So, this weekend, I suffered a sort of minor stroke in my exocortex. The girl and I left for a bit to get food on Saturday afternoon and, when we got back, I found my PowerBook making grinding / growling noises from the general vicinity of its hard drive. A reboot or two later, and the poor thing stopped bothering to spin up the drive and just sat there in blinking confusion looking for a System folder.
Now, if you've been following along, you might be thinking, "Didn't he just go through this not too long ago?" If so, you'd be right. I'm not sure what I do to these things, since I killed an iBook hard drive like this, too. I'm very hesitant to blame Apple for this since, well, I'm just really not a careful person when it comes to hardware. I thank my lucky stars, so far, for AppleCare.
The problem this time, though, is that the failure happened without warning. The past two times, I had a bit of a gradual slide into failure with an agonizing period of intermittent function just long enough to evacuate some essentials onto another machine. But this time, boom. No warning. And stupid me: I deleted the backups I'd made back when I upgraded to Tiger.
So, my last decent backup of anything is about a year old, from the last time I had a hard drive crash. Thus, this feels a bit like a sound blow to the head. I've lost all my recent changes to my feed aggregator subscription list. I've lost all my Tinderbox documents. I'm still groping around for registration keys for all of my software. The arrangement of tools I've gotten used to being within finger-twitch range is now gone.
It's been a long time since I had a serious failure in a machine I depend on where I didn't have a recovery plan. Ouch. The two things that are keeping me from going entirely bonkers are:
- The girl never sold her old iBook and I turned it into a replacement for our ailing house Linux server, so I have a backup machine until the PowerBook comes back.
- I didn't lose this weekend's tinkerings because I shared them here.
Also, it's lucky that I've turned in all the chapters and artwork for the book, because I'd've really been strolling off a cliff if I'd've had to recreate any of that work. Of course, that stuff got zipped up and uploaded to at least 3 locations on a weekly basis, so I was at least smartly paranoid about that.
I guess this'll teach me though. As soon as the PowerBook comes back, and I've reconstructed my external headspace on it, I'll be setting up nightly backups to the basement file server and plan on doing monthly archival to DVD. I can't imagine how lost I'd be if I were really living in my laptop. :)