Thursday, April 15, 2004

She's dead, Jim.

The title says it all: my office computer's hard drive is no more. The tech folks tried their best, but she'd flat-lined long before they put her on the table. The drive won't even be recognized by a known-good BIOS.

To give you a bit of the back story, I found that my computer wouldn't boot on arriving in my office this morning, but had to give a lab exam so called the tech folks and ran. After the lab exam I confirmed it was still dead, called the tech people again since they hadn't shown up, and biked home to get my backup CDs (lesson learned: offsite backups make sense, until you actually need them). I made my earlier post from home while copying my backup CDs to my home computer's hard drive (to ensure I had a working copy of the files somewhere), and then rushed into work to rewrite my lecture on a borrowed laptop. On Tuesday of this week, after my backup, I'd reworked a good fraction of today's lecture, adding a lot of in-class response system questions, and so in the hour I had before lecture started I gathered my slides from last semester's files, reorganized them, and tried to remember my questions. I got the file ready by the time lecture started, minus a few elusive questions, and everything went relatively well except that I wasn't nearly as smooth as I like to be. On the other hand, it was far better than the time the projector became indecisive in the middle of a lecture and kept switching between two resolutions every fraction of a second.

Sadly, much as I'd like to gloat about being prepared, my Monday backup was not part of a regular backup regimen. The only reason I backed up the files was because I was writing a test and didn't have my USB drive with me, so I burned a CD with the questions to bring home. Since I had extra space on the CD I figured, “Oh, what the heck,” and added all my files from this semester. My most recently backup before Monday was completed in December. I think, in some perverse sense, I just rolled a 20 on some cosmic luck roll.

Well, that's it for tonight; I need sleep.

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