Expectations are a dangerous thing.

On the one hand, when they are correct they can greatly speed up your process giving you somewhere to begin and allowing you to forgo many questions and tests in terms of figuring out the situation. Or, when your expectations are wrong, it can cost you valuable time.

Sunday I woke up, ready to edit and produce ManaNation for the next day, but I discovered something. My computer had frozen and would not boot, asking me for a bootable disk to be inserted, and I could hear one of the harddrives producing the ‘click of death.’ A small clicking sound that indicates the reading arm is broken or stuck and thus the hard drive is nearing death.

My machine (Mace II, named for Mace Windu, yes I’m a geek) has three hard drives. C: is the main drive where all the action happens. Operating System, program files, my documents, mp3 collection, etc. D: is my storage drive for movies, big apps, some backups. O: is for ManaNation stuff exclusively. I also use an external hard drive to run backups and for transporting ManaNation video files.

I shut the machine off and, assuming it was my C:, main hard drive, since the machine would not boot. So I ordered a new hard drive rushed from NewEgg. In the meantime I produced a low quality video with my Flip camera and had it run on Monday instead of the schedule episode.

Yesterday the new hard drive arrived. After work I got home and set up the new hard drive, booted with a Windows XP CD and installed the OS. It took about an hour, K and I took our evening walk during the time, and then after it booted up I went to install Mozilla Firefox only to see something peculiar.

It was trying to install Firefox to the G: drive. For those not used to Windows machines, Windows is almost universally on C: drive. This comes from the days when you would have an A: and B: drive for floppy disks, so C: fell to the hard drive. It’s not required but it’s the standard. When I investigated further I discovered that the drive I had just installed was indeed the G: drive and that the C: drive was my old main hard drive. The one which had died was my middle hard drive, D: drive.

This was good news on many counts: first it meant a quick fix. I just had to fix the jumpering on the hard drives and it would boot into the main drive again, restoring order to the universe. Second it meant a huge reduction in needed time to rebuild my machine and re-install the applications. And thirdly it meant that there was minimal critical data loss. I’m fairly good about backups, but I had gotten lax on backing up files that weren’t ManaNation or web projects.

The main thing that bugs me, is that if I had checked which drive was dead, I would have found out that I could remove it (temporarily) and booted the machine normally, thus saving myself the delay on ManaNation. Alas, lesson learned and I can only make a promise to myself to check which hard drive died before rushing to replace the whole operating system and drive.

But, all is well in the world. Mace II is back on his feet, with a bit more storage space, and I learned to always check my expectation when there would be over

It’s been two years…

Today marks two years since my mom passed away. It’s still hard. I cried watching Forrest Gump two few weeks ago.

K has been fantastic, knowing that it was coming up she worked hard to keep me busy and laughing over the past week. Mostly I’ve been too busy at work to think about it. But damn when I do the world comes to a stop and I hear her voice in my head, hear her laugh, and see her smile.

I miss you mom. I love you.

Signal vs Noise

One thing which is going to become even more central to our online existence is the prevalence of signal vs noise. We’re being bombarded with more and more information about friends, family, idols and news. I pride myself on keeping a fairly short (150) list of feeds in my Google Reader, of which I speed through the majority of them, skimming with liberal use of the keyboard shortcuts.

In my Twitter though, I’m wrestling with the issue as there are a number of people who I follow, but are not people I’m truly that interested in. In my personal Twitter app, TweetCore, I had come to a solution where it used a simple algorithm to hide tweets from someone past the first X, and thus remove the noise to allow me to enjoy my feed without too much noise. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than any other twitter app allows right now.

It’s also the single reason I haven’t killed of the TweetCore project. It has had almost no time devoted to it in the recent months, but I need it to manage this level of information and noise in my life. Continue reading “Signal vs Noise”

Pursuing Happiness

It’s not hard to be happy when life is good. The real task is to be happy when life isn’t good. Like this economy. Stress, frustration, the feelings of helplessness combine to make a formidable opponent to happiness. I’m a happy guy, and so far I’m doing okay in this economy, but I’m lucky. And I know it.

What weapons do we all have to find happiness? Continue reading “Pursuing Happiness”

The Social Network of my kids

Of course, after I post about this blog being more journal and less soapbox, I have an idea that warrants a serious look and a blog post. The idea morphed in the few hours I pondered it yesterday, starting out as a concept for a kid’s social network governed by the social network of the parents and turning into a more philosophical concept of what my (one day) kids will think of the social networks I am so deeply intertwined with. Continue reading “The Social Network of my kids”

This is a journal

I’ve always had to fight between technological posts and keeping this as my life journal. The fact is that I’m leaning more towards other mediums as my platform. Any technological posts I want to make end up as comments on Hacker News and I sometimes stop to think I could write a blog post about it, but then decide I don’t have enough to make a post on it. Continue reading “This is a journal”

My Week in Review

This week is a premiere example of the sort of life I live. I didn’t exactly spend any time at home in the first week in our new house. Let me run you through the week. Strap in, because by the time I finish telling you, you may be as exhausted as I was last night. But exhaustion is not a reason for me to go home and sleep.

Continue reading “My Week in Review”

Making Apologies

One part of keeping lots of balls in the air is that sometimes you drop one, and at times the dropped ball doesn’t just affect you but it affects someone else personally or professionally. And when you screw up, you need to apologize and try to make amends. Best is face to face so they can see you’re sincere and willing to make this contact and try to mend any damage done when you screwed up. If you can’t meet face to face, then do it over the phone. And if you can’t do it over the phone, do it by way of a well thought out and expressive email. Continue reading “Making Apologies”

A Few Things I’ve Learned

Losing your job affects you. It makes you question your comfort, your skills, it makes you ask is this type of job right for you, whose fault was it, what can you do better next time?

I’m a confident guy, I’m not perfect but I am the perfect example of someone who believes they’re Superman and cannot be harmed.

But when Databanq let me go, I was rocked and it took me several weeks to figure it all out and then soon after starting the job hunt again MindComet found me and it’s now been over three months. Here are a few things I’ve learned from MindComet and about myself.

Continue reading “A Few Things I’ve Learned”