Monday, December 03, 2007


An eerie silence settles over Lincoln Street.

Remember all those jokes about appliances that burst into flames the day after their warranty expires? Ha ha! So funny!

Not funny.

Two weeks after our warranty expired, our PC - “Mothership”- graced us with the Blue Screen of Death. Due to either a hardware problem or a software problem, Mothership forgot how to access the XP registry keys, rendering her unable to start up.

After a day or two of Brewguy's attempts to resuscitate Mothership, I called El Jefe* in a fit of desperation and asked him to rate this particular BSOD on a scale of Bad, Very Bad, or Fatal.

He rated it Bad. Ok, not fatal! That’s fixable, right?

Turns out “fixable” is relative. Dell offered to wipe the hard drives and reinstall the operating system if we removed the hard drives from the computer and mailed them in. They carefully made no mention of the actual data residing on the drive. That, it seemed, was toast. Or if not toast, not their problem.

Losing all the data on the drive? Not the most attractive prospect. I was fairly calm about the issue, at least by Brewgal standards. I back up my files regularly and store most of them on the external drive. I was concerned about the potential loss of some iTunes songs, my knitting patterns, and some family history data I’d added since June. However Brewguy, being a photographer, faced the prospect of losing six months worth of work. At 300 photos per week, that’s a lot of photos. Let’s just say he was...motivated.

This incident has made me realize that Little Brewer #2’s sense of time is different than my own.

Can I play X on the computer?
The computer’s broken, sweetie.

-two hours later-

Can I play X on the computer?
The computer’s broken, remember?
Oh yeah. Is it fixed yet?

We had this conversation EVERY DAY for two weeks.

Finally, with the aid of Bart PE and the very fine IT guy at Brewguy’s place of employment, we were able to move all the data from the hard drive to the external Maxtor, after which XP was reloaded. It was a tortuous experience- every file had to be moved individually. The hard drive was so confused it refused to boot properly into DOS, and the conditional DOS did not have group file moving privileges.

Back up, back up, back up,
You’d better back up your files!
Back up, back up, back up,
When it crashes there’ll be no smiles.

*El Jefe is, through no fault of his own, my own personal IT guy. Being my brother he puts up with my constant computer badgering. Yay, El Jefe!

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