Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Black Hole Of Suckularity

Wherein The Suck Is Jabbed In, Twisted, Broken Off, And Then Generously Salted

My iMac blew up Saturday morning.

It had been fidgety since Wednesday evening, but I nursed it along, hoping the usual disk repair tools would suffice for a cure. By Friday night, I was getting freezes and kernel panics in programs that were usually rock-solid. When the DVD player started locking up, I knew the problem was pretty bad.

Saturday a.m. I ventured out into the pouring rain to go get Apple's latest OS install disk for OSX.4, or "Tiger". I had borrowed the install disks for 10.3 "Panther" quite a while ago, and no longer had them available. Had to go to more than one place, too, which increased my frustration and overall moisture level. After sales tax, it was a $140 purchase. Still, I reasoned, it was necessary and probably long overdue.

Got back, and the install DVD would not boot. Hung during the restart process. Tried setting it as the startup disk, and promptly got more kernel panics from the OS. After a while, it got real twitchy about restarting.

Finally gave up and called Apple tech support. Got a "tech" that was very diligent about tippy-tapping on her keyboard to log the call, but somewhat less efficient about knowing what to do. During the repeated restarts she requested, the power light on the monitor quit coming on, as did the startup chimes. "Oh, well", she chirped. "If it's not powering on, you need to take it in to an Authorized Apple Service Center!" Gee, ya think?

So, I've got a computer that spins its cooling fan and optical drive, but exhibits no other signs of life. Great. It's not like I don't have backups, but the last (partial) one was done in June, and a lot has happened since then. All the iTunes purchases, all those blogfest pics, all my nephew baby pics, all are there on the drive. Oh, and that pricy install DVD? Stuck in the optical drive.

A friend of mine had a hard drive implode not too long ago. Cost him about a $1000 to get his data back. I'm hoping this is a logic board or other hardware issue, and not the drive.

I'll lug it down to the Apple Store this weekend, I guess. No time to do it during the week. Fortunately, I've got a friend that works there, and he can be relied upon not to format the drive. I'd sooner put a new one in if that's the issue, and set the bad one on a shelf until I can save up the shekels to have the data pulled off.

God, this sucks. I even looked at external drives to do a backup a month ago, but decided not to buy one since I was getting a new iMac in January. "It'll be OK until then! Crashes are something that happen to other people!!!"

Sound FX: (Fade in: bourbon bottle being uncorked, loud glugging sounds - Sound of head being banged against desk repeatedly, followed by anguished moans.)