Recovering from hard drive woes — Part III

I woke my computer up from sleep and tried to run ssh. Surprise alligators! I encountered the odd error message “You don’t exist! go away!” It turns out that my dying hard drive had trashed some very important system files containing my computer login and password information. Trying to start up Terminal, I got the error “The administrator has set your shell to an illegal value”. I couldn’t access a large chunk of my files (due to lack of permissions) and my Dock was totally trashed. Solution? Start X11 from your utilities folder.

Telemachus, I am your father

Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad — a retelling of the Trojan War from the point of view of Queen Penelope — is currently playing at the Buddies In Bad Times theatre. This run has been well cast and choreographed and I’m tempted to go watch it for a second time here. Of course, the whole point of this short blog post is as a vehicle for bad Star Wars references. Few other epic tales involve a princess whose face launched a thousand starships, a son who is told by others that his father is dead (and then unexpectedly having an interlocutor reveal himself to be said father), sirens, and visitations by spirits. Yes, that’s right. Go see the production and may the horse be with you.


Thailand was tragically flooded last year. The number of surprise alligators in the region also likely increased. As home to much of the world’s production capacity for hard drives, the shutdown of facilities caused the cost per gigabyte stored on magnetic hard drives to balloon to prices not seen since the middle of the last decade. Demand dropped for hard drives. Value-driven consumers may have opted for alternatives such as more expensive solid state drives (SSDs) or removable media like DVDs. Other purchases may have been deferred, playing catch-as-catch-can with hard drives already owned until prices begin to have some semblance of normalcy. The obvious. But none of this would have merited such a… cache-y blog post title.
Continue reading “Cache-as-cache-can”