Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Practising What I Preach

Remember that article I wrote about computer backups? Well, last week I had to "eat my own dog food" as they sometimes say in software engineering circles. Yes, you've guessed it, I had a computer failure. My five-and-a-half-year-old PC went into a coma and never recovered, despite some desperate attempted surgery.

There's a fault on the motherboard that caused the CPU to shut down after a minute or so. Probably some kind of overheating problem. Anyway, it would be uneconomical to have it repaired, so the machine has been consigned to the Captain's Museum of Defunct Hardware. I think the hard disk is intact, though I haven't been able to prove that yet, so in theory I could retrieve data from that. As it happens though, I don't need to! I lost absolutely nothing because I backed up on Wednesday evening and the machine failed first thing on Thursday morning. To be honest, I don't think I'd ever have lived it down, had this not been the case.

Restoration from my backups was more difficult than I'd anticipated. Before you call me a hypocrite though, let me assure you that this was not my fault! I'd envisaged replacing the hardware and operating system, then simply re-installing software and replacing my files from backup media. What I hadn't foreseen was the need to migrate from Windows XP to Vista. Again, I won't bore you with the details but let's just say it presented some challenges - what business types call "opportunity" (Houston, we have an opportunity).

Anyway, now I'm back up and running and in the land of cyber-space once more. Not much else to report really but watch this space for a special guest in a forthcoming article. In the mean time, I'll be off to run the Aviemore Half-marathon this weekend. Wish me luck.


HelenMHunt said...

Phew! Glad that all had a happy ending. Good luck for the half marathon.

Colette said...

Good luck with that half marathon. You have my complete respect. Good job about the back up - you'd have never lived it down otherwise. I always back up everything of mine because its a surprise every time this laptop starts up.

Denise said...

Half marathon? Shudder. Hope the weather is kind up there!

Lane said...

Oh my. Glad it wasn't a complete disaster and you've got a new shiny toy to play on.

Good luck with your run. You're a brave man:-)

ChrisH said...

Eeeek! What a scary moment, but no, not for you - you are not the captain for nothing! Well done - and have a great race.

Debs said...

Well done you for being so good with your backing up. Glad all was not lost, despite you having a few 'opportunities'.

Best of luck with the half marathon.

Karen said...

You've just reminded me to BACK-UP! Right now!

Good luck with your shiny new toy, and the half-marathon :o)

B said...

Good luck! Hope it goes well.

Annieye said...

I hope you had a great time in Scotland and I'm glad all was well when you had a computer breakdown.

Anonymous said...

Helen: Me too.

Colette: My old lap-top was getting that way. More and more warnings in the event log, until it finally died.

Denise: Weather wasn't too bad. Only got rained on for the last couple of miles.

Lane: The new computer is indeed very shiny, especially the screen. If only the same could be said for the operating system.

ChrisH: To be fair, I was extremely lucky with the timing. If things had gone worse, I'd have lost a day's work.

Debs: These opportunities are sent to test us, I think.

Karen: I'm glad I reminded you. You have done it now, haven't you?

B: Thanks. It wasn't a personal best time by a long shot but I got round it.

Annie: Scotland was great, though quite exhausting. My family really know how to tire me out!