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Thu, 16 Feb 2006
Powerbookless, Day 4

This is our fourth day without the Powerbooks...

Kudos to the Vancouver police for having and using e-mail. That made it easy to get them the rest of the information that they needed for their police report. We need a copy of the police report for our insurance claim. Unkudos(?) to the Vancouver Information and Privacy Unit for requiring a paper letter to get a copy of the police report.

Thanks to Paul and Jenny for loaning us an iBook instead of turning it into a media center. Having that iBook means access to the backups (from December) of my Powerbook. As Julie has pointed out, we didn't have any backups of her Powerbook, except for some of her iPhoto library. I feel terrible about this, since I should have been on top of this as the family IT guy. Of course, two month old backups suggest that I wasn't doing a terribly good job for myself either. So we are limping along -- during the day I need the iBook and the Linux box, and at night, Julie can use the Linux box. The old Thinkpad X21 that the girls were using finally jumped off the precipice into unusability, and even wiping the disk with the restore partition isn't helping. It looks like some kind of intermittent hardware problem. So while we are sort of back on the air, it's in a limited way, and is likely to stay that way for a while.

OSAF has been very understanding about the theft of the computer, and it looks like I will get a replacement. Since a 15" Powerbook and the lower end MacBook Pro cost the same, it's a tough tradeoff over which to get. But since this is the machine that I'll be living with for the next few years, it seems sillly to get a PowerPC based laptop, so MacBook it is - now there's just the long wait for one. I suppose I should be happy that I'm getting a MacBook via work (I was expecting to have to shell out my own money), but I'd be much happier to have the old computer back. The last few days have helped me see how much work it's going to be to get a new machine back to a usable state, even with the backups. And I don't like to think about the data loss.

Julie thinks that I am doing well about this, but I don't really think that I am. I'm pretty cranky, and I'm having lots of moments where I expect to be able to do something with some data or program, only to be reminded that I can't. I'm working in an environment which is not the highly tuned environment which I am used to, and I can feel my productivity suffering. I ought to be happy, since this is proof that I've been successful at leveraging the computer to tangibly improve my productivity. For the last few days, I've felt more like someone who's having to learn to walk again.

Thanks to all who took the time to comment, whether to apologize for their city (no need for that), offer sympathy, or give a tip. We appreciate it all.

[22:32] | [family] | # | TB | F | G | 5 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
This won't get your e-life back, but for the next time -- and there will be a next time, be it stolen hardware (I hope not!), hardware failure (almost certain), or user error (no comment ;-) -- take a look at this article: "Subverting your homedir, or keeping your life in svn" <http://www.kitenet.net/~joey/svnhome.html>.  I use Subversion to keep 3 machines synchronized (personal PowerBook, Windows work machine, and Linux server), and have the peace of mind that my important data resides in multiple locations.

Regular backups help too.  Gotta do one this weekend.

See you at PyCon!
Posted by David Goodger at Fri Feb 17 06:53:06 2006

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