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Wailing & Gnashing of Teeth - Day 3

Gir has been damaged.

A bit of background [TECH GEEKINESS ALERT- YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!]: I've ordered a larger/faster hard drive for him, as well as an external FireWire enclosure that I'll initially use to transfer his data before swapping the drives, then to hold the old drive for some portable extra storage.

The enclosure arrived earlier than expected (the place turned out to be in Clearwater). The one they shipped me actually isn't the one I ordered, but if everything works out I'll let it slide 'cause I ordered a FireWire enclosure and got a FireWire/USB 2.0 enclosure.

When plugging it into a regular (6-pin) FireWire port the port provides enough power to run the drive. When using USB you have to do some workarounds. Some enclosures will have an AC adapter, some have a second USB cable that plugs into the power connector on the enclosure, and some (cheesier) ones have a PS/2 keyboard passthrough connector (it draws power from the keyboard connector, but still allows the keyboard to function normally). I have an older enclosure (with a 30GB drive) that has a PS/2 connector (not much good on a Mac) that I've never been able to get working correctly.

Well, the new enclosure has both a USB-to-power cable and an AC adapter. The AC adapter appears to be compatible with the old enclosure, so while at Mike & Janet's on Saturday morning I tried it. This, it turns out, was a mistake.

I fired up the old enclosure/drive, and when I plugged it into Gir's USB port Gir immediately powered down. Not a good sign. I made a conscious effort (mostly successful) to not panic, unplugged the drive, and tried powering him back on.

*BONG!* Thankfully he booted fine, else I'd likely be Baker Acted right now. I was still worried about the USB ports, however, and with good reason. After some testing with various devices it was clear that the ports were toast. (The BlueTooth module, which is internal but connected to the USB bus, is working fine.)

Fortunately I'd run a full backup the night before, so Kim and I were able to move the more "sensitive" data to Kim's iPod and go straight from M&J's to the Apple Store.

OK, so overall a couple of blown ports isn't too bad, but that's like saying "well, the bullet only grazed your brain rather than going straight through the middle". Besides, I HATE turning Gir over to people I don't know and trust very very well! I hate being without him even more. This morning when I left the house I felt like something was missing. I attributed it to not having 20 lbs of laptop and gear over my shoulder. In reality I'd also forgotten my cell phone, pagers, and headset. WTF? Needless to say, I felt completely cut off from the world.

"I'm a very high tech boy."
-Johnny Mnemonic (William Gibson)
(The short story, not the movie!)


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 18th, 2004 07:51 am (UTC)
I completely sympathize! At least you know what's wrong with your Mac. [sigh]
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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