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Bad News: A Greivous Loss. A Silver Lining?

2009 January 20
by rob

So, here I am in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Yesterday, I wrote a nice juicy blog entry covering the rest of my time in Maroochydore, including my Christmas festivities. As always, I wrote this blog entry on my computer while offline. When I finished, I shut down my MacBook and walked to the library here in Palmie to post it online. I arrived at the library, bought a wireless internet card (one hour for NZ$3 (CA$2) — kinda cheap!), bought a big bowl of chai (NZ$5 ~ CA$3.33), sat down and turned on my computer.

Alas, it did not start. Not having had any problem with this computer before, I was not experienced in troubleshooting Macs. I took it to a computer shop to let them have a look. They think the hard drive is busted. Lovely.

In the hopes that I can get this computer working, or at least recover my data, I’ve shipped the computer back to Canada. I’ll have more resources at my command there than I do here in New Zealand. Anyways, electronics are crazy expensive in New Zealand (even with their superweak dollar), so it will probably be cheaper to fix it there.

As a silver lining, this does significantly lighten the load I have to carry. My mantra has always been to TRAVEL LIGHT. Lately, in anticipation of my upcoming hiking endeavours on the South Island of New Zealand (oh man, I got some sweet stuff planned), I’ve been picking up clothing more suitable for the outdoors (it can get cold and rainy in those mountains!). My load has been getting heavier and I’ve been getting annoyed. Something had to get dropped, but I didn’t know what to get rid of. It seemed like I needed all my stuff for some reason. Sending my computer back to Canada (as well as a couple of t-shirts, my fisherman pants, and my cheap Korean windbreaker jacket as packing material), should lighten my load significantly.

I’ll keep on taking photographs. I have a 16 GB memory card in my camera. It’s unlikely I’ll completely fill it before getting back to Canada on April 2. If I do, I’ll just get another card.

My output to this blog and my online photo albums will likely suffer greatly. My apologies… I know this sucks. I’m going to try and keep handwritten notes so I can do big piles of updates when I get back to Canada. Internet time is just too expensive here to sit in front of computers for the required dozens and dozens of hours to do it beforehand.

Even if I can’t recover my hard drive, the amount of data lost is not too great. I have basically everything backed up since I left Canada in November. My past collections of photos and music are safe in Canada as of November. However, I’ve probably taken about 2000 photographs since then. The best of these have already been posted to Picasa, but I would lose the others (including the original full-sized versions of those photographs since November). This would suck, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Here’s the ironic bit (at least, in the Alanis Morissete bastardized version of the word “ironic”). I was planning on burning all of my photographs since November to DVD before Meps left me about five days ago so she could bring them safely back to Canada for me. I didn’t have time to do it, however (or more accurately, I foolishly did not MAKE time to do it). It would have taken two DVDs and a couple of hours to do the job and then I would be confident that my art and effort would be safe. Le sigh.


Rob Szumlakowski
Palmerston North, New Zealand

One Response leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    January 22, 2009

    Oh noes! I remember I had that happen to me in res… I went for class and when I came back my hard disk had toasted itself (the chips on it were all brown and hot). So annoying.

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