I was up till quite late last night methodically going through installing all of my add-ons, plugins, bits and pieces that make doing things on my laptop so much quicker and often just possible to be done at all. Not a few of these I had to find the latest versions now that I am on 10.5, which is rather nice. I’ve decided to play with some of the new features instead of my usual one-step up from command-line simplicity, to see if they are indeed useful and not just candy.
My biggest moment of terror though was opening ecto and finding around 500 of my blog entires completely not there, and anything I tried to do made things worse. Eventually, things seemed to be normal-er-ish, though all my custom tags had vanished, and while I’m sure I recall seeing them in some .plist, I couldn’t find them and re-entered them by hand.
There is an ecto3 beta out, but if this doesn’t crash when I try and post it, and retains a semblance of order, I’ll stick with this till everything else is ok-ish.
Since mid-December I have been using one of the Centre for Astrophysics white MacBooks, which has been a joy. A proper working laptop, not the Frankenstein monster my beloved old PowerBook had become. Dead battery, dead hard drive, dead optical drive (with Japanese sexploitation film stuck in it).
Today I turned it on for the first time in three months, not even as its own machine, but slaved through FireWire to the MacBook, and then overwrote its disc with two and an half hours of:
I’ve been living dangerously with my PowerBook for the last couple of months, bad sectors and other arcane hardware malfeasance, along with torturous doubling back and forth with my back-up drive, until Friday night when it all turned crap. Somewhere in the midst of a kernal panic, my System Folder got unravelled, and now exists in no small part, completely disorganised in a folder called ‘Rescued Items’. This is a Bad Thing.
I’m considering trying to write the contents of my back-up drive to laptop, but with all the bad sectors that have left a nasty trail of corruption across my life I have a fear of more damage and catastrophe. The obvious solution is to buy a new drive. However, my laptop being so ancient is worth slightly less than 5400rpm of spinning magnetic discs. Also I need (emphasise need, not merely want) a new pair of shoes, and I’m too scared to even look at my credit card.
My harddrive didn’t really make that sound this time, but this evening while backing up, I got endless corrupt files, and when I finally rendered the drive insensible enough to open up Terminal and dig around smartd I found 20 or so fatal errors. So I’ve been copying over to my backup drive the last week’s files, and trying to make sure it’s all ok. I’m thinking of putting that drive into the PowerBook, but at the moment, many files that get created or modified seem to end up freezing the system. I’m far too poor to afford either a new drive or a much needed new MacBook, and I don’t know how long this drive is going to hang on.
Blogging might stop for a bit.
It’s Thursday morning and I’m waiting for my bicycle to arrive from Melbourne, so I’ve had some time to reassemble everything I salvaged from my dead drive with my last backup. Everything seems to be ok, but … lurking madness might be somewhere in my Home folder. Anyway, I’m now running my life off a 2.5″ firewire drive I bought in Hong Kong on a 6 year old PowerBook that pretty much doesn’t work. Kinda precarious…