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Let That Be A Lesson To You (Part One)

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Bloviating Zeppelin: Let That Be A Lesson To You (Part One)

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Let That Be A Lesson To You (Part One)



There I was. Fat and happy, upstairs, typing, minding my own business. I started to access my e-mail and then boom. It happened. I never thought it would happen to me. It always happened to someone else. Yeah, right. I know better now.

I have a custom-built computer. It's got a zippy mo'board, zippy processor, clear case with cool multi-colored lights winking inside (looks spiff at night!), a flatscreen, an 80-gig hard drive and a gig of ram -- acquired when a gig of ram was bordering on apostasy (You have a gig of ram??!!? HERETIC!) As an aside, these days a gig of ram and $5.75 will get you a fluffy Overeducated White Person (OWP) coffee.

And then it happened. The mail wouldn't open and the whole thing locked up tighter than a B-1B bomb bay. From there it went into one of those impossible circadian loops where it said "Hit F1 to continue" and, natch, when you hit F1 the entire confuser would re-boot back to the Dreaded F1 screen once more. I was actually smart enough to realize I had a problem.

So I pulled out, extracted, removed, unscrewed, unplugged and detached roughly 2,439 wires of every design and color, thick and thin from the rear of the box, tagging none of them because I do, in fact, Love A Mystery. Trudging downstairs I felt somehow. . .betrayed.

When I arrived at my computer store, I described the horrible cycle of events and, heck, while I was at it, asked them to upgrade the beast to USB 2.0. Shoot, its entrails would already likely be draped all over someone's test bench anyway.

Was it a dead processor? Tanked mo'board? Nasty virus? No sir, no ma'am; failed hard drive. As in dead dead dead.

Well, I pick up my confuser this Friday -- to be $647.30 lighter in the shorts than when I was issued from my house at the beginning of the week. And after doing some research I realized: know what? I think I got off light. I checked the net and it looks like what ranked in the 3-digit category could have moved into the mid 4-digit category. Like, oh, $4,000 or so. Like from a digital recovery service.

What did I lose, you ask? Well, that would be every digital photo I've taken in the past 5 years -- about 50 gigs worth from a 5.1 mp camera (Sony DSC-707 -- great camera!). Vacation photos, family photos, landscapes, nature shots and, oh, some obligatory train shots (those who know me will be shocked to read of this). As well as a Great American Novel or three. And my valued copy of Elf Bowling.

But Chris at Sundance Computers was a peach and spent the next week, day and night, in the cold, in the snow, in the driving rain, extracting information byte by bloody byte. This is no lie: he actually had to toss the hard drive into the freezer in order to keep working on info extraction. He was able to resurrect most, if not all, of the photos I wanted. And for less than $4,000. Of course, I won't be able to buy shoes for my pregnant cat. But she'll get over it.

So: let that be a lesson to YOU! Hard drive failure: who, me? I'd dodged the bullet for years but now I can tell you: back up your stuff, Jack. Buy one'a them new fangled external drives. Heck, burn a buttload of CDs if you have to.

Hey; why did I title this entry "Let That Be A Lesson To You (Part One)"?

Because I know, some day, there will be a Part Two.

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