I can’t imagine what we’d do without the Internet and search engines. I mean the Internet is like the most important entity in life, as vital as water or food. I haven’t gone crazy or anything, and there was some sarcasm, but recent incidents happened in which the Internet saved my ass. What happened is my formerly reliable HP notebook conked out about 2 weeks ago, shutting down almost immediately (2 seconds) after turning on. The first time, it shut down with a beep just like that when I was using it, which is never a good sign with computers. Consequently, every single time I tried to turn it on, it shut down with a beep right after. A trip to the local HP repair affiliate and it turns out the motherboard needed to be replaced, which cost NT14,500 (around US$450 or so). I initially considered it because I have so much articles and photos on it. I was willing to pay for the replacement, because my notebook is less than 3 years and I like using it. But then, I though, with some family persuasion, that if a new notebook cost about NT$16,000 and up, then why not just get a new one. The problem still remained with the contents on my notebook hard drive because the damn computer couldn’t turn on. Given my World Cup photos were all on the notebook (some of my photos are on the family PC but not these), I couldn’t bear to lose them. I decided to try looking on Google to see if there was any way to transfer data from a notebook hard drive on a dead computer directly to another computer. Well, there was. Apparently you can either use a USB enclosure or connect the hard drive directly into the computer. The latter is supposedly faster but involves opening up the computer and connecting the hard drive directly to the motherboard, either using an IDE hard drive adapter cable or SATA cables, depending on the kind of hard drive (the 2 kinds are the same name as the acronyms I just used). Luckily I was able to borrow this from somebody, else I would have had to buy it. This also entails taking out your hard drive from underneath the notebook and this went ok, given it was my first time doing it. Of course, there was a small hitch when I tried to connect the HD into the USB enclosure. The HD is enclosed in a steel frame and to fit, it needed to be removed. The screws were unbelievably tight and I only removed both on one side while the ones on the other side were immovable. Anyways I “solved” this by ripping the frame off (I’d already taken off the screws on one side so it wasn’t too hard).
The second big problem Google solved came when after buying a new notebook, I couldn’t find where I had written my wireless password. I also realized my router CD was missing and I was possibly screwed, as I was now in a position where I had a perfectly new notebook and a router but no way to log into the router and thus set up the wireless. If this wasn’t fixed, I might even have had to buy a new router. Luckily, another Google search, or Yahoo, showed me a way out of this foolish situation. I downloaded the router’s setup program from the manufacturer’s website and reset the router, so solving the problem. It’s not the first time I’ve had to look up problems on the Internet, especially concerning computer problems. It’s hard not to appreciate how great the Internet is for problem-solving.