Today I finally decided

Today I finally decided to have my external hard drive evaluated since it has not been working properly for some time. It’s an 80 GB firewire drive and for some reason it won’t show itself in the finder, but it does seem to allow data access through apps. Basically I can play the music on the drive from iTunes, but I can’t un-mount the drive when I am done, since I can’t see it. One other interesting oddity is that I can see the drive across my home network, from a second machine, but it will only mount on the desktop about 10% of the time. Disk Utility has been unable to remedy this and so I finally gave in…

I purchased the drive from TekServe a local NYC store that deals only in Macs. It was their design and I was hoping that they would in turn be able to fix it without causing the data (30GB MP3 Collection) to be lost. It turns out that they can’t do this without having to charge me a minimum of $1100 for data recovery! I looked on the board they have there and noticed I could buy a 120 GB drive for under $300… This service charge seemed absolutely absurd to me and so I left in a huff. It seemed that my choices were to try and save what I could and wipe the drive, or pay the unreal fee and and have them do the same. If it turned out to be a hardware issue, perhaps they will offer to replace or fix it at no cost since there is still some warranty left on it seeing as it is less than a year old. Argh.

On my way home I was pretty pissed off and decided that perhaps I should consider replacing the drive. Across the street was a Best Buy, but they only had one Maxtor drive and though it was FireWire capable, it was also USB 2.0 which seemed to make it more expensive that I thought it should be. Around the corner was as a Staples and I thought why not try one more place…

When I walked in I was greeted by a friendly representative from Palm. It seems that today is Tunsten T day. They had a demo unit out which I was able to play with and let me just say now that it is an amazing piece. Much smaller than I expected – great for a front pocket in jeans or shirt pocket with no problem. The screen was really very bright and resolution was excellent. Everything I had hoped for… suddenly my focus was shifting…

While I was checking the Palm out, a few customers were coming in and speaking with the rep… I was amazed at how little knowledge she had both about the product, and about the handheld space in general. The first thing I noticed was how she was patently anti-Sony, stating how they only used proprietary technology (like the Palm OS I presume…) and how Palm was much better anyway. Let’s just forget for a second that Sony makes a competing device (and yes I realize that Palm and PalmSource are not the same anymore) because how can you possibly put down any Palm device when there are so many PocketPC choices in the same store?

A guy then started asking about the differences between the new units and his old Palm Vx. The woman from Palm had never heard of the Vx, thought it had an antenna like the 705 and was just plain confused. She then used Bluetooth as the main point of difference, though she was really not sure to explain how short range wireless unit would get online. She also only knew of one phone that had this functionality. I gladly corrected her and helped the guy on his way. (yes I am great)

1 comment for “Today I finally decided

  1. 1/7/2004 at 11:07 pm

    Hi, just wanted to explain the high price for data recovery from a repair point of view:

    Data recovery is a labor intensive process whereby technicians go bit by bit on a hard drive looking for data. The reason companies can sell a 120GB hard drive so cheaply is because prices for drives are at an all time low. Due to this all time low, drive sizes are increasing all the time. This does not make recovery any simpler, however. Recovery is still a process based on hard drive size, so technicians still need to go bit by bit, looking for every lost MP3 and patching it together,

    There are software solutions for data recovery, Alsoft makes a program called Disk Warrior, which will (usually) recover a failed directory. It is a one-hit wonder, repairing only the directory (what tells the computer where items are), but it can also cause damage sometimes.

    Companies always warranty hard drives, in fact the drive you speak of has a 1 year warranty on its case, and most likely a 2 or 3 year warranty on the drive, itself. That said, due to the ability to easily delete a file, software is never warranteable. If it were a warranteable item, some pour soul’s life would be spent day-in and day-out, recovering data.

    Hope this helped clear up the confusion!

    Etan

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