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Sydney, NSW, Australia
I'm a Christian husband currently finishing a Software Eng degree and wondering what God's plan for my life is. I sleep soundly in the knowledge that time will assuredly answer that question with little effort on my part.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's a Hard Drive

I seem to have an effect on hard drives. Or rather my laptop does. I now have a pending RMA (warranty claim) for the hard drive in my laptop, which has died in a slightly less-than-spectacular, but nevertheless frustrating manner. At least it had the dignity to give me advanced warning through a SMART error detection (Self Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Tool) so I've had time to dump the data into safer bit-buckets, but it still leaves me with an untrustable laptop for some time.

This is the third hard drive for this notebook. The original manufacturer's drive wasn't very good, always made very loud clicky noises and failed after a couple of years. The second was a new one that I purchased (the first was outside warranty) and it worked fora while before showing significant signs of distress (each and every program in Linux would segfault, and Windows would simply bluescreen - I couldn't read the data when I attached it to another computer either) so I had it replaced under warranty.

All very well and good. But the new one had exactly the same problem. After much umming and ahhing and bitter complaint about a hard-drive-eating laptop, I ran a memtest from an Ubuntu installer CD. Corrupt memory. So I replaced the RAM and things have been hunky dory since then.

Until now, when it seems I have a genuinely dying hard drive, four assignments due in the next three weeks, no working Linux box (my desktop got borked), a thesis implementation to do on Thursday without a computer, and a thesis presentation to deliver in two weeks with nothing more than a blackboard and chalk.

Argh! Three things are certain in life. Death, taxes, and the utter failure of technology at precisely the most inopportune moment.

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