Digital Disaster

September 25th, 2006 | Posted in General

Well, it finally happened. This morning I am coloring happily along in PhotoShop when the blue screen of death pops up on my PC monitor. For the most part Windows XP is a very stable OS and I sometimes go weeks without rebooting, but this one was bad. I instantly lost all the work I had been doing as the computer began dumping physical memory to reboot. Unfortunately it went downhill from there.

Apparently my Dell workstation uses a hard drive configuration called “RAID”, which as I understand it is for drive mirroring and server/data security. I don’t need those things, but they came with the system so I had them anyway. As it turns out, RAID drives as specially configured, and when your RAID goes south so does your drives… and all the data on them. So, my computer went from a fire-breathing graphics monster to a useless pile of crap in .5 seconds. I have to get “Grey’s Anantomy” done by Wednesday and was supposed to have a poster job done by today.

This was an emergency. I could not afford not to be working on this today. I could go to Best Buy and get a crappy PC anytime, but getting a good PC with the right hardware is not as easy. So, being down on PC’s anyway at the moment, I went to the one place in town I could walk in, buy a computer that would have the graphics firepower to do what I needed and get home in time to get back to it… yep, I went to the Apple Store.

Came home with a souped up Mac Pro with 4 GB ram, 2 x 3.0 Ghz processors and a 512 MB graphics card. I figured I’d see if those commercials about opening the box and starting to use the computer were accurate. Let’s just say that after one automatic firmware upgrade download, one firmware installation crash, one hour on the phone with tech support and a total reinstall of the system software I am still not using it and those commercials are a load of garbage. Right out of the box my behind.

Well, back to the cyber-battle. If I blow my deadlines I will be very angry with Michael Dell and Steve Jobs, in that order. This may put a damper on blog enties in the foreseeable future….


  1. andertoons says:

    Tom, I hate when stuff like this happens. And it was a similar incident (a few honestly) that pushed me to Mac.

    OK, now I’m kinda a Mac geek, so take this with a grain of salt, but perhaps this kind of stress isn’t the best to judge the Mac under.

    BTW, were you trying to use Photoshop on the PC side of the Mac?

  2. Tom – my heart goes out to you mate. I can’t imagine the expletives that were spewing forth to the tech support guy for the Mac..

    I was considering “upgrading” to a macbook pro… you’ve now confirmed my suspicions that it’s not all light and fluffy on the other side of the ‘mac-bow’

    Good luck and please don’t stop blogging! Have fun at the NCN convention Monday!

  3. Tom says:

    Thanks for the sympathy, gentlemen. As it happens I m finally up and running with the Mac, and the chief issues are just the little differences. The worst one is that using the Cintiq tablet as a second monitor, I cannot get the ‘mac bar’ to reside on that monitor. To be more precise, I CAN get the mac bar over to the Cintiq, but in doing so my pen and mouse cursors switch screens. When that happens my moving the pen over the surface of the Cintiq causes the cursor to appear over on the main monitor and move around, and the mouse is needed to get the cursor over to the Cintiq side. ???????? Other than that it’s finally going reasonably well. Yes, I was using PhotoShop on the PC, and now on the Mac.

    Don’t worry, Jason. I’ll keep blogging! You just keep reading!

  4. pagmatic says:

    ugh! Keep us posted.

  5. Trevour says:

    I don’t know what your setup is for backing up data, but I hope it came to the rescue when the Dell went to crap. Myself, I don’t have a viable backup source right now besides burning stuff onto DVDs… but I was thinking I should invest in a massive external drive very soon!

    I’m still a bit leery with those new Intel Macs. Here’s hoping to no more crashes, anyway!


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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