Forced Development Break

I had puzzled my way to the bottom of the obfuscated wellspring that was City of Heroes’ oh-so-complex Character Generation system.

The key, I decided, was going to be a Gravity Control /Kinetics/Psionic Mastery Controller because only this magical combination had the ability to easily reposition foes (with some correctional facility) for optimal damage boosting and then lock them down for containment before I put their brains in a blender while being protected from disturbances.

No other power combination could do this – a Mind Controller came close, but he didn’t really have a way to establish lock down for AOE containment nuking.   Thus, I had finally found a character of optimal variety, power, and group contribution with a relatively good level of creativity as well.  If everything shook out as I expected it would, this was a guy who I’d take through earning all the badges, completing all the story arcs, fleshing out with all the best invention enhancements, and so on.  He would be a main character without regrets.

I woke up this morning eager to put my plan into effect… and then my hard drive broke.

Not entirely unexpected

My 1 Terabyte Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 was purchased back in August of last year.   It wasn’t recognized when I booted up my computer this morning, and a little investigation revealed it was making sick grinding noises of failing to spin up.   Its failure was not such a stroke of bad luck, apparently, as over 20% of reviews on NewEgg seem to indicate that the poor thing died on them too.    If anything, I was lucky it lasted for three quarters of a year.

Fortunately, Seagate appears to have a really cool return policy.  My new hard drive is on its way.  I even shelled out an extra $20 for quick replacement and a nice chariot to send my old hard drive back to Valhalla.  You never know when that Champions Online beta invite will show up.

Unfortunately, I lost all my data.  While I did have it backed up on an external hard drive when I performed my Vista upgrade, I had deleted that from that drive (I even used a utility to scramble the bits) because I knew I might be taking that drive to school and I’d hate to have it fall into the wrong hands.  Even knowing that my main hard drive was prone to failure, even though I’m currently nto in school, I foolishly left myself without a recourse to recover it.

A lifetime of computer use has made data loss not nearly as stressful as it would be for a neophyte.  So I lost my passwords?  Most parties have a password recovery agent.  So I lost my email?  I rarely ever reference it.  So I lost an easy reference sheet to my work history, my resume, my cover letters — frankly, most of that stuff sucks and needs to be redone anyway.

Update: Not A Development Break, After All

After some time on my  laptop, I was invited to head down to BestBuy.  The goal was to replace a kludgy CD-ROM to make my Vista reinstallation go smoother when my hard drive replacement got here, but I walked out of there with a new hard drive too.   I decided that if I saw the exact same model (with newer firmware, one hopes) I’d go ahead and shell out for one and then run them in RAID 1 when the replacement gets here.  They had the same model, so I made good on my wager.

My motherboard is quite RAID compliant, so I look forward to giving that a spin.  RAID 1 isn’t supposed to grant a performance boost, but somebody scrawled in the Wikipedia that it might if you have multiple processors, and I do.  It probably won’t be until I’m running Windows 7 before that works, but then I primarily chose a RAID 1 because I don’t think I can trust this model of hard drive anymore.

Perhaps It Should Be

I wrote on this original entry that I planned to use my downtime to develop in BYOND (one of the few things my laptop can do well with a video card I chose to keep me motivated on things other than gaming).  However, now that I think about it (and that I’m starting to get over my cold) I should really try to take some time out of every day to do some kind of computer-related skill building.

I’m a maverick at computers, but I never really bothered to learn the specifics of a lot of the stuff in use by the professional business world.  From my perspective, most software in use is silly proprietary stuff foisted on novices who don’t know any better.  However, if I can bring down some bling from knowing it inside and out, it’d be a lot better than feigning customer service.  I’m talking maintentence or operations, but if I could become some kind of incredible engineer of one-of-a-kind-products, that’d be even better.

3 Responses

  1. Those Seagate drives should be avoided at all costs. It was a bit of a big deal a few months ago when they all started failing. Was lots of press on them: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/374/1050374/seagate-barracudas-7200-11-failing

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/16/seagate-barracuda-7200-11-drives-said-to-be-failing-at-an-alarmi/

    Seagate has released a free firmware upgrade and free data recovery service for the drives effected.

  2. Somehow this ended up in the spam bin.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  3. […] order to savor this, I’m going to be starting over from scratch: my hard drive broke not too long ago.  While I’m at it, I’m going to purchase all 3 of the expansions, […]

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