Monday, September 04, 2006

Sewing for Rescues!

The SGGA is over, and everyone had such a wonderful time in Cincinnati, but now that school is back in session, we're all nearly back into our regular routines with school and work. However, we should remember to do what we can, year-round, for those who rescue and rehab those sugar gliders in need! Make sure you stop in to Suggie Rescue Resources - for the latest news in glider rescue work, or continue to support the glider rescuer of your choice. You'll help make life so much sweeter for those little gliders who are hurt or in need.

Suggie Rescue Resources will be working on a special project this October; so, stay tuned and check back frequently. Better yet, bookmark the link now! Let's all do our part to help those sugar glider rescues who have the greatest need. If you have a donation, please contact Suggie Rescue Resources.

Anything that you can do (make, buy, or donate) will be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Cold turkey suits me just fine!

Well, now I have went and put my money where my mouth is. For years, I've grumbled about Windows, updates here, upgrades there, and security issues (or lack thereof) EVERYWHERE...and once I heard about the Apple G4 (some time ago), I vowed that, one day, I'd make the jump and go Mac. As it was, I tippy-toed into it, though. I decided to buy myself a little IPOD this summer - you know, that cute little 30 gig with video version, and, to be honest, I hated that thing with a passion, and I even returned it to the store... but then, it was kinda cool and, heaven knows, having a portable 30 gig hard drive around (IPODs are great that way, just enable disk mode) is really a handy thing; so, I went back and took it back. Yeah, that's me, a very decisive "let's make a decision and stick with it" kinda gal.

Anyway, I loved the IPOD - it just took some getting used to, and it was, actually, kinda neat, in it's very NON-Windows kinda way, but it does hold all of my stuff, and it's fun to watch Happy Tree Friends while stuck waiting anywhere! Then, "it happened" - suddenly, my backup machine, a Dell Dimension 4600C, decided to "go ker-plooey" - now, that was NOT so funny (how's that for some fine IT lingo?). Not funny because that stupid Dell was acting as a backup for at least three PCs, which I have used over the years... summing it all up, that machine had about six years worth of data on it. And it crashed because it had a bad reaction to IPOD. IPOD tried to update, but it couldn't, blah blah blah; finally, I decided, no biggie, I'll just remove IPOD... then, it won't say it has issues with updating because it won't be there. Right. Well, something in there wasn't quite right. I couldn't get a clean uninstall (thanks Microsoft, you knew IPODs were gonna be all over the place - why not just play nice with them?); so, I thought fine... I know how to get rid of you... and slipped myself right into the registry. No biggie. I've done that 1,000 times with no ill effects whatsoever (this was Windows XP Home Edition, by the way). Well, ALWAYS backup the registry, ok? This time... this one time... I did not. BLAMMO. I'm screwed. I couldn't re-start and boot in safe mode, normal mode, or ANYTHING mode. Basically, I'm toast. Screwed. Pissed. Oh, yes, just a little, but afterall, I am a human (slightly impulsive, though), and I am trusting my operating system to help me recover from the big bad ol' boo-boo I must have made. But, to my surprise, after reading MS Help and contacting Dell Techical Support, I had obtained no more information than what I had already known before I started the whole damned process! NO PRODUCTIVE information whatsoever. Ha ha ha, of course not.

Now, I will say this, at least the Dell tech support rep DID attest to this: I'm sorry, we have done all that we can do. The REPAIR option does not appear to be working on your CD (which was actually provided by Dell WITH the purchase of that machine - which is now an ugly paperweight). Now, in Windows 2000 Professional, I could repair easily enough... in all other operating sytems, going back to DOS 3.2... I could manipulate things - and I never lost DATA! The CD that I had been provided gave me three endearing options, after I booted to my CD:

1. Press "ENTER" and a clean install will be performed on your machine (caution, wipes out ALL data). OK, that is NOT a good choice; so, let's look at #2.

2. Press "R" to access Recovery Console. OK, I'll bite. I press "R" and I'm taken to another screen.... partition C:/NTFS.... or delete unpartioned drive (pressing anything failed to DO anything). OK, this is not fun... let's see option 3.

3. Press F3 to quit. YES!!!! Let's DO that, right-indeedie, oh, let's not hestitate and pack this bundle of &*#$)( right up and drop it off, somewhere, anywhere....

There we have it. Professional affirmation of what I already knew. I was screwed. The last parting bit of wisdom Dell offered me was "Call Drive Savers, maybe they can help. Thank you for contacting Dell."

So, I contacted Drive Savers, who had a fee of $1,700 to recover my data, but they advised me to try CompUSA first (which was cool, since I have a teacher's salary, and they were VERY accomodating! I really appreciated their advice!).

Long story way short? CompUSA mounted my hard drive into an enclosue so I could milk my data out via USB, since I know my file system better than they do. Yeah, you see, Norton Ghost failed to "get me my stuff and make it accessible" said there was something about encryption and user permissions... wait, I can't access MY OWN DATA... but any 12 year old in some other country CAN... and can ruin my credit?! Shocking! Anyway, that was all I needed to hear. I could have surely just replaced a hard drive, but given all the crap I have experienced with Windows... I decided that there was no time like the present, thus:

"MAC... here I come. Windows, I'm leaving your sorry disc! I'm going COLD TURKEY, and I am NOT looking back"! All of those cute little commercials "Hi, I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" finally got to me. Sure, this sleek and sexy little MacBook Pro is awesome, light, easy to hold, and it works right out of the box. Just like promised. I'm actually looking forward to a beautiful, long-term, relationship with Mac... afterall, we have to keep the IPOD with video happy.