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Blog // Thoughts
August 18, 2010

Tempting Fate

Superstition doesn’t play a role in my worldview and the idea that we can “tempt fate” by talking about our good planning, preparation or confidence just doesn’t correspond with my experience of reality. However, I had to chuckle at the coincidences that have befallen me in the past week, especially given my gear post last […]

Superstition doesn’t play a role in my worldview and the idea that we can “tempt fate” by talking about our good planning, preparation or confidence just doesn’t correspond with my experience of reality.

However, I had to chuckle at the coincidences that have befallen me in the past week, especially given my gear post last week, when I wrote,

“My 2008 Mac Pro has turned out to be a great investment. I’m still running with 10GB and not feeling the need up upgrade that.”

But, when I wrote that, I was running on 6GB, not 10GB.

After coming back from holidays, I noticed that the Mac Pro was a little sluggish. Nothing drastic, but a number of regular tasks were taking longer than normal and I was having some problems with larger projects.

Turns out that a whole RAM riser in the Mac Pro was out of action. One of the good things about the design of this machine is that RAM is stored in two risers, so you can lose RAM on one side and the machine still runs. By losing one riser I was missing 4GB of memory.

Of course, I assumed this would be a costly repair, with either faulty RAM modules, or a burnt out RAM riser at fault. However, getting the 4GB back was simple as removing the riser and the RAM modules and giving the whole thing a good compressed air cleaning.

I usually give the Mac Pro a good internal dusting everytime I travel – while taking the hard-drives out before a trip and again when putting them back in upon returning. But, this time I had rushed the job.

In the same blogpost that I wrote about the Mac Pro’s reliability I also spoke about backup strategies. Those words came back to haunt me as last week ended with the failure of both my Time Machine drive and one of the external drives I use for general backup.

While the RAM problem was little more than aggravation that cost me an hour or so of my time, this backup crisis was a major headache that cost me a whole day (and upset more than one night’s sleep). Even ordering the new hard-drives became a headache as my ever-un-helpful bank got in the way of what should have been a simple credit card transaction.

What I didn’t mention in that gear post was that I had been waiting, for nearly five months, for a new studio microphone. Well, it arrived on Thursday – broken. So, a couple of hours on Friday and the same again on Monday to sort it out. I now have a killer new microphone, although it pains me to look at thing because of the hardship I’ve gone through in buying it.

If I tempted fate it in these experiences it was only in the other sense of the term – in taking un-thoughtful risks. Inadequately cleaning my computer lead to the RAM problem. Not having a deep enough backup strategy caused me to lose time (and for a moment, sanity) when those drives failed. Buying from a unprofessional reseller was at the core of all the problems I had with the microphone purchase.

The problem was never out there, with the fates and furies, but in here, with my approach to simple everyday decisions.

Responses
Oswaldo Ramphal 12 years ago

Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the problem solved soon. Many thanks

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