Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Day Of Turkeys

As noted earlier, I decommissioned my Windows XP machine, and migrated to a Windows 7 laptop that was far more capable of handling the new software. The laptop dated to June of last year, and had been quite reliable. It had HDMI out, 8 GB of memory, and a 17 inch screen, quite the looker. Reliable. Until I had migrated the bulk of my data. I suspect that the laptop, which had been used for mobile purposes, had suffered some kind of shock. Video on these models is native to the motherboard, and not replaceable. I had been planning a backup, as soon as I had pruned my massive music files down to size. Just like never missing a chance to go to the bathroom in aviation, one should always back up when time is available. My fault, aggravated by the processor hog process of importing music into I Tunes. Two days. An unbelievable outrage was the necessity of purchasing *gasp* Real Player, to convert the old files on Real's format to conventional ones. Blackmail of the lowest order. These converted files *were* backed up. By the time that was done, I had been pushed into a stupid zone of fatigue, and neglected the backup. Today, first the video failed on the primary monitor, then the laptop's primary monitor refused to return natively. Before I knew it, the boot sectors had gone due to multiple reboots to regain video. The 1080P HDTV used as a monitor may not have been the best choice. The good news is the backup drive is intact, and all the data, except for the current mail folders, and documents, and logs for the radio, and... you get the picture. The bad news is that the laptop drive is corrupt, and all the conventional means of data recovery have failed, including some pretty clever data recovery tools. The cheapest data recovery services are half the cost of a new desktop machine. Fortunately, most of the mail is online, and can be recovered. Same for the music. My financial data and software had been archived to backup, and not restored to the laptop (whew!). It's the radio logs, documents in progress, and things-you-don't-miss-until-gone that are going to hurt. With luck, the drive can be formatted, and the laptop sold with a bare OS. Friday, new PC's will be available. And, ironically, the old E-Machine laptop that I had used to carry around to games was still fully operational. So, that's what I'm using now. It seem to be handling the load. But, it is still a laptop. Meanwhile, it gets to gloat. An old lesson is that one should never use a laptop to do a desktop's job. The new tablets and phones seem to be catching up with the laptops in functionality, so they may get squeezed even further into niche uses, like field tech work (which mine was used for as well). For my eyes sake, today I got myself a new 27 inch dedicated monitor. Wunderbar! I can now see details on the radio monitor's waterfall that were invisible before. And the monitor can stay on, as well as the new keyboard and mouse, so much better than the laptop's. Note: the new keyboard is so much sharper in key response, that my laptop fingers are causing typo's. Don't be surprised if more of them crop up, as I adjust to typing more normally. I can already feel a reduction in eyestrain. Of equal note is that I have been cleaning up more of my debris. Carpet is now visible in the living room. The HDTV that I had been using for a monitor will be going in there. The E-Machine laptop was going to be the media interface for the entertainment center. Now, it's the primary. I fear retribution, if it's relegated to a lesser role again...

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