Sunday, February 1, 2009

Stone cold dead in die marketplace ... or, almost!

Baldly stated, my hard drive went belly-up this morning. There's a sinking feeling in the pit of the belly, a wave of nausea that hits you. You feel light headed and a little bit giddy. Your thoughts scatter upon the four winds ... you make a nice STRONG cup of tea and take the advice of the person who is telling you to breathe more than once a minute or so.

Slowly, you start to think again, and you get on the other computer (the old clunker that was replaced by this supposed miracle of modern technology) and hit the tech forums to see if the same problems have clobbered anyone else lately. To your malicious joy (and with a certain relief) you discover, the problem is common. It's very common.

The symptom: the bloody computer won't start up. It just sits there and glares at you, with its power button winking green and nothing else happening. Oh, joy.

The cause: either a virus or hardware failure.

Thank gods, goddesses, elementals, spirits, pixies and anything else out there that's been watching out for me lately: I back everything up slavishly, and it's only a few weeks since I got a terabyte external harddrive. The fact I'm all backed up and ready to go means that all I need now is an operating system disk, and we can put a new hard drive in this little monster.

Fortunately, the hard drives are pretty cheap, and you can get a fully legal, still shrink-wrapped Windows XP SP3 for A$110 + postage, from several dealers on eBay in Melbourne. I checked, after my blood pressure had started to revert to something with a semblance of normality. (What's normal anyway?)

I don't think I've cooked this computer in the heat, but I do work it very hard. Maybe I work it harder than it wants to run? Maybe I should get a more powerful one? Perhaps. But this little bugger is only a couple of years old, and to tell you the truth, I've bought so many computers in the last 20 years, I honestly don't want another one --

Especially since any new computer you get from the store these days comes loaded with Vista. Sounds of retching, barfing and puking. Keegan no like Vista. Keegan rather put new hard drive in old machine and stay with XP.

So ... it's been a fun day in which not much has been done other than hand-wringing, hair-tearing and so forth. I'd love to tell you that I wrote 4,000 words of LEGENDS ... but I didn't. I'd be thrilled to tell you I plotted out the last two novels in the HELLGATE series ... but I didn't do that either. I would be overjoyed to report that I finished the two short stories I've been working on, but --

You get the picture.

You may laugh, but it's traumatic. It's completely on a par with falling over the dog's leash while walking in the park, and doing a face-plant straight into the geraniums, four feet in front of the most delectable hunk you've seen in several years. Or being at a fancy restaurant and sinking at least 16 of your 32 teeth straight into a Thai pepper, which makes you turn red as a postbox and weep copiously ... which is not at all how you'd intended to impress your date (the aforementioned hunk, who plucked you out of the geraniums and stuck several bandaids on your chin, which was bleeding copiously in reaction to the collision with the standpipe that had been hiding away in there).

Keegan is still alive, no thanks to the weather, Western Digital, or Dell.

And I can report that the LEGENDS template is fixed, up and running. I got the first chapter pasted into it before the apocalypse struck, and when I have about ten or so posts up, there will a newsletter, and -- the experiment begins!

Now I have to go and take a couple of aspirin and sit in front of the a/c.

Love that a/c. It's been 40C again today, and you need a blanket while sitting in front of it. Nice.


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