August 11, 2006

A Gift from Dave. And Hooray, Adaptec!

Filed under: tech — Brian @ 6:58 pm

Among the last things I ever talked about with Dave was developing a decent computer backup strategy. He had three computers he used all the time – his work laptop, his personal tower (both Windows boxes) and an iMac. The iMac was a recent acquisition, but old hardware. He was coming around to the light side, I like to think.

Anyhow, he’d bought one of those USB hard drive enclosures – the kind where you put a normal internal hard drive inside, and make a portable drive out of it. We’d talked about partitioning a single drive into a Windows side for his Windows stuff, and a Mac side for the iMac. This was the kind of thing we’d talk about quite a bit. He was my Windows tech support, and I was his Mac OS tech support. And evangelist.

So, when we were going through his stuff after he died, and I came across the hard drive enclosure, I asked to take it, and his folks agreed.

Now, he hadn’t gotten around to using it, but had gone far enough to separate the power supply from the rest of the stuff. Very unusual for Dave – he was a thoroughly organized person, and things were always and only where they belonged.

We never found the power supply.

I took the enclosure to Radio Shack (“You’ve got questions, we’ve got blank stares”) and asked if they had a power supply that would work with it. “Nope. That’s proprietary.” Both sales guys concurred. (I found out later that no, it’s not proprietary; it’s the typical power supply for these external drive enclosures.)

So, I contacted Adaptec – maker of the enclosure. I told them that I’d recently acquired this drive from a friend, but it had no power supply, and could they help me out with the specificiations, or a place to order one. I got a reply within an hour, telling me to call their toll-free customer support number, and that they might be able to help me get one.

I called. The woman who answered told me they don’t do phone support for the drive enclosures, and I should try online. Ugh. I explained that the online guy directed me to the phone, and that I didn’t really need support, just a power supply.

“Oh,” she says, “if that’s all it is, you just need to e-mail the model number, serial number, and your address to us, and we’ll ship you out a new enclosure.”

“I don’t need the whole thing – just a power supply.”

“We don’t do parts. Usually, they’ll just send you a whole new thing.”

I thanked her, and sent the e-mail.

An hour later, I had a reply e-mail saying they’d be shipping me something the next day.

That was last Friday. Today, in the mail? A complete new hard drive enclosure. New in box. Time to try it out.

Thank you, Adaptec.

And thanks, Dave. Nyah, nyah – I’ll have better backups than you!



  1. Sorry, I think Dave’s got you beat: no need for backups in heaven…it’s all Macs and they never crash! ;-)

    Comment by Eric — August 12, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

  2. You know, that occurred to me as I was writing the last little bit, too.

    It’s a tough one – either they’re all Macs, or they’re all something even better. I’m thinking the power of the GNU-Linux command line stuff (and the knowledge to use it all), the flexibility of open source (so you can make your own changes) and the beauty of the Mac UI (cause I haven’t seen anything better in that area).

    Hmmph. There probably aren’t any computers up there. And, as much as that sounds bad from here, I’m sure I won’t care the tiniest bit once I get there.

    Comment by Brian — August 13, 2006 @ 7:27 am

  3. I dunno…is it really outside the realm of possibility that your mansion would be wired for terabit ethernet? ;-)

    Comment by Eric — August 14, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

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