Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Story of Heartbreaking Sadness and Sudden, Seemingly Inexplicable Joy.

Last night our external hard drive died.

Months ago, the Pal had very proudly hooked up a whole terabyte of movies and TV shows to a screen in our lounge room, and we relished in our (ahem, mainly his) cleverness. It’s like a TV! We cried. Only better and with nothing we don’t want to watch! It was a golden age of 30 Rock, The Wire, The West Wing (it will never be old to us) and so many more shows and films. I'm talking a TERABYTE of them.

But as I said, last night it died. For the last few months, it had been uttering strangled, gurgling sounds, which, as it turns out, is what the death rattles of a hard drive sound like. The Pal and I chose to ignore these sounds. Fearing a meltdown or a pricey replacement, we chose to tell ourselves that it had “always sounded like that” and that “it still works” so there was nothing to worry about. But there was something to worry about, as suddenly the drive said “corrupt” and that’s just how the Pal and I felt. In a moral sense, you understand.

Late last night, I came to terms with this loss. It is a first world problem, I thought. I can buy the DVDs again and rip them again. Worse things (but obviously not by much) have happened in the world.

Flash forward to this morning, when an over-eager electrician who was fixing our washing machine turned off the mains power. I wasn’t quick enough to turn off my computer in time, and sat, a little twitchy, waiting to turn my mac back on to see what I had lost.

In what can only be described in religious resurrection terms, I found all of my shit. All of it. The hard drive came whirring back and minutes later, in a Holy Grail kind of moment, I sat scrolling through all my long lost (ok, short lost) favourites. As I write, I am transferring all my precious files to another safe place, with a renewed sense of optimism and amazement at technology and its foibles.

We’ll probably need another hard drive, and we’ll probably lose some data, but isn’t it nice when you have little moments which burst through cloudy days with beams of sunny, sunny light?

The End.


  1. hha wow that is soooo lucky!!!

  2. What a rollercoaster! I was aghast, and about to put my hand up to offer DVDs of The West Wing, The Wire and Buffy etc, but no - joy of joys - the terabyte coughed back into life!

    Phew! I think I need a lie down!

  3. Phew indeed! Our new 500MB external hard drive arrived today, CMJ was too terrified of buying a terrabyte of storage space in the event that it went KABOOM! "It's a lot of stuff to lose" he kept repeating when I tried to extol the price virtues of a Terrabyte. Glad you have saved Jed, Toby and CJ..I don't know what I would do without them! x

  4. eek! good to see there was a happy ending =)

    i made copious copies of my thesis while i was writing... probably overkill, but you just never know!

  5. I know - it has been a full-on 24 hours!! Happily, jfox, I email my thesis to myself twice a day. So unless the internet breaks, I will always be able to access a copy. My heart breaks a little to think about losing it...


    Thanks for all of your lovely messages.

  6. Don't do that to me again!

    The panic that a burning hard drive image gave me overrode the other parts of my brain that registered the word joy from your title for more than an instant.

    Off to breathe into a paper bag on the floor of a dark, quiet meeting room here at work. Sigh.

  7. I wish my external hard drive story had a happy ending like that! It has been over a year and I'm still reeling from the loss...


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