Jeff and Jamie were running around town today, which gave me some time to formally investigate my computer. Without a monitor attached, I took it into the kitchen, set it up on the counter, and plugged it in. As it turns on, a noise like an alternating tick-tock sounds at random intervals, from the direction of the bow of the ship(er, computer). I had a feeling it might be the primary hard drive, so I decided to test my hypothesis, by disconnecting the drive from the power supply, and turning the machine back on. I did this, and there was no noise at all, except the machine beeping frantically about there being no operating system. Anyway, bingo.
Just to make sure, I plugged it back in and turned it on. Tick-tock all over again. I have a failed hard drive. It definitely makes me sad, but I should have seen it coming, as the date of manufacture was June 3rd, 2001, over five years ago. Luckily, all my movies, music, and TV shows are on non-system drives. So, I ordered three items: two hard drives and a serial ATA controller. One of the hard drives(a 37 GB WD Raptor) will be the system disk, and the other(an 80 GB WD Caviar) will be my '/home' directories. All the real storage(music, movies, pics, TV shows) is on the big drives(the 250 GB and the 300 GB), and shouldn't be affected in the least.
What sets me back, however, is that I'll have to rewrite a couple kinda major scripts, to get some pretty basic things working again- mostly notably the picture renaming and resizing scripts. I also lost everything that was in my home directory, which was a lot. I don't want to think about how much.
Anyway, before I realized I would have to make these purchases online, I rode up to Best Buy with Jeff. He's having computer problems, too. They weren't able to help either of us. We celebrated our non-victories with a run over to the Qdoba at Zona Rosa, for poorly-assembled burritos. On the way home, Jeff veered right at the exit for MO-9, saying, "this road becomes the HOA bridge, right?" I confirmed this, but then asked him if he'd ever been to Parkville, which was only a couple miles in the other direction.
Amazingly to me, he had not, so we went, and found ourselves driving like tourists down Main Street, ogling the pretty buildings in the late afternoon sunshine. We were irrevocably drawn to the Power Plant, where we stepped inside, and were very pleasantly surprised. It was the last brewery in the list of locals I had not yet visited, and it would seem that I saved a doozy for last. As the name suggests, the brewery occupies the space previously taken by the power plant for nearby Park College(now Park University), and the surrounding charming small town.
Today, the bar itself is wrapped around the old coal feeder/boiler, and its interior has been converted into a walk-in cooler. We discovered that they seem to brew the best IPA in the Kansas City area, along with the best nut brown. On top of that, the atmosphere(an old, hollowed-out brick building right next to the train tracks) is excellent. The Power Plant gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from both of us. Also, being next to the tracks means that every 35 minutes or so, a freight train passes by the building at high speed, and it can be felt throughout the whole circa-1914 building. It was startling at first, but then very cool.
We had a couple beers, watched the ending of the Tour de France, chatted with the staff and regulars, and left as the sun was setting. We decided that it was such a nice evening that we'd walk down to the very pleasant park the town has, against the Missouri River. The cicadae, crickets, and lightning bugs were out in force, all novelties to us, living in the heart of downtown. Another very pleasant novelty was that we could see stars coming out. We wandered around the park until it was wholly dark, and made our way back to the car. We both agreed that we like the old part of Parkville, and would like to visit again.
Hey, I hear if you throw your old HD into a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer for a half hour or so, you can reconnect for long enough to grab all your important data off it and put it on one of your external drives. It will surely crash again, but those few precious minutes may save you a ton of time. Worth a shot...
8:43 AM, Jul 24, 2006
Definitely worth a shot. I'll give it a try.
10:02 AM, Jul 24, 2006