Saturday, March 28, 2020

Day 3747

Finally, something has taken my attention away from the coronavirus. My main computer crashed late last night. What a giant pain. I'm having an almost impossible time salvaging 4 terabytes worth of data. Often you can restore a corrupted hard drive with special utility software, but this time I'm out of luck. The large hard drive is mechanically damaged and none of my disc utility software can save it. The computer won't boot up at all. It gets about halfway through the process and shuts off. To make matters even worse, all the Apple Stores in the country are closed right now. Who knows when stores will open again. Even smaller computer repair shops in Dallas are closed indefinitely.

I was finally able to copy some of the files on my damaged hard drive using an an emergency external start up disc. It's hard to copy 4 terabytes  of files though when you don't have another 4 terabyte drive. I think I managed to salvage my financial records and most of my photos and business files. A lot is lost forever though. I've still got my laptop, but it is only meant for travel and has a very small hard drive. I've lost most of my e-mail messages and a lot of my contacts. I shouldn't have any problems writing the blog, since I can post from both my laptop and my iPad. I imagine I could post from my phone as well, if the tiny virtual keyboard didn't drive me insane.

I was able to find fresh fruit at the grocery store. Actually, I was able to find just about everything on my list. The stores have done a pretty good job of restocking things, although there is still no toilet paper. There weren't a lot of people in the store when I went shopping this morning. I guess everyone has finally filled their homes with enough food and paper products to last until the next ice age. Not touching things is next to impossible. I wore some disposable latex gloves to get gas this morning because I've been reading that gas pumps are virus hotspots. I had to take the gloves off in the store though. The iPhone app I use to avoid the checkout line wouldn't work with the gloves on. When I finished shopping I completely forgot about the gloves and pushed my buggy out to the car with my bare hands. Lord knows how many times I've touched my face today.

I've seen a lot of couples where one person is wearing a mask and the other isn't. I see this in the park as well. Usually it is the wife that is wearing the mask. Nobody is sneezing though. I haven't heard anyone sneeze all week. This is a terrible time to have seasonal allergies. I'm always afraid I'm going to have to sneeze and I'll be thrown out of the store. So far, so good though. I haven't sneezed in public yet.

I finally know someone personally who has the virus. That didn't take long. This was a guy I met at a NASA event last year. He thinks he became infected at a business meeting a few weeks ago when he inadvertently shook the hand of a potential client who had flown in from out of town. The guy's wife has the virus too. Both are young and fairly healthy.

The park was full of people today. Everyone was keeping their distance, but it was clear that people were getting cabin fever. You can only stay inside for so long. It was a nice day and what else can you do when all the stores are closed? I hope things never get bad enough to require restricting outdoor movement. Some countries won't even let you walk your dog now. The people I see outdoors are doing the right thing. They are keeping their distance, while getting some much needed exercise.

Tomorrow, I'll return to salvaging as many files as I can before the damaged hard drive becomes completely inaccessible. I found a replacement drive on Amazon, but I don't know if I can install it myself. Fixing things on older Apple towers was easy. The new iMac models are much more difficult. Everything on my computer is crammed in a small space behind the 27" screen and is almost impossible to access or remove. Some parts are even glued together so you can't remove them. The last time I replaced a hard drive I had the folks at Experimac do the work. They've gone out of business though. All stores I like eventually go out of business.

So far, Janet and I are feeling fine. Hope that all of you are as well.

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