The Perils of Digital Dependence

Catastrophic hard drive failure is exactly as fun as it sounds. Which is to say, no fun at all. Especially when it hits two times in under a year.

Yes, it's been a little quiet around these parts lately. A deceased computer will do that to a blog. A year ago, when my iMac's hard drive shuffled off this mortal coil the first time, it had the decency to make horrible electronic gasping sounds, ticks, and shivers for over a month before it gave up it's digital ghost. This time around, it was a sneakier process. A video I was watching started to stutter without warning. Then, that curs-ed spinning beachball popped up everytime I tried to do something. Everything still worked, just really, really slowly.

So, I went through the usual routine of cleaning things up and running repair programs. They all said everything was okay. Except it obviously wasn't. Just to make sure, I decided to perform a long-overdue backup of the whole machine. And that's when everything went to pieces. See, to do a complete backup, one must first erase one's old backup.

See where this is going? A word to the wise: When your machine starts being weird, don't erase your old backup. Luckily, I was able to copy almost all my important files. One by one. Took me three days. And I still lost one scan of a piece of art. And my whole iTunes collection (thank goodness I burned that to disk a little while back).

Anyway, two important announcements come from this techno-tragedy.

  1. My computer is in the shop, and should be back in my (somewhat more impoverished) hands by the end of the week. It'll take a little while to get things up and running. And probably a long while to get everything back the way it was. Until then, my computer-related activities will remain cramped.
  2. Please backup your computers, especially those of you with weak hearts. Since it's almost impossible to end our dependence on our silicon masters, we might as well make it harder for them to dangle us at their mercy. For my Mac-toting friends, I recommend a little app called SuperDuper. Being able to make a bootable carbon copy of your computer is a blessing, and it saved my bacon last time this happened. Actually, if I hadn't been such a cheapskate and just shelled out the thirty bucks to get the full software, it would have saved me this time too. Guess what I'm doing the day I get my machine back?
NewsPatrick2009 late2 Comments