Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Demise of a Well Loved Machine?

What a crap day it has been so far today. Towards the end of last week I had reason again to visit 'the coast', which, together with gym sessions and driving lessons (car driving – yes, at my age I have yet to learn to drive), pretty much swallowed up my time. This morning, though, for the first time in ages I awoke at home (my home) – and with the day ahead totally free. Not only that but I both awoke at a reasonable time and fired-up with a burning enthusiasm to get on with writing - You may remember that recently I told you how I had come up with some interesting ideas, well now they have had time to ferment! So, picture the scene; I am sitting in front of my dual-screen work setup, microphone poised at my lips (I use voice recognition and dictation) and hands quivering in anticipation hovering over the key board. The computer boots up (takes just a few seconds – it uses two 10,000 RPM Raptors configured in RAID zero, for the technically-minded) and I duly log on to my account. Google pops up, my work folder opens, the voice recognition stuff loads and I lean back with my mug of tea, reading through my emails – all is as expected, all is right with the world and I am raring to go. But what is this? What is this strangely-pungent smell, somewhere between toilet disinfectant and singed hair? Having checked my barnet (Barnet fair – hair, get it?) and found it free of evidence of indigenous slash and burn agricultural activity and having felt an ominous tinge of familiarity tickling the back of my mind, I lean forward, tentatively sniffing at the keyboard, mouse and their environs...Yes...My suspicions are confirmed. The worrying fragrance is stronger here – actually it is becoming stronger throughout the room, almost eye-watering in fact – but it is definitely stronger here. Now that I come to think about it, I know that smell from somewhere – from the days I worked as an electronic engineer – it is the odor of stressed-out electronic componentry giving up the ghost...But this is a veritable funeral pyre!...And it is coming from the rear of the computer desk – I can see the smoke now!!! I reach for the off button but the reaper beats me to it – the screens go blank, the fans fall silent, the hard drives run down and brain-death is declared. For a few dumbfounded moments there is silence, then....Bang!!! A loud metallic concussion issues from the computer's backside – these things can happen to us all at the moment of our demise I understand.

To cut a long story short; upon undertaking the necessary postmortem examination I found encouragement in the observation that the odor of decay was strongest around the region of the heart (power supply). Upon opening up said organ I was further gladdened to find evidence of blackening and a splattering of the contents of one of the electrolytic capacitors. This is not to say that the patient is retrievable of course; the chances of resurrection depend a lot upon the strength of its immune system, ie whether or not the motherboard's over-voltage, chip set overheating, CPU over-temperature detection and shutdown measures stepped in fast enough. In the absence of visual evidence, the only way to find out for sure is by substitution. Accordingly I have just purchased what I believe to be a correctly tissue-matched transplant replacement.

Despite this drawback, I am determined not to let my enthusiasm become too dampened. To that end I have decided to do a little work on my notebook machine in a local coffee bar before returning, so that at least I have got something done toward getting the new volume out. Meanwhile the project I have been trying to get underway to scan and share my spanking / discipline magazine and book collection (and other related collections) has once again been delayed as has anything else requiring scanning / printing. To top it all, I have quite a lot of stuff on the main machine that is not backed up (and that is despite my forever harking on to anybody within earshot of the need to always back things up). Saying that, all work to do with my books has been backed up on DVDs or resides on more than one machine, other than the work I recently did on the cover art for the new book, but that was only tentatively trying out a few ideas and amounted to just a couple of hours work at most. There is quite a lot of downloaded research, source materials and pictures on the hard drives, though, that has not been backed up. As the drives are RAID zero and the data shared between them, this means that if the motherboard is indeed kaput, then retrieving all that stuff will have to wait for me to put together what amounts to a new machine. Meanwhile, for the chap who requested pictures of women carrying or using the tawse and for all those that appreciate the image of the strict nurse / governess figure, here are a few pics originating from our sponsors (ho, ho!) (see bottom of page or right sidebar) Sorry they are so small but they are just thumbnails that I have pinched off of one of their email newsletters. Ordinarily I would re-size / enhance them for your further delectation, but...Well you know the problem...Actually the last one is from elsewhere (though I'm not so sure from exactly where - it was sent to me) and not so small - think of it as a bonus. Cheers and beers!


Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not technically-minded at all and didn't understand half of what you said but I had a good laugh.
"A lot of stuff that is not backed- up"?????? You deserve a good session with the tawse-wielding nurse.
OpenID suddenly refuses to identify me.

Toyntanen said...

Aint that the truth, Orage! I have been up half the night backing stuff up just in case anything similar ever happens again - the rest you can read in the next entry.

Anonymous said...

The photo of the girl having the strap is very reminiscent of myself being given the tawse by my Mum whilst sometimes being held by Aunty , who was often present when I was punished! However I was never totally bare-just my btm and thighs. Mum had a set of Rules which added up to behave youself and work hard in school and all would be well! I was strapped up to the age of about 18 when I went to University. Most of my later punnishments were due to coming home late at night !. We did occassionaly talk about it later on but she felt she was doing what many more mothers should be doing now , and never regretted giving me the strap.I used to complain bitterly at the time as none of my friends got their bums tanned- even by hand!