Friday, November 04, 2005

Prayers for 1s and 0s

On Wednesday I heard the words from my wife, Cranky's Wife, that turned my blood even colder than it is normally. No, not "I'm leaving you for another woman" or "the dog destroyed your comic book collection" which really would give me pause since I don't have a dog. No, I heard the words, "My computer crashed and it won't start up again." At first it might not be serious but that's like saying "I have chest pains and my left arm hurts but I'll probably be fine."

As I am Cranky's Wife's technical support and recommended an Apple laptop in the first place to avoid computer problems like this it became my problem. (In fairness it was the Hitachi hard drive that failed.) I get home and yep, it seems not totally dead as its display lights up, that's something right? More like verklempt. I call Apple Care support and they run me through a few boot up methods that show promise but the computer won't start. Last chance seems to be to try plugging it into my computer to access the hard drive where Cranky's Wife's data (translation: life) is stored. No luck in "target disk mode." When I tell Cranky's Wife of the coma her computer is in she breaks down like I told her W just got re-elected to a third term. It's not a pretty sight. Tears and snot everywhere.

There is one last medical procedure I tell her. The Apple store will remove the hard drive and try to plug it in and get data. I feel like a doctor giving hope to a loved one or a Senate Majority Leader who shall remain nameless (Bill First) who gave Terry Schiavo's parents hope in a craven and disgraceful way. But I actually examined my patient unlike Sen. Frist.

Next morning the word comes from Apple store. No luck. More tears and snot from Cranky's Wife. I feel a little queasy too but that just may have been the chili from the night before speaking up. Apple did offer to replace the hard drive, how nice! That's like offering to replace my old wallet filled with hundred dollar bills with a new empty wallet. I resisted pulling Mr. Apple store's heart out through his chest.

No problem you say. Just crack out your back-up data. You do back up data right? Um. Well. We, and when I say "we" I mean "Cranky's Wife" backed up data a little infrequently. Sort of like...oh never mind. Even though I had her data from eight days ago when I told her I might well have just said eight years ago. More tears. A little less snot.

While Cranky's wife is going through the first four stages of the five stages of grief: denial,anger, bargaining, depression, she is approaching the fifth stage, acceptance, but I hold out hope. For a ridiculous amount of money guys in clean rooms and white jumpsuits can most likely get the data off the hard drive. Prices are anywhere from $500 to $8,900 (for round the clock weekend service) and they can't promise you'll get you data back. I bubble wrap the hard drive and Fedex it to a NASA-like clean room in California. I confuse the Kinkos/Fedex customers when I drop to my knees and chant prayers for the resurrection -- of 60 gigabytes of ones and zeros that is.

I tell Cranky's Wife there is a good chance she'll get the data back. Am I being cruel to offer hope again? Is this the Gore or Kerry may still win type of hope? We'll know soon. I'm hoping the data retrievers count the computer data better than Diebold.

I retreat to my office where I promptly back up every scrap of computer data onto my external hard drive, upload my data to Apple's "dot mac" servers and burn a couple of data dvds for the safety deposit box. I then order an external hard drive for Cranky's Wife (about $100) which would have prevented all of this epic nightmare. Sort of like when they strap you in the ambulance gurney after you failed to use your seatbelt. Ironic huh? But as great philosopher or William Shatner in "Airplane 2" who once said, "Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes."


Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

When a Hitachi drive fails in a Dell, the average Apple accolyte will giggle and chant something about Apple superiority, likewise when a Bosch injector fails in a Chevy the BMW driver will feel superior using the same part.

Send not to ask for whom the drive fails, it fails for thee.

3:00 PM  
Blogger d.K. said...

I had to reformat both my desktop and laptop within three weeks of each other about six months ago. Of course, having everything backed up on the laptop didn't help since I hadn't re-copied the data back to the desktop after reformatting the latter. So, I lost everything. Both of my problems were Windows issues, but like the rest of the sheep, I'm staying with MS because that's what I started with lo those many years ago...

5:20 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

As with any religion, you have to believe in it before you can believe in it. Once ther was a plant in Illinois that made Chryslers and Mitsubishis - identical cars from teh same assembly lines, yet the Mitsu outsold the Chrysler by a wide margin. The perception was that the Mitsu was mabe of better stuff, and had better "engineering" and therefore was simply better.

The Mitsubishis purchasers saw themselves as a special group, above the pack mentality and of course far more "hip."

Vanity of vanities.

10:11 AM  

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