Life in laptop hell....

Wondering why I haven't sent you an email lately?

Did you check this blog and find me strangely silent?

Okay, so I don't post updates that often, but I have another good excuse this time. My laptop went up in smoke. Large bolts of lightning shot out of every port. An eery green backlight glowed under the keys (note-I don't have a backlight). A strange little girls voice said "They're heeeerreee....."

So none of that exciting stuff really happened. In reality, my powerbook would not boot up. I thought at first the screen had died (since I did here a start up chime at least once, but nothing appeared on the screen and the backlight (normal white not eery ectoplasmic green) did not light up. I took it in to the Apple store, hooked it up to an external monitor, and found that it no longer booted at all. The "Genius" bar was obviously channeling the early Einstein (when he flunked out of high school and before he wrote about relativity). They seemed incapable of any serious troubleshooting. Since I was traveling, I did not have any technical references with me. Then one of the geniuses slid me a business card of a local independent mac repair guy.

I met with the guy, he tried some various start up options and finally, just for laughs, pulled out one of my ram upgrades. The stupid laptop then proceeded to boot off of his test cd. Grrrr...failure after only 6 months of operation. So one of my ram modules failed, but wait it gets worse (doesn't it always get worse with my stories). The hard drive had also failed (the computer is four years old, is on a lot, and has been moved through quit a few airports, xray machines, and car rides, so I guess I can't complain too much).

Bottom line: I have a new hard drive (80gb vs the original 60gb), but only 512mb of ram (down one ram chip). I have also lost most of the data on the drive. Only about a gb of data was salvageable before the old drive ceased communicating.

Fortunately, the biggest portion of the lost data was music (backed up on my iPod) and pictures (most are backed up on wife's computer). I only lost a few business files and pictures (although I might have some on an external drive at home or on some old cds). The rest of the data was applications, and I have most of the cdroms at home, so I should be good there.

Downside, I will have to limp along with a partially configured computer until I return home and then will have to spend a fair amount of time reinstalling and updating applications.

The fun never ends around here.

If you have a computer, buy a cheap external hard drive and copy everything to it. Update the backup as regularly as you can and you will not face the disaster I have been through this week.

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