Multiple Failed Hard Drives, old mac memory costs. Just ranting...

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unknown1's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 143

I am not sure what to say, but I have had another hard drive failure on my Pismo. I can hear it crackling and buzzing behind me as Norton Disk Doctor tries to do its stuff. I doubt it will do much good as once the drive starts to make strange noises, it is in hardware failure, not much Norton can do to fix it. there are pretty good resources on the web for fixing hard drives yourself (mainly finding another working hard drive of the same model and switching parts to recover what data can be saved).

What bugs me is this is the THIRD one. I know I have old stuff and hard drives can hardly be expected to last longer than five years, but man what a pain! Even my 60gig FireWire hard drive is flaky, sometimes recognized by OS 9 or OS X but rarely by both, not anything I want to back up to. So I am hoping I can get the Pismo to work long enough to back up to DVDs. I just went through this with my 20gig hard drive a few months ago (Lost MS Office 2003 on that one, can't find the disc for it) and a previous (purchased new) 20 gig hard drive in 2005 with my PowerBook 3400 (Still have some photos from 2003-2005 on that one). Each time there were just some things that didn't get backed up that I need off them.

Problem is, even on eBay, a 2.5" PATA hard drive is hard to find for under $50, which is what I paid for each of my three Pismos. The SATA ones are starting to go on sale for less than that, found a 80gig SATA on Dealmac.com for $40.

Of course memory is another thing. Can find 512 meg sticks guaranteed to work in a Pismo for $70 to $95 each. Generic ones with the "Texas Guarantee" ('If it breaks, you own both ends') for about half that.

I just don't have the bucks to invest in a fir'r'upper MacBook or iBook yet and want to at least get these three Pismos going. Next I'll start on the Power Color Classic (I have most of the parts already) and the LC/ Mac Mini (still need a CHEAP Mac Mini and 'many' other parts). I have half a dozen Macs I may be able to sell, but all being pre-G3 they aren't worth much with today's high shipping costs...

I figure I could build a nice dual 2.5 GHz AMD system (with DVI/HDMI and 2gigs of RAM!) for about $125 in addition to the parts I have (A low-end Core2Duo Intel System would be about $50 more). I would love to find a dead G3 B&W case to put it in (That side opening, easy access motherboard could never be beat by ANY PC case!). Thought of a G5/MacPro case, but they are a little high still...

Just Ranting at one-thirty in the morning...

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Russell - Unknown1 - Idaho USA
"I think I need some alone time with your credit card and ebay"

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gsmcten's picture
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Just Ranting...

Unknown1,

Frustration with hardware rears it's ugly head at any time of the day or night. I understand.
Rant on. Smile

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"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Computers Suck

Someday when we're all old and gray (or dead) we'll all look back on this era and laugh. The most ugly truth about computers is they're not durable goods. They're consumables. They just happen to be incredibly expensive consumables.

Based on our collective experience with refrigerators washer-dryers and television sets we're all sort of stuck on the idea that something that costs from some-hundred to some-thousand dollars should last a decade or two, preferably without requiring any significant maintenance, and still be worth "something" to somebody for as long as it's still working. We're used to the idea that having spent a thousand bucks on a 'fridge you should be able to use it until you move or remodel your kitchen or *whatever*. Furthermore, if you buy a used 'fridge it's perfectly reasonable to expect that all you're sacrificing in exchange for the lower price is some degree of style ("Sure, it's "Avocado", but it's only $50!"), ergonomics (the used one has "shelves", not thirteen different crisper drawers, locking snack vault, and a combo ice cube + cold/lukewarm/hot/boiling water dispenser.), or energy efficiency. To a reasonable degree a refrigerator is a refrigerator.

On the other hand, if refrigerators were computers you'd be forced to upgrade every five years. I mean, after all:

A: It's a scientific fact that as time passes food *must* be stored at lower and lower temperatures. The 40 degrees Fahrenheit that was sufficiently cold to keep a jug of milk fresh for a week in 1990 causes modern food to spontaneously combust upon contact with the refrigerator interior. A modern 'fridge must *at a minimum* be capable of storing liquid hydrogen to within one degree kelvin of its natural "slush point". Next year's models will use superfluidic helium as its benchmark calibration point, so plan your purchase accordingly.

B: A modern refrigerator achieves cryogenic temperatures using a mechanism composed entirely of cardboard, aluminum foil, and those "appetizer toothpicks" that are actually made of uncooked spaghetti. The manufacturers know you'll have to be upgrading in three to five years anyway, so no point in building it to last. Besides, people *like* feather-light ultraportable wireless appliances. Metal is heavy and costs $$$. You *do* want to pass the manufacturing cost savings along to Steve Jobs, right?

Computers are at this point in history the same category as plastic silverware, cardboard boxes, and garbage bags. Consume with it, keep your stuff in it... but be sure to throw it away before it breaks lest it vomit all your stored cruft all over the floor. Maybe in a few decades, maybe sooner, we'll collectively "decide" what a "computer" needs to be to most people and they'll be long-lasting appliances. But that time is not now.

*sigh*

(And that's why I have such a bad attitude about spending money upgrading old computers. It's like slapping duct tape on a ripping garbage bag. Yes, it sucks that a new garbage bag costs a thousand bucks, but the duct tape isn't cheap either and what you're sticking it to is still disposable no matter how much love you have in your heart when applying the tape.)

--Peace

unknown1's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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LOL!

No, I don't like 'txt-speak', but your post necessitated it! More like ROTFLMAO, but I don't like to use foul language ;^) .

I really think though that we will sometime reach the equilibrium where a computer will meet all the needs we can think of at this point in time and on into the foreseeable future.

It seems that a computer with dual 2+ GHz processor with a sufficient graphics card and several gigs of RAM should be able to do all we can think of for every day use up to editing HD video and multi-channel HD audio. How much of a difference does it really make between a 2.6 GHz Pentium Duo and a 2.93 GHz Core2Duo that costs three times as much or a quad core Xeon that cost three times MORE anyway? Of course this is from a guy who's fastest Mac is a 400MHz G3 and who doesn't own a PC but his wife's fastest PC is a 1.7 GHz Pentium 4 (which from my rough calculations is about one fifth the processing power of a current Core2Duo - based on the claim that a 1.6 GHz core duo was about twice the processing power of a 3.0 GHz Pentium 4).

They have had quad core processors for like a year now and it really seems like not many people REALLY need them for most of the common applications of the day.

I mean, how many seconds can you shave off ripping a CD to MP3 in iTunes by paying an extra thou for your computer? Of course I am not a gamer or a DNA decoder, but that is a totally different story...

It seems the goal now is how much computing power per watt of electricity can you get?

How 'fun' or 'cool' is your personal electronic device of choice?

(I am looking for a broken, but fixable, 2nd Gen. iPod Touch cheap)

And other such questions...

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Russell - Unknown1 - Idaho USA
"I think I need some alone time with your credit card and ebay"

gsmcten's picture
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A Happy Medium...

A liitle background:

My first computing experience was with an Apple IIc that my best friend brought home one day in 1985. I was not interested in what it did, but how it worked. This carried over when I bought my own IIc a year later. He then proceeded to build a 286 from parts from the hobby store and I was facinated. I bought parts from the same store a year later and built a 386. We started getting computers onboard ship and when something went wrong they came to us and we fixed it. I am not a "software" guy. I like to tinker.

Things from that point have progressed past the point of reason. Bigger and Faster is better. I am not so sure about that any more. Reliable and worth the price is more my speed now.

I currently use a Dell 4700 Tower for my home computer, but I just picked up a G4 MDD and I am planning on using it for a while instead of the Dell. I want a taste of the different flavor a Mac brings to the table. I think they are basically on par with each other.

This does not keep me from tearing into a II, II+, IIe, or IIgs for fun, but it does give you some perspective of where we were and where we're headed.

"There's a sign post up ahead....Next stop; The Twighlight Zone!"

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Is the laptop running very ho

Is the laptop running very hot or something? Heat tends to be a major killer of laptop HDs.

Nothing used in a laptop is made to last more then 3-5 years of use, you can get much more life from desktop equipment since it gets bounced around less and usualy doesn't get that hot in use.

unknown1's picture
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Pismo is Cool B^)

Yeah, I have only heard the fan kick in once (I was 'Wardriving' and it was sitting in the sun on a 100 degree (38 C?) day in the passenger seat of 'Scooby-Doo', my 360,000 mile (600,000 km ?!?) '85 Subaru (currently sitting in the yard with the alternator out. I bought a 400gig back up hard drive for the wife's PC instead, priorities, you know...).

I never find the top of the laptop even warm. I work with it on my lap quite a lot and just feel a bit of warmth. Though one time I tried it on bare legs (don't ask, the wife still laughs at it) and then yes, it was too hot.

The G3 was actually an amazing processor with a max thermal about 5 watts and still the fastest laptop available at the time. Of course the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom is about eight times faster and still uses five watts, but this is nine years later too...

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Russell - Unknown1 - Idaho USA
"I think I need some alone time with your credit card and ebay"

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My Wallstreets seem to get to

My Wallstreets seem to get toasty over a period of time (292 being the fastest one), the fan only runs when you connect power to it because the pram is dead and the battery is disconected. Different generations of G3 put out different heat loads, and the G3 series powerbooks were like a heat source encased in thick plastic so the heat built up.