BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Well, there's that ...

I guess this is a "glass half full" sort of situation. As I no doubt mentioned previously, I had a system crash a few weeks back, which seems to be centered on the hard drive. I put out a call for help, and an old buddy of mine (from way back in the day) responded via FaceBook, putting me in touch with a guy who had fixed up his system after a crash, and had been able to retrieve nearly everything from his HD. If you've ever looked into getting info off a dead hard drive from commercial services, you'll know that it starts with insanely expensive and goes up from there. Anyway, this guy currently has my old/dead HD and says it looks like he can get the data off of it (which is a HUGE relief since I stupidly had all the files from all my clients from the past year just sitting, not backed up, on my "desktop"). Obviously, he's going to need some place to copy these to, and going the "burn it to 50 DVDs" route didn't sound like the best option.

Initially I was looking at getting an internal back up drive (largely because the back-up-to-cloud service Carbonite ... which advertises a lot on public transit here, so I'd checked them out ... won't back up from external drives under their basic plan, but there are other services that will), but figured that an external drive made more sense. Over the summer there were some awesome drive deals from TigerDirect,, New Egg, etc., but recently nada ... however Best Buy had a number over the past couple of weeks, all of which ended up quickly expiring.

This week there was a deal on this 2TB LaCie drive, and as recently as Tuesday it showed that I could just go pick one up over at the John Hancock location ... however, when I went over there on Wednesday, they were all out. And they were all out at the other two or three "reasonable to get to" locations. And they were unavailable for shipping, and unavailable to be sent to the store. I eventually had somebody explain that these were all out at the warehouse, so what was in the stores was what was available. They did have some at some north suburban locations that were plausible to get to via public transport (The Wife kept suggesting that I get a Zip Car to pick this up, but that would have run us $30-40.00 depending on how long it took, which sort of negated getting a sale unit), and I ended up calling the Best Buy at the Old Orchard Mall in Skokie last night and asking if they could put one on hold for me to pick up today.

For some reason Daughter #1 was off school today, so she came along on the expedition. I was initially thinking of doing the Red Line to the Evanston Express, but we must have just missed one when we got to Fullerton, and it was going to be another 15 minutes or so till the next one, and it was cold, and another Red Line showed up right after the one we'd gotten off of, and Daughter #1 suggested we take that (which worked out as we got to Howard without being passed by the express). Our timing was better on that end, as we only had to wait about 2 minutes for the Skokie Swift, which we took to the end of the line. We were supposed to be picking up a bus there, but my CTA app showed it was going to be almost a half hour for the next one, and we were just starting to head off to walk to Old Orchard (on the maps it looked to be about a 10 block walk) when the bus appeared ... I guess it was running late and the app thought it had already left.

So, we get to the stop at Skokie & Golf, and Best Buy's just a block into the mall ... we swing in, get the drive, and head back out. We had about a 15 minute wait for the bus back, and it was pretty cold, and #1 suggested we just stay on the bus for the long (but warm) ride back to Howard, rather than get out and wait in the cold for the Swift. When we get to the platform there's a Red Line waiting, which took us home. We were going to make another stop (it was officially Report Card Pick-up Day at her school), but #1 convinced me that I really didn't have to do that (and these were not the droids we were looking for), so we skipped the side-trip to her school.

Obviously, with no money coming in, having to buy more computer hardware is not a happy thing, but my brother had given me a $100 gift card for my birthday, and the sale price on this LaCie 2TB external drive was $99.99 ... so all I had to cover was the tax. What's awesome here is that this particular drive has nothing but 4 and 5 star reviews (well, except one that was bitching about not being able to get the included back-up software to work on his system), which is, generally speaking, unusual. Typically on hard drive reviews there are a significant chunk of 1 and 2 star reviews complaining about how poorly/noisily the drive ran, or died in 3 months, or was DOA, etc. and there was NONE of that with this, which makes me hopeful that this will be holding local copies of my stuff for quite a while. I am, however, also looking at the various "cloud" solutions (I found this site which has info on the "top 10" services, which looks to be very helpful) and plan to get an off-site backup with one of them once everything is set with my new system.

Anyway ... it's a great deal for the massive 2TB drive ... hopefully the guy who's doing the retrieval will present me with a reasonable bill (I heard what he charged my buddy for doing a LOT more work, and I'm hoping that this will be in that general ballpark). It's just killing me to have to spend this money now, but I needed to have a functional computer to do any work, and I'm having to get these files off or have most of what I've done over the past 12 months just go "poof". Definitely a lesson in keeping everything backed up!

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