, the complete writeup! Totally intact! Amazing.

So I saved the relevant segment of RAM to disk, started X again, and all was well. The moral of the story is: if you are using Linux, and something like this happens to you, before you do anything else, look through /proc/kcore and see if what you wrote is still there. Better yet, do all your noding from a text editor and paste it in as required.

I hope someone, somewhere is benefitted by this information someday.

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