Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day 1883

Today was an exercise in futility. I wanted to boot my computer from an external drive so I could use a defragmentation application to clean up the desktop computer. There was an external drive sitting on a nearby shelf, but I couldn't find the wall wart power supply so I could plug it in. I got a box out of the closet that contained about forty of these wall warts and started looking for one with an odd, non-standard four pin connection that matched connection on the external drive. I hate these wall warts. Why can't manufacturers include a decent internal power supply with their gadgets like they used to? Now, I've got all these various wall warts and I have no idea what they go to anymore. Each one has a different capacity and outputs a different voltage. I don't know how I acquired so many of these things. Old routers, synthesizers, battery chargers, hard drives, sequencers, and mixers all seem to use them.

Eventually, I found the correct power supply, plugged in the external drive enclosure and discovered that the drive itself had gone bad. All it made was a clicking sound and wouldn't even spin up. Luckily, I found another old Seagate drive in a drawer and took the enclosure apart so I could substitute drives. The second drive wouldn't spin up either. Evidently, if you leave a hard drive sitting around for five or ten years without using it, there is no guarantee that it will ever work again. I thought both of these hard drives were still good the last time I used them. I just can't remember when that was. If old hard drives just die of their own accord after they sit idle for years, I need to seriously rethink my storage warehouse strategy. There are a ton of old computers sitting in there that I might want to fire up someday. What if none of them work anymore?

Today's experience reaffirmed my belief that there are two fundamental operating principals in the universe. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and use it or lose it. Since I still needed an external drive I could boot up from, I drove to Fry's and bought one. This is probably how I have acquired so much electronic garbage over the years. I should have added the two broken hard drives to the pile of junk I was going to take out to the curb for big trash day, but I couldn't bring myself to throw them away. Maybe they weren't broken after all and I was just doing something wrong.

The weather was wonderful for a second day in a row. I continued my efforts to clean up the yard a bit while the dogs lounged in the sun. I felt like leaving the back door open, so the dogs could come an go as they pleased. I can't do this for too long though, because neighborhood feral cats and even racoons will wander inside.

My experience with the hard drives got me to thinking about the generator I got a few months ago. I took it outside and started it up, just to make sure it still worked. The instructions said I should start it at least once a week, but that was way too much trouble. I haven't started the thing since I bought it. I didn't even use the generator during our last power outage. I still think the best way to deal with a power outage is just go to a nice, pet friendly hotel and wait for the power company to fix things. Luckily the generator still works just fine. Maybe someday, I'll actually need it.

The Space X launch in Florida got scrubbed again. I'm glad I didn't fly down to watch the launch. I would have had to come back empty handed again. You have to have a lot of patience and a very flexible schedule to actually see one of these rockets get off the ground.

Today was kind of dead, but there are already two writing jobs cued up for tomorrow. Two writing jobs and two long dog walks ought to fill up the day rather nicely.

Cooper is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day