Jennifer (gaaneden) wrote,


Abstract Thoughts has been updated with The Curse of the Fecal Touch - which is all about my talent when dealing with computers. And Midas thought he had problems.

October 12, 2006
The Curse of the Fecal Touch
Everyone has one in their family. It's that person they don't let near anything important because everything they touch breaks. Be it the clumsiness of youth or the ability to have blender spectacularly explode or to kill a computer on touch, it is the relative with what my team members have dubbed "The Fecal Touch."

Some of us with this ability have turned it into our livelihood. I am a software test engineer by trade. My job is to kill computers and software applications. Ok, that's not my job but that is the end result of my job. I test the product against the spec and things break. A lot. Sometimes spectacularly.

So, it is no wonder that when I come home, I just want a box that works. I don't want to have to screw around with it to make it work. No, I don't want to upgrade it. No, I don't want to add neat little doo-dads to it. I just want to make the bloody computer do what it was meant to do. Honestly, I don't do that much on my computer. Mostly, I write. I surf the web. I listen to music. I chat online. I don't use bit torrent. I don't even use the Apple iTunes store (yet). I don't even play computer games on it. And yet, shit still happens.

Let me tell you the Saga of the Music Transfer that started out with me wanting to move my MP3s from one computer to another that resulted in one dead-dead computer and the need to buy a brand new one. Below is the timeline.

~ October 2005: It occurs to me that having a 20 GB iBook (Princess) and a 20 GB iPod (Eddie) would eventually run me into problems. I should probably think of about getting a new Mac laptop.

~ April 2006: I am ripping a CD I just bought and discovered I did not have enough room on my iBook for the music. I ended up deleting a whole lot of pictures to make room for the music. I should probably think of about getting a new Mac laptop.

~ 21 Aug 2006: Princess appears to be dead. As it turns out, it is a faulty power connection. It occurs to me that Princess is my only source of MP3's for Eddie. This occurs to me that this is not a good thing and I should get a back up of them. You know, like that 80 GB Dell (Roland) that I have with the better setup for speakers.

~ 1 October 2006: I finally get off my butt and make my first attempt at getting my music from Princess to Roland via a direct firewire connection. No dice. It has something to do with networking which I know nothing about. Nothing. I call for help on LJ. Amongst the suggestions is one for just getting an external hard drive as both back up and transfer medium.

~ 3 October 2006: I go to Fry's and pick up an Iomega 320 GB USB 2.0 external drive (Jake). It says it is for both Mac and PC. Score!

~ 4 October 2006: Thwarted again! System requirements say: Mac OS X or above. What they really mean is Mac OS X version 10.3. What do I have? Version 10.2.8. "If you are using a version of Mac OS below 10.3, format the drive HFS+ or partition the drive into small volumes. Less than 127GB." Fine, I reformat and pull all of the important stuff off of Princess.

So, I do this but it is pointed out to me that a PC will not read the Mac extended partition set up that Princess set up Jake as. When I test it out, correct, only Princess can use Jake. Roland doesn't see him. Dammit. Fine. I will buy a new MacBook.

~ 5 October 2006: I go to the Apple store and see that the shiny black MacBooks are $500 more. I bypass the immediate gratification, come home and order a refurbished one.

~ 11 October 2006: The new MacBook (Susannah) arrives and she is very purty. I attempt to migrate Princess to Susannah via the set up instructions provide. I attached them via firewire and rebooted Princess into Target mode. Susannah twiddled her thumbs, "Nope can't see her." Princess threw a fit, "Fuck this noise." Then, she shut down. For good. As in, will not reboot. Will not power on. Nothing. She is dead-dead. Damn. Princess is dead. Long live Princess.

Meanwhile, I set up Susannah and I attached Jake. They are happy to say hello to each other and all of the important stuff I thought to back up the week before is transferred. YAY.

Then, I go to Roland and say, "Can you see Jake?"
"Will you reformat him so you can?"
"Sure, if you put the Recovery disc in and reformat to FAT 32."
"What recovery disc?"
"I need the recovery disc to do FAT 32."
"Fuck. How about reformatting to Free Space?"
"Sure, that I can do. Done."

Then, I go to Susannah and say, "Jake? You there, honey?"
"Yes ma'am."
"Will you take this file from Roland to Susannah?"
"Yes ma'am. Here, Susannah."
"Thanks honey-bunch."
"Jake, will you take this file from Susannah to Roland?"
"Nope. I can't be modified. You don't have permission to touch me like that!"

"Susannah, will you reformat Jake?"
"Sure. To what?"
"Got FAT 32?"
"What's that?"
"How about this MS-Dos Format?"
"Why the hell not?"
"There. Done."
"Jake, will you take this file from Susannah to Roland?"
"Yes ma'am."
*blink* "Cool."

Then, I go to Roland and say, "Roland, have a file from Susannah."
"Thank you."
*blink* "Cool."

Then, I go to Susannah and say, "Jake, will you take this file from Roland to Susannah?"
"Yes ma'am. Here, Susannah."
"Holy shit, it worked."
"Yes ma'am."
"Jake, take these 11 GB of music from Susannah to Roland."
"Sure thing."

Then, I go to Roland and say, "Roland, have 11 GB of music from Susannah."
"Very good."
*blink* "The music is all transferred. Finally."

There you have it. It started as a desire to transfer music. It ended up with a new MacBook, a new external hard drive and a very dead iBook.

Now, I just need to recreate all of my playlists from Eddie before I synch up Eddie and Susannah. In all of this transferring of music and files and problems with compatibility, I did not transfer my playlists. This is not such a bad thing. It allows me to go through all of my music and reset things up again. I've got a lot of new music and a new idea on how I want to set up my playlists. I'll still have lists like my "Stalker" and "Angry White Boys" lists but I'm going to have to add a favorite 80's and some new RPG playlists.

By the way, for those who don't know it: Roland, Eddie, Susannah, and Jake are the main characters from Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. My 1 GB fob is named Oy after Jake's billy-bumbler friend.

Tarot Card for the Day: The Hermit

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