Buying Back Your Memories

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Some of you may know that I always loved PCs.

My first PC was the Vic 20. I used to get computer magazines and transcribe lines of code in order to make animated "Season's Greetings" or "Furey's Quiz" programs to entertain my family. Soon, I discovered games, which used to be on tape, and it was all downhill from there. My addiction began, and now, at 33 i'm just like I was as a youngster.

Except I have a hell of a lot more money to feed my "habit".

I have a PC from the manufacturer called "Alienware". Alienware is to PCs that Porsche are to cars - they simply are the highest performance PCs available on the market, designed for game playing.

In October of 2000 I purchased a top of the line Alienware Aurora, and it was blazing fast with its Thunderboard 1000mz Athalon processor.

4 years later, in March 2004, with a lot of gaming played and a tremendous amount of downloads to boot - my PC started to act funny. It began with the "blue screen of death" - which is a error message that appears on a blue screen with white writing that is displayed when your PC hits a critical error. My error was a problem with the kernel (very bad), and I disregarded the first few warnings.

Eventually my PC stopped booting. I tried a few things and I did get it to reboot once, and I was ready to copy some of my critical files to a CD. I only needed my PC to stay alive for about 45 minutes and I could save all my old digital photos and documents.

The gods of fate laughed at me that day and just as I was putting the CD into the drive - the blue screen of death appeared to mock me.

BSoD: "Copying something, Furey?"
Furey: "Why, um, yes. Some pictures of my family."
BSoD: "Pictures of family, hmmm? I take it you also want to copy those files from h0ttp*rn folder, too, right! Right?!"
Furey: "Of course not. I don't have adult pictures on my PC. Not me, boy it sure is hot in here maybe I can adjust the A/C..."
BSoD: "Oh shut up! The internet was invented for p*rn. Al Gore loved the stuff - why do you think he invented the internet?"
Furey: "I just want my family pictures, could I have..."
BSoD: "CRITICAL INTERFACE ERROR 000X001233SKE. PC WILL REBOOT IN 30 SECONDS...."
Furey: "Oh fucking hell."

The PC was dead. I couldn't boot past the startup of Windows, and I would keep hearing my hard drive make strange noises like it was gargling a rusty nail. I was determined to show my PC who was the boss - I fired up my second PC, an older, but trusty 486 which still had internet access.

I went to Dell.com and in a fit of anger and a half my monthly paycheck later, I was the proud owner of a bouncing baby gaming PC. Dell wasn't as blazing fast as Alienware (Its more like a Honda rather than a Porsche) - but it was fairly well constructed and inexpensive when compared to what I could get with an Alienware. Plus - all PCs are obsolete after 6 months. Yes, I learned my lesson.

Sadly, my old PC gathered dust under my desk. From time to time I tried to troubleshoot it, but eventually I gave up. I tried a few quick fixes, and researched how much a data recovery site may cost ($500 for the analysis and $75 per gig restored - for my 20 gig HD it would cost $1500 + $500 to restore everything).

I was upset and bitter about it. Last August, when my father died, I was very much aware that many older photos of him were in that PC and my desire to recover them increased tenfold.

On the Hobokenchat.com message board a poster wrote about data recovery. I posted my dilemma and a friend of mine who owns Blazewave knew a guy who was a wizard with PCs.

The wizard emailed me and we chatted about my PC problem. He had me buy a new 200 gig HD, and a copy of Windows XP Pro - that alone set me back about $350. But I wanted these pictures back, badly. Plus after we were done I would have a working PC again, which I can network to my existing Dell PC and use it for whatever I want (storage, gaming, etc).

Eventually we were able to meet up at his office at 50 Harrison street and he looked things over. He set up my old PC with a new hard drive - and we poked around the old HD and he turns the keyboard over to me and says, "Ok, you find the files you want to try and transfer from the old hard drive to the new hard drive. I don't want to look around and have your p*rn files jump out at me."

I chuckled, "Yea, we all have p*rn on our PCs."

He laughed back, "Best part about the internet - free p*rn!"

I found the pictures of my dad and it was me and him at an Eagles game, about 6 months before he was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma, I think it was around 2000. I felt my heart tighten up and I was wistful, showing the wizard, who I only just met a few pictures of my family. It was great to see the pictures again, intact, and I transfered them to the new HD.

Everything went great. I recovered all my old data - and paid the wizard about $180 for helping me out, along with buying him a chicken caesar wrap from Mr. Wraps at 7th and Garden. I had one, too - they are very tasty.

I got home and fell asleep last night with a lighter wallet, but smile on my face, thinking of the Mastercard commerical:

Seagate 200 gig Hard Drive: $124.

Microsoft Windows XP Pro: $233.

Computer Technican Labor: $180.

Memories: Priceless.

Hey that reminds me of my Top 5 Diamond Commericials I'd Like to See.

Yes, i'm a happy camper. I'll be posting some of my pictures from my history of Hoboken up here - for your enjoyment and i'm sure you can email me your comments, too...

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on March 15, 2005 8:47 AM.

Eagles Pre-Draft Positional Analysis was the previous entry in this blog.

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