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[NOTE: This article is being rerun due to the fact that the Desk's Day Job wants to inflict OUTLOOK on THIS machine. ...But... Since the Technology Bosses are the Technology Bosses...nevermind ]


©01 The Media Desk

-or-  Fear and Loathing of a Hard Drive

            Well. It was a Monday. There was no doubt about that. The Breakfast Menu was changed three times because of various reasons. Number Two Daughter almost missed her bus. The Desk needed to stop and get gas, but had no money. Traffic was a collection of Loosers with nowhere to go but were out 'riding'.
            That's the term they use. They are not 'Driving', at least not with purpose and meaning, like they have someplace to go. But 'riding'. As in, sightseeing, or cruising...

"Where am I goin'? I don't know. When will I be there? I ain't certain. All I know is I am on my way." Paint Your Wagon. Main Title. Lerner and Loewe, 1951.

            Great movie, and Broadway Show too, but a lousy way to drive.
            In any case, the Desk made it to its day job and got the coffee working, then it proceeded to its cube to begin to pick up where it had left off on Friday.


            "now what"

            The Desk had turned 'the Beast' on and was waiting for the usual string of nonsense that indicated it was waking up and getting ready to induce the day's frustration and un-resolvable angst when that cheerful message appeared on a blank screen in the upper left hand corner. This wasn't part of the normal collection of Windows 98 error messages and 'unable to open file' flashes that were its greeting the day. The Desk's workstation wasn't nicknamed 'the Beast' just for giggles. The Desk firmly believed, and has evidence to support the belief that IT was actually the Great Beast of Revelation 13 : 5 "The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months."
            Well, maybe it wasn't the Beast itself, but it was a forerunner of it. Besides, it didn't last forty-two months. That and its network address wasn't 666.

            The Network Manager/Computer Guy/Technology Master came in and confirmed the Desk's gut feeling that the Beast's hard drive had died. It wasn't 'spinning up', it wasn't doing anything. The computer didn't even know it was there.
            Perhaps it was just a loose cable. Maybe a blown fuse or a bad connection. With any luck, he'd light some candles and kill the fatted calf and jiggle the right thingie and it'd go again. Free to go about it's business

"...the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them,
and overpower and kill them." Rev 11 : 7.

            Isn't that somewhere in the system files of Windows 98? The Government said it was in the Microsoft Master Plan to conquer the world and make us all slaves to IT.
            At this point, using a coworkers work station... The Desk would settle for getting the Beast back. But that doesn't look good. The Computer Man said he was checking the warranty on the hard drive. Not a good sign. This workstation is too brightly lit. The keyboard is too low, as is the monitor, and the chair is like sitting in a bucket.
            It's amazing how little of a change in your surroundings it takes to induce headaches and back spasms. You grow used to your chair's peculiarities. Which side of your desk your phone is on. Listening to talk radio with your left ear. Stuff like that. And your own filing system. Well, your own piles of papers and files and junk are where you want them, or at least where you put it. The outdated phone numbers and messages are stapled to your walls where you know which ones are current and which ones are not, and the pictures over the monitor are your kids, or at least people you know the names of. In the Desk's case, Chief Illiniwek, and Nixon.

            We seem to become our work places, and our work places become us.
            Little by little, slowly, over the years, it turns into almost a second, or third, home.
            We dream about being at work, and at work we dream about being in Cancun.

One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed...Rev 13 : 3

            Just got a call from the Computer Doctor. The hard drive may be terminal, but he's got it running to where we can recover most of the files and information off it.
            We'll do a massive download of the assorted Junk that is essentially useless and hadn't been even looked at in months, and wait for the replacement to come in. In the meantime, it's back to work. Or something.

            You've got to love technology. It makes such a pretty fire.


      The Beast was pronounced dead Tuesday Morning at about 08:25. It had booted up, and began running as usual, then locked up, and died. It refused to do anything after that. The Computer Guru shook his head and pulled the plug. Dr. Leftover spoke a few words over its disconnected case and fondly remembered the Window's 98 error screens and lockups.
      But... Alas. It has died, and we must move on.


      This is one reason the DESK is a firm believer in backing EVERYTHING up multiple times, in different media, almost obsessively. Due to this crash, it lost very little of any importance at all. Backups- Use Them! [the preceding plug for floppy disks was an uncompensated Public Service Announcement.]

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