Tuesday morning I was working on a briefing on D. A. Carson's book "Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church," an excellent evaluation of this doctrinally-deficient movement. Just after lunch, my Inspiron 5100 laptop got a blue screen of death. I attempted to reboot, but Windows couldn't find my hard drive. Even more telling, I was hearing unexpected clicking noises from my hard drive. This is always a really bad sign. I ran the built-in Dell diagnostics, and sure enough it said my hard drive was dead.
We know that it's never a matter of *if* your computer will fail, but *when.* Did I have a backup system? Yes! I use Second Copy to backup our files between our various computers. It's set to make an identical copy every two hours. Did it work? Yes! I only lost about 45 minutes of work, which I was able to reproduce. This $30 utility is worth every penny, especially if you have two computers in your house. Still, I'm thinking about buying a NAS, if I can find an inexpensive wireless one.
Then the fun began. A new hard drive was only $60 from Dell, which isn't too bad considering that this is an older computer. The site said that the drives usually ship in 3 to 5 weeks. That's longer than I would like, but it was acceptable since I have other computers that I can use. So I placed the order. Then we got the confirmation, which said the expected shipping date was 4 Dec 06! Yikes! That's not 3 to 5 weeks, that's 3 to 5 months! I googled around for a bit, but I couldn't find anyone else who sold the older hard drive that I needed, so I resigned myself to being without that laptop for a while. It wasn't that big of a deal, since I have a newer Inspiron 9300 laptop that Calvary gave me last year. I began installing all the software I need on it (stuff like Outlook and GAIM). This morning we got another email from Dell: the hard drive has already shipped. Sigh. How do they go from such extremes? I guess their ability to estimate has just gone nuts.