Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ah Well, It Wasn't All Bad...

This morning started off so nicely. I had such plans. A few student stories to read, an interview for Amazon to finish up, a bit of time working with Maya on decimals, maybe even some time writing fiction: that sort of stuff. We Durham's took an early morning walk down to the lake, feeling all crisp and fall-like, getting into a routine, you know?

Came back to the house, gave one of the cats a quick bath. (Fleas, you see.) Gudrun and the kids got set up at the big table in the living room for a homeschooling morning, and I headed to the office to be productive. For about ten minutes, all was good.

And then a sudden burst of Scottish-inflected profanity came roaring through the wall. I jumped up, thinking something small might have broken, assuming an overreaction was quite possibly in play. What did I find? Well, it was a small thing. It was the combination of a glass of water and the backside of a pretty darn new MacBook. It was fizzing and popping sounds, and then loss of power to said MacBook. Gudrun had been working along with the kids when one of them (perhaps better left unnamed) brushed the glass over with a careless arm. And that was that.

New direction to the entire day. You may know that among other things Gudrun is a knitwear designer and blogger - see The Shetland Trader. Her computer is very important to her, full of patterns finished and in the works, photographs, all sorts of other stuff. We got right on the phone to the Apple Store and the whole family was in the car ten minutes later, driving the 45 mins down to Holyoke for help.

And help we got. The folks at the Apple Store were very nice, even as they told us that the computer was completely and righteously screwed. They ran all sorts of tests, and even sent us home with our soggy harddrive in the care of one of their machines, trying to see if anything could be salvaged from it. This actually took the entire day, and by the time we arrived home we learned the final news. No. Nothing. The harddrive was damaged enough that it's not worth it trying to get anything off it. So that's that.

I know in the grand scheme of things it's no big deal, but it's still one of those moments when one second things are fine, the next the smallest little action has changed things quite a bit. How did we deal with it? Well, with swift action that leaves me scratching my head just as much as the time four months ago when we bought two computers, two iPod Touches and Nintendo Wii in the same day.

1) We bought a new MacBook. Exactly like the old one, just without all that pesky personal data and hard work on it. (We actually did this while still at the store, knowing that the computer itself was dead, but that maybe we'd be able to salvage the harddrive and connect it to the new computer. No, we didn't just have $1,000 sitting around.)

2) We got beer, some clams and a lobster. (And no, we never get lobster. So why choose to do it when we've just spent $1,000 that wasn't sitting around? Maybe one thing leads to the other...)

3) We clicked over to John Scalzi's WHATEVER and checked out the post featuring The Other Lands (Acacia, Book 2) and me in The Big Idea Series. Please see for yourself HERE.

And with that the day drew to a close.

Ah well, it wasn't all bad...

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Blogger Unknown said...

My six year old destroy my wife's MacBook in almost exactly the same manner. If you haven't yet, seriously investigate Time Capsule. It saved our bacon then. We were out $1k but I was able to get her up and running with all her old data very quickly.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Mark Lavallee said...

For the money you can't beat time machine/capsule.

Sorry to hear about the loss... never fun. Enjoy the lobster! ;)

6:50 PM  
Anonymous ethan iktho said...


"C'est la vie"

8:07 PM  
Blogger Constance Brewer said...

Tell Gundrun my condolences on the loss of her MacBook. There's no feeling quite like your stomach sinking when you realize your cyber thoughs are GONE. But, like you said, accidents happen, especially with kids. I hope the lobster (and beer) made her feel better. :)

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Illia said...

Ugh. Yeah liquids are one of the easiest ways to kill a laptop. And with kids it it so easy and only takes a moment. Shame that the HD was not salvageable. Loosing that kind of data is worse than the actual computer (even if the wallet may disagree at present).

Another option may be, if money is a barrier to Apple's Time Capsule software is to consider an external Hard drive to back data up. The disks themselves are insanely cheap now and quite reliable. Depending on the size of Gundrun's files, even a decent flash drive could function and are rather sturdy (I've sent mine through the wash multiple times).

The biggest downside to these versus Time Capsule would be having to remember to do the backups and physically copying files. really as long as you have some kind of redundancy any option will work.

Hope you enjoyed your dinner splurge. Sometimes after a particularly lousy day, you need to do something for yourself to remind yourself that the world is still okay. Lobster and beer sounds like a pretty decent way to do it.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Bryan Russell said...

Well, at least there was lobster...

(And I have an external hard drive that works wonderfully for me, and it didn't cost much, either)

10:26 AM  
Blogger Corby Kennard said...

This is my biggest fear with my daughter.

I'm going to have to be more careful.

Hope you enjoyed the lobster. :)

12:37 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

The Lobster was all right. Never quite as good as I remember , but then again I'm never sure where that memory comes from in the first place...

Things look slightly brighter with the computer today. I'll post about it!

1:24 PM  

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