Disaster!

What happens when your computer begins to act irrationally then refuses to do simple things and eventually winds up in the backseat of the van on the way to the nearest repair shop? Well, in my case it looks like I may have a new hard drive after a conference on Monday and I’m not expecting the contents of the old hard drive to ever be seen in these parts again.

Too bad. I have through the years run many backup packages to regularly secure my data but in the last few years I realized that only a few of my files and folders are not recreatable via the internet so I have been manually saving my stuff to a large drive on my local network. Last night I brought my old laptop up to date (as far as the old processor would allow) and spent a while reviewing my status. It seems that I have several types of data that are not represented in my backup scheme and I might be hurting for my lack of attention. One big, big one is my eBook collection that has been gathered over the internet for years. The titles loaded onto my iPad are, of course, saved, but all the books I loaded into Calibre or just had sitting in folders waiting for future organization are now memories.

But two points are important to consider: first, the contents of my hard drive might be recoverable, and second, if all is lost it becomes a great opportunity to have yet another radical change in my life. Do I need all that music from the 1950s? Would I ever have read all those pulp novels or adventure fiction series? How many of those secondary applications did I ever actually use?

Yes, a major systems disaster can actually improve your life. Now I’ll have time to write that novel and maybe even run for senator in South Carolina … it’s about time South Carolina was represented in Washington by an ACLU card carrying anarchist with a deep disregard for ancient religious myths.

11 responses

  1. Ah, success! Yes, it was the hard drive but they were able to copy all the data from my old failing drive to a new drive so nothing is lost and life will return to normal tomorrow. A couple of things I noted: (1) the labor to install a new HD is more than the cost of the HD or to rephrase it, labor costs rise while equipment costs fall; (2) using my old MacBook was slow and tedious so I may consider getting a new model [the 13 inch Pro looks awfully nice] but will it sit idle most of the time and when I need it [like now] discover it is slow and tedious? (3) linking a bluetooth keyboard to the iPad makes for a nice digital platform for reading, email, internet, gaming, etc. which is more than enough for most people even as a primary computer.

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  2. Mike, If your computer has a CD or DVD ROM drive you might be able to recover the contents of your hard drive with an operating system called Linux Puppy. It’s free and very small. They have a Mac version (called Macpup) and you can find it here; http://macpup.org/. You’ll need to go to their site, download a copy and burn a live disc (instructions at their site). You put the disc in your ROM drive and if the computer boots up your hard drive should appear as an icon on your desktop. If so then hey presto, your data will be recoverable. I’ve used Puppy to recover files from any number of defunct hard drives (one was ten years old) and it really works. Makes a great operating system too. This isn’t an ad by the way. Might sound like one but it isn’t. I just had to suggest it because mate, you definitely need that music from the 1950s. And Madame Vauquer, I too have far too many books to ever read in my lifetime. What to do? We’ll just have to read faster I guess.

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    • The problem is that the HD is not accessible at the operational level and the hope is that the contents can be copied or saved in a laboratory environment. I don’t know what is wrong specifically but it acts like it is executing each disk seek taking ten or twenty minutes. The operating system accesses my other HDs with no problem. It definitely appears to be a hardware problem with the primary drive. But thanks for the suggestion.

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    • > And Madame Vauquer, I too have far too many books to ever read in my lifetime. What to do? We’ll just have to read faster I guess. <

      I'm trying, Dave, I'm trying. I spend way too much time on the Internet, lol.

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  3. Yes, you do need all that music from the 50s! But I definitely agree about the books. In addition to more books in my house than I will ever manage to read before I die, I have literally hundreds of eBooks. Way too many, but oh, well, never know exactly what we might be in the mood to read.

    Good luck, Mike. Computers can be so frustrating at times.

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  4. REALLY? ARE WE BOTH CONVERSING ON THE SAME SUBJECT, HERE? I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH ANY CYBERSPATIAL COMPANY… AS THEY ALL AMOUNT TO THE SAME THING… AS I SAY – I AM HAPPY WITH MY LUDDITE OUTLLOK, ENGAGING WITH COMPUTER PROGRAMMES ETC ETC – WHEN I NEED TO, NOT OUT OF LAZINESS OR SOME ENFORCED NECESSITY… WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, THOUGH, BEFORE MOVING FROM MY OLD ABODE – I TRIED TO CONTACT THIS MICROSOFT COMPANY R.E. THE ERASING OF ALL MY DATA – WHIHC INCLUDED THE SOFTWARE THEY HAD ADDED WITH COMPUTER I BOUGHT ETC – AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN BOTHER REPLYING.. SO, YES, ALL CYBERSPATIAL COMPANIES ARE THE SAME IN THAT SENSE – THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THEIR CUSOMERS – UNLESS HEY FEEL SOMEONE IS WATCHING… RATHER AKIN TOT HE OLDER BROTHER ROUTINE – WHEREIN HE’LL ONLY HELP YOU OUT IF HE FEELS HE’S GOT AN AUDIENCE.. BEING SICK AND TIRED OF PSEUDO-PSYCHOANALYTICS, I COULDN’T BE BOTHERED DETAILING THE UPSHOT OF ALL THAT ENTAILED…
    SO; HAVE YOU SET FIRE TO ALL YOUR OWN CYBERPATIAL/TECHNOLOGICAL GABBLE ETC – AND OPTED FOR THE SOPHISTICATED ANALOGUE CHOICES???
    HA HA!
    REGARDS
    MIGHTY PEEVED
    JONATHAN

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  5. isn’t life just that little bit more shite when things like this occur? apart from folk trying to bugger up my computer personally… i too have too many hassles to mention r.e. computer closing down without my prompting, computer closing down email box etc etc etc… artifical intelligence and rand go hand in hand – neither of which i believe in… as a ludd i am not enamoured with this technology and mankind symbiotic enterprise thang, maaaan… but i needed the software that microsoft had added to computer – before some twat – intentionally or not (hacking in or via microsoft data erasing itself etc etc) closing down all the wonderous old bbc tv shows that came with computer… i miss the young ones and old dr who shows which came with computer and the such like… but there you go – life’s shite!!!! and so are my fellow people… i am of the view, sir, that had you gone all holier than thou with yer technological nonsense – and placed all data of a literary and musical nature on files, stored on yer hard drive (yes!! so obvious) – then you’d be, fucked sir!!!!!!! uou not having owt to read… not amounting to much myself – being a dole dosser and a lapsed unwashed type – i can be smug and say that analogue is the acme of worth. that is the throw back to the aesthetics that i’m talking about… i would gladly throw all this technological wizardy down the pan along with the rest of my bloody senile family if it meant a bit of peace of mind r.e. personal well-being – neither my family nor technology giving me it – i.e. peace of mind… that new year’s resolution hasn’t bitten yet… i will begin reading literature again when i have moved home… nostalgia is a piece of shit, granted… but this high tech piss poor filth that we are littered with – built in obsolescence they call it – is dissipated in an instant… the analogue – unless yer lick spittle peevish twat of a neighbours go and personally trash everything of an analogue hue – is there to be replicated ad nauseam… i’m gonnna dig out gulliver’s travels….did you know i am named after him???? swift…
    regards
    jonathan
    p.s i’d actually enjoy to see you post a picture of all yer books on their dusty shelves just for the sheer hell of it… as you laugh, glass aloft, amidst burning embers of kindle (pun intended)…

    http://theeklektik.wordpress.com/

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