Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hard Times with the Hard Drive

My dear friends,

Today I had a pretty big scare. It did not involve me choking on a too-long piece of squid, or being held up at gunpoint. I was in a tizzy about the state of a box roughly the size of my chest. It's black on the outside and lets people store information on it.

My computer was unable to start. Multiple restarts and attempts at diagnosis and at System Restore failed to fix it. The root cause of the problem was a 'bad patch'. I was on the verge of formatting my computer when I decided that I had to have dinner, lest I starve, and go to an Internet café to email a renowned computer-repair shop in the city. As I entered the alley just outside my hotel, I thought to myself about what would really be the consequences of losing all of the personal information on my computer. All of my reports, both excellent and shitty, all of my lecture notes, all of my photos (of which there are not many, but of which there will be many), all of my music, all of the programmes I never use anymore would be gone. How often do I use these things? Not very. Would it be bad to lose them? Ceteris paribus, yes. I rely heavily on some documents, such as my CV. But most of them are just things that are nice to have. My life could be nearly as fulfilling, as fulfilling or perhaps even more fulfilling than it currently is without all of that stuff on my computer. I could start storing my information in other ways - for example, I could talk to people more, so that information about me could be stored in their brains.

So I walked along Phố Dội Cấn, 5 bpm away from a myocardial infarction. There were other things stressing me out, but those things are not properly part of this post. Besides, the computer issue was directly responsible for most of my stress. I emailed a local computer-repair store to ask for a quote, and enjoyed a bowl of miến gà as little as I possibly could (there were other things on my mind). At the Internet café/three-walls-a-roof-and-children-playing-computer-games (the place did not serve coffee), I spent about twenty minutes. The rate for thirty minutes was 20,000 VND. It was nice to get back 15,000 VND even though I used two thirds of the time I requested. That 15,000 paid for three quarters of the miến gà, which I was unable to enjoy.

I returned to my hotel, expecting to have to do some serious relaxation exercises to calm myself down. Things like this tend to really stress me out. I usually worry about things much more than they should be worried-about, and I usually worry about them for much longer than they should be worried-about. But, lo and behold, my computer finally showed the Windows Vista log-in screen. I was certainly relieved as this, but I remain disappointed that I should be so attached to the contents of a hard drive. I will back up my hard drive ASAP, that is for sure. But life cannot be lived on a hard drive. There is a real world of people out there who would either love, or at least be indifferent to, meeting you and me.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you're having a blast Josh! my current location is the UTSC library, which is about as interesting as an old shoe. Question: if you have to pay 50,000 vietnamese dollars(?), don't you have to carry a crap load of bills with you?