Phil Reese

When the ship goes down

Filed By Phil Reese | September 11, 2010 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Blogging, computer addiction, panic, Sex and the City

There's nothing worse than a blogger without a computer. Its like being a sailor with no ship. Sad_mac.pngThat's exactly what I was for about nine hours yesterday. Philerico was almost cut short before its time when, while preparing for tomorrow's broadcast, the hard drive crashed on my beautiful beautiful Macintosh, which I got second hand from my friend and fellow-Bilerico-er, Michael Crawford.

Perhaps, I shouldn't have had three browsers open (Flock, Chrome and SeaMonkey), each with several windows and tabs open in all 4 of the work spaces, along with Adium, Skype, iTunes and Garage Band--but there really is some serious work that goes into prepping for the SameSexSunday podcast.

Before I knew it, I was staring at a white screen with a blinking gray folder with nothing but a question mark printed on it. I was frantic on the phone with Jerame Davis asking him what the heck was happening. He broke the bad news to me.

Sad Mac indeed.

The scene looked a lot like this clip here from Sex and the City. Oh my GOD it looked like this. Down to the "could you please not do that" to the attempt at a comforting massage. I think I even said "You are MORTIFYING me."

One thing that was different: the answer to "When was the last time you backed up your work?" was "Yesterday." I always back up using Time Machine--probably because I watched this very episode of Sex and The City. One new hard drive later, the ship's back up and steaming ahead full power, like nothing ever happened.

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As someone who has in the past run a 24/7/365 computer server ( long before the Internet was popular ) I have learned one rule well. Never depend on a hard drive to not fail. With the newer drivers over the last several years you should be able to find a utility that will report the health of the drive as most have built in firmware on board their controllers which will report a drive getting questionable as far as it's dependability. If you are going to run a 24/7 operation you may wish to check on the availability of such software for your system. It is not a substitute for back ups but it certainly will help give you a bit of a heads up in many cases so you can gracefully replace the drive without the stress of waking up to a dead machine.

I have a dead hard drive in my drawer containing EIGHT YEARS worth of writing. I'm saving up the cash [about $700] to send it to a data recovery service in Miami so they can lift the files from it. Since my crash, I have saved EVERYTHING to flash drive and CD.

I'm so glad you had a happy ending... I hope I do.

Almost everything I've ever written is now on Google Docs. I've lost things forever, such as all the writing I did during my stint at the now defunct Queer Magazine (if anyone knows where Damon is, please connect me); because there was no online backup at that time. Then soon after I lost my first flash drive with EVERYTHING on it, I discovered Yahoo Briefcase and then Google Docs. Thank the stars for those.

Backups! Good boy! You get an A+!