Monday, October 23, 2006

Broken tablet, broken heart

The very day that I started looking into some of the things that people are doing with Tablet PCs (some of the more interesting are meeting note-taking, signing faxes, various art projects and photo-manipulation), I got a horrible phone call from my wife, telling me that the computer would not start up.

I got home that night and discovered, to my horror, that the tablet would not load a sys file. Not too worrisome. I have tech support, I have several avenues for system restore, and I have a wealth of knowledge, both on the internet and in my head for file-recovery.

I called tech support and after trying some things, we discovered that the only possibility was a destructive restore. I mentally shrugged, being a veteran of computer holocausts* and just wanting the computer to work so I could start getting into some of the things I'd researched.

*holocaust - a sacrifice completely consumed by fire; burnt offering.

The next day, compiling- and deploying-time (really quite a bit of my time is spent waiting for the changes that I've made to compile and deploy on a web server -- take, for instance, this blog-entry -- it was made during various compile-and-deploy sessions) was spent pulling files off of the tablet with the use of a knoppix live-Linux CD, onto my USB Flash Drive and onto the work computer. These are burned onto a CD. I managed to recover about 85% of my wanted files, pretty good for a kaputz hard drive.

Then came the challenge of restoring the computer. I started off with the restore CDs that shipped with the computer, but they failed. They could not see the hard drive. Then I tried with an MSDN copy of Windows XP Tablet edition. That didn't work either, for the same reason. Then I tried a Win 98 startup CD. I used this, and created an appropriate partition on the hard drive. Then I went to format the drive. 28 hours later, the computer was still trying to recover lost allocation units, leading me to the conclusion that the hard drive is irretrievably broken.

Fortunately, I have warranty, and Gateway is sending a coffin with which I may ship the carcass of my dead computer back to them. They will revive it with Frankensteinian precision, and ship it back to me, similarly free-of-charge and I will once again have a computer that accepts penly input.

God, I miss that machine. (Cinderella's You Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone plays in the background)

Next up: the 100th post spectacular in which I revisit my posts. A self-serving, narcissistic look at the past year and a half.


Dylan said...

For some reason, instead of Don't Know What You've Got running through my head, I have their debut single, Night Songs echoing endlessly in my noggin.

Liam J. said...

I don't think I've ever heard "Night Songs" but I have heard some other stuff from that album. Mainly "Nobody's Fool".