I’m really glad I keep up-to-date backups.
A few weeks ago, I was doing some work on my desktop PC, and found that I needed to update some software. (I don’t even remember what it was now.) I tried to install the update, and it began failing miserably. I figured at first that maybe my system needed a reboot to clear some stuff up, as I generally go weeks between reboots (I put it into sleep mode when not using it). Unfortunately, the first thing that the system did when Windows started to load was run a disk check. I ended up downloading a utility from Western Digital to check the drive, and it came back as bad and required a warranty replacement.
Normally, my first order of business would be to get the data off as quickly as possible, but the system threw errors whenever I tried to image the disk or run backups locally. Fortunately, I have offsite backups via Backblaze, so I checked to make sure they were up to date. They were, so I went ahead and sent the disk off for RMA.
As I was going to be offline for a while, I decided to go ahead and spend the money to get a new video card for the PC. The one I had was an ATI Radeon HD 5450, which was a budget video card. It worked fine when I first got it, but I quickly found that for some games like Infinite Crisis and Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition, it wasn’t cutting it. After asking for recommendations at Micro Center and doing some research online, I settled on the nVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti. After buying it, I realized that it required a PCI Express auxiliary power plug, which my current power supply did not have. I ended up buying a new power supply as well, which should hopefully be here next week.
In the interim, without a desktop PC, I’ve been using my iPad Air for the most part. Almost everything I do online can be done on the iPad; I can use Palaver for IRC, Prompt for SSH, Trillian for instant messaging, etc. In addition, I have plenty of games installed on it to keep me entertained. About the only time I’ve found myself pulling out the personal laptop has been if I needed to provide support for someone, or when I decided to download the backup data from Backblaze. The only concerns I’ve had have been that I can’t add media to my iDevices, and I can’t back them up until the desktop PC is back up and running. Otherwise, it’s just a waiting game.
While I’m looking forward to playing the aforementioned games onto my desktop PC, I’m okay with just using my tablet for now. As it stands, when the replacement power supply arrives from Newegg (the video card and hard drive are already here), I’ll still have to load Windows, reinstall all of my old software, and copy my backed up data onto the new system, so I have a bit of work to do yet. Still, I’m definitely at the point where my tablet is a decent replacement for my desktop, and it may end up that other than backing up the tablets, the desktop PC may just be relegated into a gaming machine.