by François A. ‘Navman’ Dumas
That’s where I sometimes want to throw my flight simulator, computer and everything associated. Don’t you? I mean, here I am after not one but THREE computer crashes last year, including my main production system AND 3 backup systems on external USB drives, and AGAIN having problems. Sometimes? Make that ‘often’.
“Didn’t you make backups?” was the first comment I got from many people whom I told of my bad luck.
YES I DID!
I had one PC being the backup for two others, although not 100%. I thought. And three separate USB drives as backup of my most important data such as photos, downloads, registration keys and email. And yes, at the end of the day I still have my most important data.
But who could believe a new 1,5 Tb hard drive would give up after 4 months, just when I needed it to restore my main PC? And who could believe my regular backup of all my downloads would stop at ‘F’ ???
Fortunately Flightsim and FSX folders started with ‘F’. But most everything else from ‘G’ all the way to ‘Z’ wasn’t there. And who would believe that two other USB drives would have the WRONG files on it. One apparently got overwritten in one of my zealous clean-up actions and the other had the backup of #3 PC, not of #1.
Never mind my 100′s of DVD’s with absolutely worthless backups on them.
After a few weeks I had stopped telling people I had a system crash. I didn’t even tell my psychiatrist.
One PC acted up already 2 years ago. I had someone re-install it, thereby losing part of my files without knowing they were on THAT PC (I thought I had them stored on the #3).
And after replacing Vista 64 bit with Windows 7 64 bit, it turns out that there’s something with the central processor or BIOS, making it start Windows only every 10th or 15th retry.
Resetting the thing all the time didn’t do much good for the hardware or the software on it.
The #3 PC then turned out not to have anything of wroth on it anymore, was too slow for FSX and so became a Linux target. It runs Linux fine now, only it is ME not having the faintest what to do with the odd looking interface and a system that you cannot simply install software on.
Turns out you have to be a system programmer in order to install a simple program on Linux. I thought as much, but all my Linux friends kept telling me otherwise.
When the #2 PC (then still my #1) didn’t start at all anymore I first bought a brand new one (except the case and the fans that I kept), with 8 Gb RAM, a Quad 2.8 processor and a 580GTX graphics card. THEN I took #2 into the shop and had it fixed and added two more 1,5 Tb disks in it so it could act as full backup of the new #1.
I know I have lost most of you by now.
Well good, maybe Angelique will leave me in peace then instead of asking me for columns.
And for those of you who love intrigues……… the #2 PC returned from the shop with two VERY expensive hard disks extra inside (bought when because of Fukushima and some flooding in India I believe prices of USB disks almost doubled… just my luck!) and after 1 day refusing to start Windows……. again!
I had by now started installing everything on the NEW #1, and found things missing about every 2nd day. Since I have 4 jobs and only get paid for half of one, I never have time to do things properly, of course. So the new PC is getting messy already again after 6 months.
And so, apparently, did FSX. Last week when I needed to make some screenshots and test a new product I all of a sudden find that my FSX world is reduced to some 10 miles around my aircraft…….. beyond that there are straight lines with only blue sky and clouds behind them. No more landscape, sea, nothing.
And so it goes.
Believe me, when you’re in this ‘hobby’ for over 35 years and have grown from Assembler, CP/M, DOS, OS/2 through Windows and Linux, not to mention 16 K computers and gigaflop mainframes, the urge to throw it all out of the window only gets stronger with the years.
And no, X-Plane, Z-Plane, Flight, Aerowhatever or even Top Gear don’t make any difference. I’m going to have that drink now…….
April 4th, 2012