The EM Curse

I’m viewing this entry on my ginormous 22″ monitor. My hero acquired it via Freecycle, and toted it from the previous owner’s house to our car and into our house again. It has some insanely lovely resolution and so on, and is so big that I can have the text size set to HUGE and still get lots of stuff on a screen (not that Windows does that text-size-changing elegantly, but that’s another topic).

My video and sound cards are absolutely awesome compared to what I was using on the laptop! I can even go on Second Life without spending all of my time waiting for everything to resolve!

This is thanks to Sam, who acquired and set up this computer for me. Thank you, sweetie!

He was actually doing this already, partly because he wanted me to join him on SL more frequently, but then it became a real necessity because we’ve experienced some sort of odd electromechanical curse recently.

Those of you who read Sam’s journal know that he lost all the information on both hard drives in his machine recently. That meant all the backup information was gone. We didn’t ever find an explanation, but I think it was the hard drive controller. In any case, we had to upgrade to SATA because that was more economically feasible than trying to find EIDE drives, and he hasn’t had more problems since then.

What I can do from home/school/medical/whatever has been further limited now by the loss of my laptop. It just died a few months ago. It had been going in little pieces—the PCMCIA slot didn’t want to work for NICs, then the SD card reader became unreliable, then the ethernet port lost the little tab that keeps the cord plugged in, and finally, the place where the power cord plugs into the case got weird, and the cord just wouldn’t stay connected well. I think all the power problems screwed with the other parts at the end (yes, terribly technical language there). The hard drive was readable, happily.

Unfortunately, I’d just moved all my data elsewhere because I was about to rebuild the software on the laptop, and the SAMBA server’s data drive fell down and went boom. It’s sorta readable in an external hard drive enclosure if mounted with Ext2Fsd on a Windows machine. Of course, we can’t find the power supply for the external hard drive enclosure, although it was right there with the enclosure just a few weeks ago. ::Sigh::

When we try to put the drive in the rebuilt Linux machine, the machine (which is running a very different distribution now) keeps wanting to immediately do something to the boot sections of the drive, and I’m afraid that’ll make it totally unreadable. Yes, I said, “do something,” because Sam tried that part, not me. I’d rather not give details than be wrong.

I don’t know what the server used to run. I used Red Hat. When Sam took it over, he tried several different things and I can’t recall what he settled on (to end-users, it hardly matters, which is how it should be). The rebuilt machine runs Ubuntu.

Yes, we do use UPSs. No, there was no malware involved. All physical failures. (Most of) the equipment was old. So we’re down a few machines and a lot of drives.

Oh! The microwave! It went out dramatically, with a big sound and flames and all! I’m glad I missed it. Hearing about it was all too exciting.

Then the toaster decided that it may or may not pop up its contents, and it might or might not have toasted them in the meantime. It’s Schrödinger’s toaster, apparently.

Oh, then there were the cell phones. Mine, then Katie’s. Just stopped working one day. Okay, different days, but you get the picture. Both have been replaced now, but she and I were sharing one there for a bit, which Was Not Fun.

Katie has an interesting new art project, the Discordian PDA. She’s going to get advice from her (wonderful) art teacher as to what kind of paint would work well on a Palm. That’s a good way to use one that won’t keep its time or date reliably anymore. Or charge. It’s pretty much a paperweight, so it might as well be lovely to look at it. Not terribly useful for keeping calendars, contacts, and so on, and our phones don’t sync with the rest of the world so well (ah, to have Treos!), so we’re down a PDA.

My carpet steamer still just won’t cooperate (I think the ex screwed it up when she was “fixing it” without having ever seen one before), so I’m almost ready to toss it. I can hope to acquire one via Freecycle, or wait ’til they go on sale, but repair of such things is seldom worthwhile unless the shop can immediately say, “Oh, that’s the (common thing) and it’ll be (amount). I can have it done in two hours.”

I know there was something else, or several of them, that died during this time, too. A/V related, I think.

Anybody wanna come to remove a curse?

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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