Last friday I had a slight upset... my PowerBook's hard drive went haywire. I tried to use the Install DVD's Disk Utility program to no avail: it couldn't even see the hard drive, let alone fix it.
I tried several other ways to fix it: tried using a boot CD I created using some utilities that are out there, booted into Ubuntu for PowerPC Live CD to try to see the hard drive (maybe fix it from there; no dice), tried the command + S keys at startup but there was no reaction, also command + V to at least see what's going on but still no reaction... the hard drive was just plain dead.
Suspecting that it needed to be replaced, I didn't want to spend the money to later realize that the problem wasn't the hard drive. A friend volunteered his Mac for me to take out it's hard drive and use it to replace mine. I have found a beautiful website that provides service manuals for all kinds of Apple-related products. And beautiful, detailed, manuals at that. I've never encountered these types of manuals before, and am very proud of whoever made them because they certainly saved me a lot of time for this task.
After about an hour of opening both laptops, and replacing hard drives, the expected thing happenned: my laptop worked with the other hard drive. Oh well! I have to admit that I don't treat my PowerBook very nicely (a lot of bumps here and there), and I usually work hearing upbeat music fantasizing about drumming the song hitting my fingers on the table in which the laptop is sitting on; both of these factors may have caused the death of the hard drive.
It may not be the first time I say this but we seriously need an Apple Store here in Mexico: all the Apple service providers here in Queretaro suck! (won't say the name: no free publicty for them) It took four days for the hard drive to get here, when they promised me that it was going to be only two and, because my laptop is where I do all of my work, I had to stay put and unproductive through out that time; don't even mention the attitude with which they attended me: very insulting.
Anyway, thank God for my parents and their last-year's-summer gift: an external firewire hard drive in which I kept a not so organized backup of my things. Yes, I lost some files, but they were for personal matters not important stuff: mainly saved games of Ghost Recon and Black and White, and I was working on arranging my iTunes library with all the correct albums (right now I only have corrected most artist and song names) and their cover art; I probably lost two days of what I invested in that. My library has more than 2600 songs, so there's really no comparison between the fact of losing the cover and album information of around a third of my songs, to losing my whole library.
I also was impressed (and releaved) in how easy it was to actually get back on my feet after replacing my hard drive: I was literally working again in a three-hour time period, including the time to replace the hard drive which I did myself (Lord knows how much those goddams service providers would've charge me for that!).
I don't know if it's my imagination, but I feel the computer a little more responsive... the RPM of the new hard drive is the same as the dead one so it's not that. Probably because I had so much junk that I had installed but never really erased correctly. Specially the fact that I installed some server applications some time back when I wanted to make my laptop a NetBoot server... didn't worked, don't ask me why. Some services kept bringing themselves up (like bootpd) and I was too busy to find out how to kill them off for good.
I'm also much more appreciative of my PBG4. I was using a spare computer here in the office that had only 48 Mb of RAM and Windows 98 SE, so you could imagine my frustration. Now with Mac OS X Tiger and 1 Gb of RAM I'm back home, and I'm planning to hit my thigh instead of the table while I go on through my fantasy drumming.