Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2012.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

Leveling up my tech

Posted 12 August 2012 in life and technology

At the end of June I experienced a catastrophic hard drive failure: I turned on my computer and heard a metallic ping, followed by the gut-wrenching grinding noise of something dragged across the spinning platters. I turned the computer off immediately, but when I booted it back up a few days later the drive was no longer spinning up at all and the BIOS could no longer see it.

That computer was 10 years old and in need of replacement, so I bought all the parts I needed and put together a new, screaming fast machine. All I can say is 'wow', because YouTube videos no longer play at two frames per second. My biggest problem now -- aside from data loss -- is recovering all of my passwords. (LinkedIn had a security breach a few months ago, which prompted me to change all of my passwords to unique random strings. I didn't update my backups, so it's going to be a long road to reset all of those stupid passwords.)

I'm also pleased that I finally took the time to fix my mouse, which had been suffering click bounce problems (it was detecting spurious clicks, so a single click might be detected as a double- or triple-click, and drag-and-dropping was an impossibility). The mouse now behaves perfectly, thanks to a helpful-but-sketchy-looking website.

Finally, I found an HP Photosmart C4250 out by the dumpster with all of the cables included. I brought it in, turned it on, saw an error in Korean, reset the language to English, and discovered that there were refilled print cartridges installed. I bought new cartridges and now have a fully functional printer/scanner/copier. I can finally scan my photographs and properly integrate them into my digital collection.

My tech is looking very sleek and modern now, but it will still take time for me to recover from the hard drive failure. That was a terrible blow to my productivity, but I'll recover eventually.