Yesterday world was after my PCs. It was going reasonably well when I picked up my first notebook (was always getting my computers in desktop flavor), checked it on spot, packed and headed home.
Then it all went nuts.
Photo by Focal Intent
I came home, ignored my desktop, that was quietly humming in server mode with monitors turned off, and unpacked the new toy. It was nice shiny notebook that had cool bluetooth mouse and power cord that was definitely unfit for any wall sockets in this country. I hadn’t checked small stuff and it had immediately bitten me.
I called person who ordered notebook, shared my wtf moment and tweeted @Kara_atDELL, who was eager to hear about my unboxing, that it was far from successful.
Troubles come in pairs
Then I reached for my monitors and turned them on… to display blue screen of death in all its pixel glory. My home desktop is old but really stable – I run… ran it 24/7 for months (literally) without reboots. Drivers of new WiFi adapter were acting nasty a bit so I blamed them and hit reset.
It blanked and never showed anything again.
- I removed power and let it cool off. Still dead.
- Methodically stripped everything that can be stripped (UPS, drives, PCI cards, external video card, most of memory). Still dead.
It remained blank and I started to hear high pitch sound (I am too sensitive to those) electronics make – sometimes when it feels like it, but mostly when it is broken. I reasoned that power supply is most likely culprit and packed it to take to work next day.
So it was just the beginning of evening and I was out of PCs to use. I connected to Internet via EDGE on my N810 and started to think what can I actually do.
- Tweeted what a ****************** evening I am having.
- Answered to email from @Robert_P_atDell, who offered to help with power cord issue, that I am way too far from Dell home market and expect it to be fixed tomorrow anyway (or heads will roll).
- Checked more important feeds in newsgator mobile.
- Approved and answered comments at this blog.
- Fell asleep four hours earlier than usual.
Fast forward to next day, replaced power cord and working PSU (meaning it is something of core desktop internals that is fried).
I have access to:
- my external hard drive:
- all of portable software ready to use;
- all of setup packages;
- all of materials for this blog;
I have no access to:
- video archive;
- torrent/RSS setup (I kept procrastinating moving uTorrent out of Program Files folder);
- settings for all non-portable (really hating .NET Framework);
- part of feeds I had not migrated to newsgator yet;
- local email settings;
- server stuff must all be reconfigured for different folder structure.
Rapid move to notebook was definitely far from painless especially since few issues could be easily prevented if I had bothered to include them in backup or sync routine. Still everything important is safe and accessible.
I had tried to make notebook usable as fast as I could. At home I plugged main monitor and most of peripherals into it, making pretty good replacement for dead desktop.
As horror of being computerless for another day is now reduced – I need to pack my desktop and get it to work for proper diagnostics and replacement of fried parts. Glad I have spare finances left for that even after notebook purchase.
- external hard drive is extremely useful;
- every single non-portable app is huge problem when trouble strikes;
- desktop apps had started to get cloud sync capabilities but are far from complete at that (no watches in FeedDemon, feeds, passwords and interface settings in Opera);
- small form factors PCs may seem underpowered but usual desktop is pain to transport;
- email accounts must be consolidated for easy access under any circumstances;
- three years is too long without motherboard upgrade;
- NAS still seems overpriced but more interesting despite that.
Had you ever experienced your main PC suddenly dying? Are you prepared for such?