My laptop stopped being able to connect to the internet reliably a couple of months ago after my cat knocked it off a chair. Now, this wasn't a big deal at the time - it's a hand-me-down and, well, a good machine but no real prize, and my real prize was my desktop - also not top-of-the-line but a sleek little case packing a 2.4 ghz processor and a reasonably sized hard drive and enough RAM to play a few decent games.
Note the past tense. Yes, that is the past tense of foreboding and doom.
The keyboard tray in my desk is coming apart and occasionally just falls off its rails. On one occasion it fell off and hit the floor and jolted the machine, a debacle I've spoken of here before; on another, more recent occasion, it hit the box but no harm seemed to be done. Except that I got crashes more often - still occasionally, but more often.
Not having had a hard drive go rotten on me like old milk before, I did not heed these warning signs.
Last week, booted up as normal and then tanked. When I turned it on again, it was trying to boot from the network because it couldn't find the drive.
I didn't panic initially. I plugged it into a USB enclosure, hoping the boot data was damaged and the rest of the drive OK, but no dice. I brought it in to Red Star Machineworks
and told the tech working there about it.
When I saw the dubious look on his face I knew it was time for panicking.
Unfortunately, his attempt to freeze it overnight and begin recovery didn't work, which means that the only option available to me is thousand-dollar-plus cleanroom work that I really can't afford and which my hard drive probably isn't worth.
Due to my habit of keeping old computers around rather than cleaning the crap off them and selling/donating, I *may* have contents up to 2008. This would be great. I'd rather not have lost most of my China pictures and music collection. I won't have the chance to look until after I get back from the East Coast, though.
Tomorrow morning I'm heading out to DC to visit lyssabard
and the other wonderful nifty people I know there, and I can curl up into a little ball and twitch. (Did I mention this computer crash happened in the lead-up to the finals I just completed this morning - which I probably did not nearly as well on as I could have, due to being unable to access my usual study methods? Well, now I did.)
My apologies to anyone I infect with the throat crud I seem to be harboring.
Oh, yeah, this week was a real winner. :P
More promisingly, I ordered a netbook today - I've been thinking of one for a while, because I see my fellow students studying ebooks on their netbooks and not being stooped over by pounds and pounds of dead trees, and I am daily envious. And the lack of computer really needs to be dealt with. So I sent away for a Samsung N120 (under 3 lbs, 97% full size keyboard) from Overstock.com and bought the extra warranty since it was a refurbished model. It should be here by the time I'm back.