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The Hardware, Grilled

.: About three weeks ago I bought a Maxtor 320GB external drive. Everything was going fine until I linked it to my desktop, a 2002 Dell Dimension 4400. The Dell froze and wouldn’t reboot. A few days later, the Dell was at David’s house (the drummer in HDNB), where its hard drive was made a slave drive, and one of David’s drive temporarily became the computer’s C drive. We copied the contents of my drive to the Maxtor, which took a few days, as the Dell’s USB ports are 1.1. When this task finished, the Dell’s original hard drive was reformatted, and I took the computer home, reloaded XP and Office, and then connected the Maxtor to copy the files back to the C drive. Except that the Dell was telling me that the Maxtor wasn’t formatted. I connected the Maxtor to my laptop with the same results.

So I thought, now what? I surfed the Maxtor site, and learned that there were programs I could use to recover the data on the Maxtor, but of course at a cost. I chose this program, which ran for four days but recovered over 70,000 files from the Maxtor, paid for the licence (which allowed me to copy the files back to the C drive), and finished everything tonight. Lesson learned: back up your important data.

.: Christmas is impending. I’ve been off work since 16 December 2006, and have spent a lot of time resting and laying low. I saw three movies this week: Apocalypto, Casino Royale, and Little Miss Sunshine. I’m behind preparing my Christmas cards, and hope to finish a few more tomorrow. I’ve started the daunting task of cleaning my house, beginning with the basement. I filled six blue and six green bags for garbage pickup this morning, plus two blue bags of shredded paper products. I tossed about fifteen large cardboard boxes into the local recycling bins, and donated five boxes of books to the University of Alberta Libraries this morning (where, coincidentally, I work). I bought two new Uniden cordless phones to replace the aging Uniden phone I’ve had since the mid-90s. In between the foregoing I’ve been finishing last minute Christmas shopping.

.: I was saddened to learn last week that my Little Brother is moving away from Edmonton. I am an In-School Mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Edmonton, and my Little Bro, JG, is leaving town. In-School Mentors visit their Littles once a week at their schools, and spend about 45-60 minutes with them once a week. I’ve worked with J for about 18 months, and recently he was teaching me how to play chess. I’ll miss him, but wish him well; he’s a great kid.

.: It hasn’t taken the corporate world long to take advantage of YouTube. NBC, for example, is uploading videos of its shows (or sections thereof) within minutes of a show’s finish. Last Saturday, NBC uploaded the uncensored version of a video featuring guest host Justin Timberlake and cast member Andy Samberg soon after the show ended. The music video is crude but funny – Timberlake plays the boy band schtick to the nines! When the YT video ended, links to a number of other NBC videos appeared, including this one, which includes one brilliantly hilarious scene (extreme sports), and is about an NBC-sponsored site called It’s Your Show. Create an original video (with original music if need be), use the supplied toolkit if applicable, upload the video into an existing category on the site, or create your own category therein. Sounds like fun, if you have enough free time to work on such things.

7 Responses to “The Hardware, Grilled”

  1. cdc Says:

    Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful holiday, and break. Hope 2007 continues to be successful and exciting for you.

  2. steve forty Says:

    Merry Christmas Randy, I hope your holidays are great, and that sometime in the New Year you find time to relax (you seem to be busy with so many projects- job, house, band…). I wish you and your family good health and a great 2007.
    Steve 40

  3. Fluffy Snakes Says:

    USB 2.0 standards took a while to mature. Equipment less than two years old should have no problems. Three years or more may not interoperate well. It’s usually a mistake to connect a high-capacity external USB 2.0 drive to any computer with an older USB 1.1 port, either because the speed mismatch, or because of disconnects and lost data (which in your case probably lost the master file directory!). New equipment is not nearly as backward compatible as they claim.

  4. Al-Paoul Says:

    Yo, Rando;

    (Insert felicitations appropriate to your personal world-view here.)

    Hey, like, Maxtor: just say no.

    Word of wisdom: they don’t call a Swiss Army Knife the Swiss Army Knife of knives for nothing.

    Peace out. And stuff.


  5. randy Says:

    I would agree that what you describe is what happened to my desktop. I plugged in the Maxtor, and that’s when the problem began. Interestingly enough, this didn’t happen when I first connected my 160GB Acomdata drive some months ago.

  6. Al-Paoul Says:

    Yeah, that’s like…ah… corporate rivalry or professional misconduct or somethin. Hey, there’d be a cool gig: professional misconduct; who knew you could turn a buck at that? Kinda makes misbehavin sound respectable. Bumps it up a notch, I guess.

    Yeah, when Maxtor sees that Acomdata lipstick on your hard drive, it’s all over. Jealousy, that’s the word. Misconduct and jealousy, all made outa 1’s and 0’s. Truly freakish.

    All the best in 007.

  7. the pod bay door / Short Videos of Hilarity and Originality, and The Kindness of a Friend Says:

    […] .: Speaking of Keith, I need to give him props.  Last December, I wrote about my Dell Dimension 4400 freezing and crashing after I connected a 320GB external drive to one of its USB ports. The machine froze because its USB ports, all 1.1, could not handle the Maxtor, designed for USB 2.0 and Firewire connections. It took me a few weeks to recover the data on the hard drive, and get it functional again. A few days subsequent to the blog entry, Keith appeared at my house with a “Christmas card” – a USB 2.0 card, which he proceeded to install in the Dell, giving it four 2.0 USB ports. His generosity and kindness didn’t end there however – knowing that the four new ports would be on the back of the computer, he also brought a USB extension cable, so that I wouldn’t need to turn the computer around every time I wanted to use one of the 2.0 ports.  Thank you, Keith. […]

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