There was no posting yesterday. I'll try to have something political up later today.
It's computer-fixin' time. My own system is not down, thank god. But a nasty old problem has nearly killed my ladyfriend's laptop computer, and now I'm trying to squeeze a few more months of life out of the thing.
Time for a minor rant: Laptops. Don't like 'em.
If more people understood how a hard drive works -- how inherently frail the thing is -- they'd treat their laptops and netbooks very differently. Have you ever seen the guts of a hard drive? The things are delicate
. Imagine a bungee cord for an elephant woven out of butterfly wings. How can something so fragile do such a tough job? You should be perpetually amazed that your drives work at all, even when they are kept cool and immobile.
Whenever my lady's laptop would do something to piss her off, she would bang on it -- literally whack
it. This is, of course, a very human reaction. But now her hard drive is acting like it has bad sectors. Well, file that
one under D for Duh.
We've rescued the data; the problem now is getting a freshly-installed OS to stay alive for more than an hour or so. (That's a big problem with laptops: Having your programs and your data on the same drive is barbaric.) I've told her that from now on, she must vent her anger in other ways. If she wants to take a rifle up to a university bell tower, who am I to judge? But under no circumstances is she to strike another computer for any reason. Better she should hit me
; I'm not so delicate.
I wish there was an alternative to CHKDSK and Spinrite for finding and repairing bad sectors. The problem with Spinrite is that it tries to save the data, while I just want the nasty parts of the disk marked "no go" so I can do a fresh install. As I said: All we need another three months. Please, digital deities. Hear my prayer.
Y'know what else I don't like about laptops? If I spill soda on my keyboard, I just buy a new keyboard for ten or twenty bucks. (I like 'em small and cheap.) But if you spill anything on a laptop keyboard, it's a different story.
Same thing with the screen. A laptop screen is
replaceable, but the job's not easy. Also, I'm a two-monitor kind of guy. Even if monitor #2 is an old CRT found by the side of the road, it's better to have that second monitor than not to have it.
Don't get me started on the issue of heat management. Right now, they're selling laptop systems with quad-core cpus from AMD. Well, jeez, I wouldn't run a thing like that without a big ass cpu fan and a big ass heat sink and two big, big ass case fans.
Sorry, but 'puters simply are not meant to be portable. Maybe when SSD drives are cheaper, but not now. Besides, how can you trust any system you did not assemble yourself?