Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em

You never think it’s going to happen to you.

A couple days ago I came home and found my desktop off. Now I know I should be a good steward of the earth and all – but I leave my computer on most of the time. (I do put it in sleep mode when I am away for any extended period.) I assume we had a power fluctuation – it’s not uncommon in my neighborhood. So I rebooted and continued using my machine.

Well yesterday while I was working I smelled a strange plastic burning kind of odor. Then my computer quit. So ever being the guy not afraid to take things apart I removed the side enclosure and saw that there was a bit of dust in the thing. Nothing too extreme but I vacuumed it out so it was nice and spicitty span and rebooted – checking to see all fans were spinning away. Everything looked cool while the screen flashed past the splash and began firing up Windows.

Then, what to my wondering eyes did appear but a cloud of smoke emanating from my hard drive’s case? My hard drive had literally caught on fire. It’s something that I always thought was some sort of urban myth – the exploding hard drive – surely this was not a real thing. As my hero Frank Zappa sang in his seminal piece – the return of the son of the magnet monster “It can’t happen here – I’m telling you my dear – that it can’t…happen…here.” Losing all data was something that happened to other people.

I put this in the same category as hitting a deer on the road with your automobile. I used to think what moron hits a mammal weighing upwards of a hundred pounds unless they are completely unaware of their surroundings? That was until I hit a deer. It was as if the animal was dropped on top of the hood of my geo prism wagon from out of a tree. POW – it’s crazed wide eye flashing by my windshield for a half an instant. I had the same runaway elevator feeling in my stomach then as I did while I watched my hard drive self destruct ala Mission Impossible.

So right now my desktop is sitting at Micro Center where they will “make an attempt” to salvage some data from my Kentucky fried hard drive. 58 bucks if successful – but the bargain basement price of 38 smackers if they can’t. Since my computer was only 9 months old the thing is under warrantee but that doesn’t help with all the lost data – pictures, writing, programs etc. etc…

Needless to say – we purchased a 500 gig external hard drive for our home network.

I did have most of anything that was semi important backed up to CDs, but I have lost all my saved e-mails, contacts and edited photos. So now I have trying to re-build everything from scratch to look forward to. In the meantime I work on a laptop – hunched over – my fat fingers too big for the keyboard – like a gorilla repairing a pocket watch.

Back during my manufacturing days as a quality engineer my desk used to pile eye high with papers and assorted junk. I handled this by occasionally throwing everything on top of my desk away at once and starting from Jump Street.

Well, looks like I’m gonna be doing that here.

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