Last night, I ran into all sorts of strange behavior on my laptop–unable to log in, normal system calls taking forever to complete, and all sorts of network trouble. This morning I backed up my home directory to my work computer’s hard drive (discovering, in the process, that NTFS disallows all sorts of common and innocuous characters in filenames) and ran into several IO errors. Checked the hard drive and (despite SMART claiming everything was fine) it failed the read tests almost immediately. I managed to swap in a new drive and restore most of my files to a fresh copy of Ubuntu (with a customized version of tar to overlook the errors in the archive I made), but I still lost a fair bit of data.

Question: Why can’t tar take an argument to skip over damaged sections of otherwise useable archives? A few IO errors at the beginning of the archive doesn’t mean the remaining gigabytes of data are unrecoverable…

After a few busy hours, things are working smoothly again. Everything important for work has been recovered, and I’m polishing the asset tracking system I’ve been working on, in hopes of deploying it before my departure Friday. All things considered, I am quite thankful this misadventure occurred when it did–recovering data is the last thing I want to do in the few hours before leaving. :-)

To recap the events of the past few weeks:

Aphyr.com suffered a brief span of amnesia due to faulty ram, which has since been replaced. Everything seems to be working great now. In the meantime, I’ve started working at Sys/Net, which is much more fun than tech support. It’s chaotic, unsupervised, and way the heck too much fun. Running around with cable testers, patching in ports and messing around with DNS is my kind of job. d=(‘_`)=b

To my dismay, my northbridge fan started buzzing obnoxiously just prior to shutting off completely. To prevent the premature conversion of my motherboard to slag, I’ve ordered a replacement cooling fan. ABIT (the manufacturer of my board) gives away free replacement parts, but doesn’t have this particular one in stock. Instead, I bought a Cooler Master chipset cooler. It should arrive in a couple of days.

W00t w00t! Looks like it was just the bios that got screwed up. A quick reflash did the trick. There were a few loose inodes on fsck ("/ has not been checked in 46091 days, check forced"), but I can attribute those to the power failure.

Now, on to the paper of doooom!

This week hasn’t been especially good for me, but I’m somewhat amused at the fortuitous timing of last night’s storm. The power got knocked out briefly last night, and when I came home I found my computer shut down with a note from my roommate:

“Your computer was making beeping noises so I turned it off.”

Sure enough, it’s making an awful siren noise on boot, the kind of sound I associate (after years in the IT industry) with sheer terror, expensive purchasing orders, and CPUs melting in some kind of perverse recreation of a Salvador Dali painting. The whole thing is rather suprising, considering the surge protector and decent power supply. I’m running it down to the SCIC as soon as I can get a cart, but I don’t really know what broke, or where I can get replacement parts from in time. Did I mention this is the start of finals week? >_<

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