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To grok (pronounced GRAHK) something is to understand something so well that it is fully absorbed into oneself. In Robert Heinlein's science-fiction novel of 1961, Stranger in a Strange Land, the word is Martian and literally means "to drink" but metaphorically means "to take it all in," to understand fully, or to "be at one with."

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The Click of Death

If I can vent for a bit.... The other week my hard drive crashed.  There were no survivors.  It just started making a clicking sound.  Apparently the clicking sound was the hard drive's way of saying goodbye.  I think that it was morse code for "Your data is gone forever, Muahahahaha".  Now....perhaps I did not do my backups as religiously as maybe I should have, but I had a backup of probably 90% of everything that I need.  This still left me with about 10% of "stuff" that would be nice to retrieve from what has now become a paperweight.   Losing the hard drive was not actually the worst part.  Believe it or not, the worst part of this situation would fall into the following two scenarios:

a) When speaking with data recovery companies, they know that they have you just where they want you.  I called  a few companies to find out how much they charge and it turns out that they all charge a small fortune because they can confidently assume that you need their services and will pay handsomely for it.  Every single company seems to charge the same amount.....an arm and a leg.   I only need a little data back, so I can't justify paying the $1000 -$3000 that they charge to move a few platters from one drive to a new drive.  Most of the conversations ended in name calling and they just love to throw out their ace in the hole.... "Now you know the importance of good backup" and you can really sense that they have a big smile on their face when they say that.  grrrrr.

b) When telling a few folks about my crashed hard drive, they are quick to offer the following advice: "You should have done a backup".  There is that little voice in my head that just wanted to shout out "Thank you for the really obvious advice, that had never occurred to me!!!!".  Nonetheless, I couldn't really do it.  The repercussions just wouldn't be worth it, especially since one of the people offering this advice was my girlfriend.

Things are finally back, though, and I am productive once again, but a bit mentally scarred from the whole event.

posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 6:14 PM by admin

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