Everything is Broken

I’m the kind of guy who cares very much and plans very carefully so there’s just the right amount of milk on his cereal and gravy for his grits that one doesn’t run out before the other. (And don’t dare let his peas touch his carrots! Just kidding.)

So when things get out of balance, I get my lip out. And out, it is: my external hard drive gave up the ghost a few short months before I ditched the Dell (though others in the household will continue to use it minimally for email) and get my Mac Pro this spring.

The Lacie 500GB drive didn’t make it through last week’s ice-storm power outage. It will need replacing pronto, with an eye toward getting lots of files (images mostly) off the PC just long enough to transfer to the Mac, then format the external hard drive for use long-term with the Mac.

So given those needs, I’m thinking get something that matches the size of the internal drive on the Mac (I’m going for 750GB for both). So I’ll need a drive that accepts USB2 in order to get files off the PC. Then if that same drive will take firewire 800, that’d be faster for use with the MAC. So, I’ll be dropping by BestBuy on Wednesday. Meanwhile, if you have brilliant advice in this regard, do tell, and thanks.

And so that my title will carry a little more ooomph, something else is broken: URLtea.com that I relied on for web address shortening, especially when recommending sites in newspaper columns, since so many urls are so long they won’t fit on a single line of text.

And lo, when some things break, the fix can be better than the former was when intact. Snipr.com has some extra bells and whistles. So, until it breaks…

This post (as is often the case) spawns at least two more for this week: on our never-ending need for stuff AND some good news about the energy it takes to operate computers of the future. Stay tuned.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. To you, your family and your blog readers, I wish you all a Warm Cozy Family Christmas, and I hope that you enjoy the moments. Merry Christmas!

  2. Fred, thanx for the heartwarming holiday post! I hope the new year gives you all the solutions you seek (and tosses you a few fresh challenges to keep your keen mind active).

  3. I was in need of an external hard drive and spoke with the president of the mac club in Pensacola. He was big on Western Digital My Book. Got the 500 gb for Christmas. I’ll let you know how it goes when it’s set up. May be coming up to winterize the house. Sounds like I’m a little late. Merry Christmas, Fred.

  4. I would very highly recommend that you get a true on-line UPS. I have a PowerWare unit that quit just shy of the warranty ending period, but I got a new one, free, because it was still under warranty. You say your Lacie didn’t make it through the power outage – surges do bad things to electronics. Very few people have true on-line UPS units (or a UPS of any kind at all!!). Check out the difference between those and the cheap APC units most folks buy. You won’t regret buying the protection that a true on-line unit provides! And no, I don’t work for PowerWare!!

  5. Fred,
    Western Digital is a reliable company with reliable products. I’ve used many other name brand external hard drives and they have all ended up being difficult or sucking in some terrible way. WD is plug and play on Mac or PC.