Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Success!!! Mostly, Anyway!

Finally, I Get A Big Chunk O' My Life Back!

Came home yesterday to find a big brown box waiting for me on the doorstep. Nothing like spending a wad of cash on electronics and having UPS just leave it sitting outside in full view of the street.

Inside the box was the external hard drive kit I'd dithered about buying since last year. For those with long memories, you'll recall my G4 iMac bit the big one over the 2005 holidays, and it's been sitting idle ever since. Apple techs fingered either a bad drive or bad RAM as the likely culprits.

Plenty of things I couldn't access... Baby pictures of little Sammy. Passwords, weblinks, recipes and 1000's of words of prose, pontifications, plus perfectly puerile poetry. Pictures and email addresses and phone numbers to everyone I've ever met in my life, all neatly tucked away in Excel files rendered inaccessible by the crash.

Then, there's the music. 17+ gigabytes of tunes, collected since .mp3 became a viable format. I'm not one of those people who go around with headphones permanently attached, but when I need a dose of music, I really NEED a dose of music. It's not unknown for me to go 10-12 days without launching iTunes, then one day I'll fire it up, put on the headphones, and surf my collection for several hours.

It's been like sailing without a rudder since the iMac cratered. The new G5 iMac has been great, but it's a blank slate until you fill it up. Fortunately, my friends Zibig, Zippo and Andy have helped keep my head above water, and contributed what they could to keep me from losing it completely. Games, music and feeelthy movies. What more does a guy need?

It took most of an hour to carefully pry apart the iMac and gut it like a pumpkin. There was enough dust and cat fur inside to weave a rug, and this was in spite of my diligent efforts to keep the vents clear back when it was operating.

I finally got the hard drive free, and installed it into the external kit. Plugged in the drive, Firewire cord is attached, hit the power button...

Bingo! I now have two drives on the desktop, both labeled 'Macintosh HD'. Pause for a moment to give fervent thanks to the Flying Spaghetti Monster for reaching down and caressing the hard drive with His Noodly Appendage. I'll sacrifice a couple of cans of Chef Boyardee spaghetti & meatballs as burnt offerings this weekend!

Renamed the old drive, then made a digital beeline for the Excel files. Once they were pulled over to the new drive, I went for the family pics, then my writing projects, then the music. I'll get everything pulled over eventually, then format the old drive.

It's not all skittles and beer at this point. None of the import functions seem to be functioning. Most of the music and pics will now have to be imported a small laborious batch at a time. Re-arranging, renaming and re-equalizing 17 gigs of music files will take several months, to say the least. Still, compared with losing everything, it's a very small price to pay.

Finally, there's the question of what to do with the G4 iMac carcass. In theory, all I should need is a couple of fresh sticks of RAM, a new drive, (or reinstall the old one, and buy a new one for backups) and if I can remember how to fit it all back together, it should be good to go.

Or, I could just part it out on eBay. G4 iMac logic boards look to be selling for $200. Superdrive DVD-Rs for $30, LCD panel for about a C-note. Heck, I could buy a gun on Buy A Gun Day with all that cash!!