I am reading The Pillars of the Earth for a book club. So my skimming may be noticed. But I doubt it. The book is 900+ pages. The scope is huge. I can’t quite claim it is taking away my blogging time, but something is. And a book sounds better than my daily binging on NUMB3RS.
In news of the first order, my laptop’s hard drive died last Monday. I think I am nearly through the 5 stages of grief. I spent 2-3 days in absolute denial – I’ll just run upstairs and check my email. Oh, I’ll check the bills files. Oh sure, you can play on my laptop, child. In 2005, I lost a computer to a massive hard drive failure, which I have come to think of like heart attacks. Some times, hard drives go bad. And data can be restored. Like a stent. Or a heart replacement. I seem to have really bad hard drive problems – the drive is unusable, the spindle doesn’t spin, there is no Hope.
The 2005 debacle did push me to make backing up my data a higher priority. After sporadic DVD backups, I bought an external hard drive in 2008 or 2009. And it saved me, mostly. I have all of the photos. I lost about a week, as the hard drive was sending little hard drive signals that it was dying. But I didn’t know it. Despite its SMART system, it didn’t send me a message like “back up all your data, the barbarian horde is coming.” It did keep restarting and had a hard time coming back on.
In January, the family room computer, which was my old desktop computer, had a motherboard problem. (brain tumor?) The hard drives had been flaky and Rob doesn’t have time to build computers anymore. We did the unthinkable to ourselves circa 2000 – we went to Best Buy and bought a clearance desktop. It works. And as I am typing on it right now, it is a good thing in our lives. But it isn’t my old desktop – it doesn’t have the programs, the bookmarks, the settings of my life. And that’s why I feel so a sea.
This hard drive failure has shown me that having pre-installed software, while convenient, is worthless in so many ways. My laptop is being reborn as Rob’s Ubuntu laptop, mostly because Ubuntu is free and we don’t have a free way to install the Windows Vista license we bought with the laptop. I am taking over Rob’s Windows laptop. I am pleased that Adobe is going to let me re-download my legal copy of Dreamweaver -I have a 3 year time-limit. Still not perfect, but better than the new copy of Office I had to buy for the family room computer. We had legal copies of Office, but not on a disc that I could just install.
This post-mortem excuse-apolooza is not as entertaining as it might be if I had more distance and less rawness. I also got a winter cold the weekend before my laptop died. So I was congested, gooey, feverish and cold, exhausted and drugged up…and having no laptop made me just sad. After a visit to Best Buy (how can this be?), I saw an adorable HP laptop. And the price was almost fair enough. But it turns out for a freelance job, I need to connect with a 32-bit version of Windows. So no new laptop would work. Thank goodness I can take over Rob’s laptop, I guess.
The only file I lost, I think, is my bills files in Excel. For some reason the most recent backup was from August 2009. The vagaries of backup are mysteries I don’t understand. My priorities going forward are definitely to keep up the automatic backups. They saved my bacon. But I have to figure out a way to not lose my software. Maybe I need to rent software? Would that help? Probably not with an OS…
I have been thinking, so more posts soon. I hope.