Archive for November 2005

Of Hard Drives and Warranties

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Sorry for the silence for the past week or so, but I’ve had some computer issues lately. And unfortunately, updating at work wasn’t an option because our computer security people in their infinite wisdom decided that blogging was a Bad Thing. And well it should be if it involves confidential information…I do value my job. But since I hardly talk about work to begin with…

But anyway, I digress.

Over the past month, my computer had been acting really flaky. My hard drive would be OK one day and then the next day react REALLY slowly, as in half an hour to start up. It got progressively worse until the beginning of last week, when the computer would start not booting at all. I went into full evacuation mode…got Norton Ghost and an external hard drive…then decided to run a chkdsk /r (the disk check feature). It took three and a half days to finish, and after that the computer just flat wouldn’t work.

That’s when I decided to call HP and deal with the results of rampant offshoring. Now, admittedly, I don’t personally know many South Asians here in Hawaii, so my ear is not quite attuned to the Indian accent. So the problem is with me. But when I have to constantly ask, “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” because the support tech sounds like, “So, Mr. Higa, could you hooba booba the moose and snigfritz the plume bub?” I think we have a problem.

Long story short…I had to order the recover discs because I didn’t make them when I had the chance earlier. They FedEx’d them over and I got them the next day…used them to wipe the hard drive and restore the factory-installed programs. The documentation said as long as 5 hours. It was still going at it after ten hours, after which I said to myself, “Screw it,” and took it to CompUSA.

I should have done that in the first place. The technician (whom I could readily understand) confirmed what I had figured…the hard drive was toast. Three months old and my computer gets its first major problem. Fortunately, not only did the warranty cover parts and labor, the technician was able to replace the dead disk with a new one from the sales floor via a “rapid repair” program. What I was initially told would take one and a half weeks (aaagh!!) took just two days to complete.

Right now I’m in the process of putting things back on board and restoring from my three-month old backups. Fun fun fun. I’ve got things minimally up and running, but I think it’ll take until this weekend until things are back to normal.

Purple Pineapple Drive: Stem cells are in the news these days, but did you know that 9,000 people will be treated with stem cells this year? Those stem cells are mostly found in your bone marrow, and bone marrow transplants have become an important treatment option in leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, among others. What will be the next treatment for blood cancers? Help researchers develop new treatments. Donate today.

The Purple Pineapple Drive

Saturday, November 5th, 2005

Part of the reason I’ve kinda been neglecting this blog is that I’ve been feeding my sister blog, Not A Sprint But A Marathon, and documenting my training for this year’s marathon (not new for me) and fundraising to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (very new for me). If you haven’t visited it yet…hey, it’s a good read. I have had a link to it above this entry for several months now, but it hasn’t gotten much response.

In any case, my final fundraising deadline is fast approaching (December 2), and I’ve raised almost $1400. I need to get just a tad over $200 more.

I’m a regular listener to Hawaii Public Radio. They just recently finished their latest pledge drive, Celebration 2005. If you don’t know how public broadcasting works, they normally air shows without commercial interruption. But periodically for periods of about a week or two, they break into programming with appeals for donations so that they can keep operating. They get irritating, but they do the job.

So, here’s what I’m going to do, and I apologize in advance. I’m calling it the “Purple Pineapple Drive.” Until I reach my $1,600 goal, I am going to work something about leukemia or cancer into each entry. I may write a whole entry about leukemia or something related, or I may just put a small factoid about blood-related cancers at the end of an article about something else, with an appeal to donate. Or I may do even it (FACT: About 11,920 new cases of acute myelogenous leukemia are diagnosed each year in the United States) mid-sentence.

And just like public radio, once I’ve met my $1600 goal, normal programming will resume.

I hope you will find it in your hearts to support me with your tax-deductible donation as I train for my marathon, and in so doing support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in its work to find a cure for blood-related cancer.