Thursday, May 03, 2012

Attention Seeking Problem

I always say machines have a mind of their own but people laugh at me. Now, it is once again proven beyond any doubt that machines not only have a mind but thet have serious attention seeking issues.

Not that I needed any proofs, of course! The incident with the car was enough to prove everything.

We had a very old Fiat car (with the registration number DLX 666) from 1989 to 1997. It was our first car and all of us liked it very much. However, it was getting older each day and finally, the inevitable happened. My father sold it. He was going to buy a newer car. I don't know about others, but I felt the kind of stupid sadness you feel when you are in school and your father sells the first family car. But it had to go.

About a fortnight later, our second car arrived. A Maruti 800. Father brought it home that evening and parked it in the driveway for the night. Next morning, my mother opened the door and started shouting for us. We ran out to see DLX 666 parked across the street. Our old car had come back to see the new shiny thing that had replaced her. She was standing there for about an hour afterwards. Of course, one may argue that the car had merely been driven there by its new owner who was free to do as he pleased, but I know better. Why else would the  old car turn up just the day after the new car arrived? We never saw it there ever before or after that day.

That is why, when I wrote a whole blog post from my newly acquired iPhone last weekend sitting close to my laptop but still ignoring it, I should have expected some nasty tantrums from the latter. Next morning, my laptop refused to start up.

"Cannot find boot device" it said. "Please try reseating the hard drive."

I tried that in vain. I took out the drive, cleaned it, rubbed it, caressed it, blew on it and, when all else failed,  knocked it on the floor to get it to work. Nothing! My computer insisted there was no hard disk attached. The hidden message was, of course, "Why do you need me? Where's your iPhone now?"

So here I am, typing out a blog post from my lab laptop which is my home computer at the moment. I am about $80 poorer by ordering a new hard disk for my laptop and an adapter for my old hard disk. I have to try to recover some of the data from that disk - it contains all my reserach work from the last one month, and all photos that I took in spring 2012. I have a feeling that the crashed hard disk will work once the new hard disk has been delivered.

Meanwhile, I want to make it clear that this laptop that I am using now is just a stop gap arrangement. I do not like it at all (it runs Fedora) and it does not come close my personal laptop. As for the iPhone, I have stopped giving it too much time. How can a pesky device like that even compete with a versatile laptop  like the one that I own?

I hope my laptop will be satisfied with all this attention it has got for the time being. On the other hand, it may not take kindly to my sleeping with this other laptop - or the other laptop may not be very happy to go back to live alone in the lab. I don't know what will happen then.

I think I need to buy a lot of external drives and back up my data more often if I plan to switch my attention from device to device in the future.


  1. সুগত, হবেই তো, অ্যাদ্দিনের ল্যাপটপ, আই ফোন সতিনকে সইবে কেন। যাই হোক, যা হওয়ার হয়ে গেছে, এখন দু নৌকোয় পা দিয়ে চলতে হবে আরকি। আর আপনি এক্কেবারে ঠিক আন্দাজ করেছেন। ৮০ টাকার নতুন হার্ড ড্রাইভ এসে গেলেই পুরোনো হার্ড ড্রাইভ আবার দিব্যি কাজ করতে শুরু করবে। নিশ্চিন্ত থাকুন।

  2. wish you all the best. hope your old hard drive works after getting the new one in hand. :)

  3. Kuntala: পুরনো হার্ড ড্রাইভ তা মনে হয় একটু বেশি-ই দুঃখ পেয়ে গিয়েছে - সে আর চালু হলনা | আপাতত আইফোনে এর দিকে নজর দেওয়া কমিয়েছি | ল্যাপটপকেই আমার বেশি দরকার |

    Atreyee: Thanks for you wishes. It hasn't worked so far though. :-(