I should have known better. Earlier today when I suggested that I had paid my dues to Murphy, I thought I was being smart.

Not so.

I sat down to write my monthly MySQL column for Linux Magazine, planning to bang out a few month's worth covering MySQL Administrator and the MySQL Query Browser. But then I discovered that there's not Mac version of either one!

They do offer Linux and Windows versions. But my Linux "desktop" is offline for maintenance (that's a polite way of saying I need to perform a disk swap and re-install). But I have a Windows laptop!

Except that my trusty IBM Thinkpad T23 has just decided that its hard disk is no longer interested in functioning without making loud *click* *click* *click* noises and refusing to let Windows complete the boot sequence.

The bad news:

  • I know exactly what it means when hard disks begin that clicking routine: You're already screwed.
  • I still have an article to write, so I either need a new topic or need to get a Linux box up ASAP.
  • I have no backups.
  • I spent the last several hours (has it been 3 hours?!) attempting to salvage the machine. I'm pretty convinced that's a lost cause at this point.

The good news:

  • I only used it for running a single piece of software, so the lack of backups is not a major problem.
  • The machine is probably still under warranty, so IBM will likely replce the hard disk at their expense.
  • This may finally motivate me to sell that machine--once the new drive is installed with a fresh OS on it. I recently got a Windows notebook at work that's quite capable of running SeeYou.

Oh, well. I've learned my lesson.


Anyone got an idea for the MySQL column I need to write in the next 24 hours? :-(

Posted by jzawodn at November 14, 2004 10:08 PM

Reader Comments
# mmk said:

It had to be said:

something on backups?

Windows oriented would be nice (at this point, I'm twisting the knife ;) )

on November 14, 2004 11:31 PM
# Dave Smith said:

The universe is sending you a telegram: "Backup Strategies".

on November 14, 2004 11:35 PM
# Neil T. said:

You could try SpinRite, which is supposed to be one of the best data recovery tools that you can buy. If that doesn't work then you'll probably need to go professional and that could well cost you a four-figure sum.

on November 15, 2004 01:23 AM
# James Smith said:

Uh, how about correctly setting up slave & master's to work together & replication. But you've most likely already gone over those topics, other wise a good back up article would be great. Just so happens one of my companies big DB HD crashed today, and we were just about to get the slave working tomorrow. But atleast we have 99.98 percent of the data backed up about 30 minutes before it went down!


on November 15, 2004 03:20 AM
# rich said:

Enterprise-level (snapshot + redo logs) backups and restores?

on November 15, 2004 04:20 AM
# Mike Hillyer said:

How about a quick article on writing stored functions in MySQL 5? Not stored procedures min you, ju7st stored functions, it's probably good for a short article that way.

on November 15, 2004 06:05 AM
# harry helpski said:

what about running a live CD, like knoppix on an available machine?

on November 15, 2004 09:13 AM
# Scott Johnson said:

Just chiming in on the message the crowd and "universe" seem to be sending: backups. I currently backup all of my MySQL databases with a mysqldump that gets stuffed into a tarball with everything else important on my database server. I'd love to read about various other strategies.

on November 15, 2004 10:01 AM
# Yoki said:

Write an article on how hard it was to write an article. ;)

on November 15, 2004 02:35 PM
# Jacques said:

What about something on graphing MySQL information using RRDtool similar to your interesting graphs on your talks pages?

on November 16, 2004 05:21 AM
# Jamie said:

What about automagical replication recovery when a slave gets stuck or the master falls over - don't forget to mention that you need a timeout set in the perl DBI connect string, so that when the master suddenly goes into Helen Keller mode accepting connections but doesn't do anything with them the monitoring script can make a new master rather sitting there looking confused. Not that this happened to us last week.

on November 16, 2004 01:30 PM
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