Follow My Own Advice

On Wednesday morning I signed into my computer to print a document and heard the Windows sound that indicates a device was removed from my computer. Strange I thought since I hadn’t disconnected any devices. The thought was quickly chased from my mind because the PC stopped working in any way that I could detect.


Trial and error, multiple reboots and the other standard troubleshooting I can do when things don’t work as expected didn’t get the machine working. Later with the help of a couple of folks I was able to determine that the machine has a hard drive reading problem.


That’s where the real joy starts I suppose. You begin the scramble to think what was actually stored on that drive? Can I get any of it back? I did back all that stuff up right? After all the 300-gig USB drive bought expressly for that purpose is sitting there purring away just waiting to be connected to a working machine to hand out the information stored on it.


Ironic, but I suspect not uncommon, that the first piece of advice I give to anyone I know who asks me for computer help is to backup your information. Sad, but I suspect again not too uncommon, that I fail to completely follow my own advice.


So now here I sit convincing myself that it won’t be a big deal to re-encode the 600_plus music CDs that I’ve converted over the last three months to play on my Squeezebox. I say that those digital audio files of sounds from recent trips weren’t that important were they? All those books I’ve scanned do get uploaded to Bookshare anyway so I can get them back right?


Thankfully all’s not lost. Important financial data was backed up two months ago and I’ve been successful at downloading all the missing data from the period since the last backup. E-mail is recoverable from all but the last couple months and I do have a full backup from about eight months ago that will have the vast majority of what I care about.


Then too, there’s still some hope that more of the data may be recoverable. Using some utilities for this sort of thing it has been possible to see many of the files on the problem drive. Copying them someplace is another story as the utilities thus far only offer a 1.4-meg floppy which is already filled with the utilities themselves as a copy destination. Let the fun begin.


The painful lessons in life are probably those we learn the best. I for one will definitely be better about taking my own advice.

A Sad Touch of Irony

While eating dinner this evening, the advertising industry displayed the omnipresent need to put snippets of famous music into a commercial to sell whatever the latest it is they think we must absolutely have. Even a couple hours later the product itself escapes me but I’m struck by the sad touch of irony the experience represents.


The commercial used some music from Boston and I remarked to Aimee that as a band they had to be near the top in terms of getting the most mileage from the least music released. Make no mistake, the unique guitar sound and vocals of the band puts Boston near the top of my list of favorites. Classic rock radio, as with many of the greats, certainly overplays the band’s music but for me it doesn’t diminish the pure enjoyment of kicking back and listening to those first two albums from the group.


We continued our discussion about bands that made the most with the least music for a bit and then went back to the early days of MTV with a DVD of several music videos from the 1980s. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I decided to play a bit of Boston when we were done.


It was then that Aimee happened to look on her computer and shared the news that Brad Delp, Boston’s lead singer, had died earlier in the day.


I was fortunate to see Boston once live in concert back in 1986 I think at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin. That show still ranks in the top five for the best live concerts I’ve attended. As a bit of irony Aimee and I, who certainly didn’t know each other back then, discovered we both attended the same Boston show.