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So we meet again... - Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
So we meet again...
With the help of my trusty Eagle Consus ET-CSWESU2-BK SATA+USB enclosure and a new Seagate Barracuda 1TB drive in it, I will once again embark on a mission of daring-do.

This time I am involved in Operation: Save Curmudgeon's Laptop Data. On Thursday night her laptop (at the ripe old age of four months) abruptly turned itself off... and won't turn back on again. We took it back to the place of purchase and had a tech look at it, because I sure couldn't tell what was wrong. The tech reseated the battery, tried using a "universal" laptop power supply and was likewise stumped. The chassis indicates it's getting power from the supply, but when you press the button... nothing happens. Luckily enough Curmudgeon has an extended warranty on the laptop. On the downside, they want us to ship the unit back to them for repair. So I'm going to pull the disk drive out, attach it to a little 3 in 1 drive adapter kit and take an image using that most awesome software package, Acronis True Image. So on one hand, I'm glad she has the warranty. On the other hand, I wish that warranty included them just pulling the hard drive from the original laptop and slapping it in a new chassis, rather than me having to back it up and reimage it.

After all this merry tech support work is done we'll be heading across town to celebrate the 40th birthday of one of the folks Curmudgeon bowls on league with, who also happens to be a loose acquaintance of ours.

With luck tomorrow we'll be pestering other friends about belated birthdays!

[Edit at 1719: Hah-ha! Hard drive removed from laptop successfully, but connector type (which is indeed SATA, but is some weird bastardized mutant laptop version of it) won't connect to my SATA-USB adapter. Going to have to go over to Tiger Direct and see if they have one that will support this vicious assault on my sanity.]

[Edit at 1723: God bless twanfox and his past laptop-fixing experience for telling me this drive really does have a normal SATA connector and that this bastardized connector type is just part of some weird freaky adapter to make the drive snap into the bay on the laptop chassis. A bit of experimental tugging, the adapter is off and the drive has revealed its soft, secret SATA port to me.]

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Current Location: Blue Room of Death
Current Mood: working working
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7 thoughts or Leave a thought
yakko From: yakko Date: September 21st, 2008 12:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Speaking of weird SATA, I almost screwed up the other day. I was going to pick up a SATA laptop CD drive because I knew cable space would be tight. I even had the drive in hand, but made the discovery that the power connector on the drive was about half the width of a standard SATA power connector.

I got a regular drive instead and used the adapter that came with the system. I also had to cut the IDE cable so it'd all fit inside without crushing the DC-DC adapter!
captain18 From: captain18 Date: September 21st, 2008 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I'm always going to have a love/have relationship with the laptop in general, because of all the strange fuckery that goes on inside them.

Why hasn't there been more of a push to standardize laptop internals?
yakko From: yakko Date: September 21st, 2008 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
This is a good question, given the fact that the same people who make the laptops' internals are also responsible for mainboards.
steelhelix From: steelhelix Date: September 21st, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mainly because laptop manufacturers are always trying to beat each other by either adding more features you don't need or trying to make things smaller than they have any need to be. If they used standard parts, they'd be limited in both regards.

Also, by using non-standard parts, they lock you into a service commitment for their specific model line. This is the same exact plan most automotive companies use.
captain18 From: captain18 Date: September 21st, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, yes, this is why the industry does it, I understand this. But from what I can tell there is near zero pushback from the userbase in the last 10 years.

Really, if you had a handful of big companies -- say, GM, AIG, and Microsoft -- all step up and say they will sign a big contract with a vendor who can give them more interoperability, don't you think that something would come of that?
steelhelix From: steelhelix Date: September 21st, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Because, quite simply, large companies hate consumers. This is quite clear in their marketing strategies of releasing shitty products every few years rather than fixing the ones that were already released, just to make a few more bucks.

Also, those large companies have no interest in making things easy for consumers. If they refuse to push for a standardized system, you'll keep buying the crap regardless, so why should they step out on a limb for you?
captain18 From: captain18 Date: September 21st, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, I don't expect them to do it for me. I expect them to do it for themselves, and for me to eventually reap the benefits.

Look, if you're in charge of a company with $1 trillion in assets and a userbase of 116,000 people, even if only 25% of them have laptops that's a shitload of tech support. If I'm in charge of support for that kind of company, do I want to have to carry six different kinds of SATA adaptors at each office site? If I'm supporting 200 laptops at one site, wouldn't it be nice to be able to keep a few spares of one kind of LCD monitor that would drop into all the units at a given site?

Obviously the reason for this is to force giant companies like that to replace their entire laptop fleets at once to maintain interoperability. But I think if you had a few large companies realize the potential savings if they could make shit roll uphill in this situation, I'm pretty sure that either it would happen, or else you'd see a new startup appear on the horizon.
7 thoughts or Leave a thought