Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's dead, Jim

That's the line Doc said to Cap'n Kirk on Star Trek so many times, that's what he would have told me yesterday about my computer.
Keeping the agony in protaganist, here's a quick recap: The ambitious hero of our story, rejected by friends and family, after leaving California on borrowed funds, with nowhere else to go, has piled all his material possessions in a car and gone to Texas to spend the summer working (in the upstairs of an uninsulated cabin - can you say hot?) on an invention to save the planet. Sitting on the floor toiling all day at the computer, soldering tiny wires while kneeling over circuit boards and chanting Hare Krsna. Alarmed by the appearance of success on the horizon, the demi-gods who are worried of their powers becoming impotent due to the widespread adoption of heliostats sent a storm with powerful lightning, winds, rain, and hail to prevent their power from being usurped. Casting a spell of delusion they rob our hero of his limited intelligence, leaving his computer and software vulnerable. Like when Rama was falsely led into the forest, and Sita was snatched by the demon Ravana, our protagonist Madhu must now chase down and retrieve his code....
I've been sitting within 3 feet of my computer for probably 22 hours a day, and yesterday I stepped away for a few minutes, you know to Eat, and a huge storm blew in from nowhere and before I could even get back to the cabin the rain had blown 8' horizontally through the window saturating everything in the area, which included my guitars as well as my laptop which was on and open. The keyboard was completely saturated, and the display was looping through some nasty sounding hardware failure message that I had trouble reading because I was so frantically trying to turn it off and shut the window at the same time. The next 10 minutes or so were spent trying to get the situation under control and drying everything off. Up to 1" hail came down, the neighboors had baseball sized pieces. Good news is that the heliostat mirrrors weren't broken and the whole stand rode the storm out nicely. Measured highest wind was 21, but gusts were certainly higher.
I knew the prognosis was bad for the laptop. I dried it off as best I could and waited. After a couple hours I powered it up, but it wasn't happy and didn't boot. The BIOS setup worked though and the hard drive test also passed, so I'm optimistic about the data. Ugh, I hadn't backed up since I left California, and my last backup didn't get the motor control library! I saved a shred of hope for the morning, but all I was able to learn in the morning is that the motherboard isn't happy.
Fortunately I was able to borrow a computer to write this with.

My guru says this verse should be engraved in gold on our hearts:
Tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano
bhujnana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak

It means that one who accepts all sinful reactions (Karma) as Krsna's mercy, understanding it to be a result of his previous activities), enduring it with an undisturbed mind, while continuing to practice devotional service with body, mind, and words - such a devotee is eligible to attain Krsna's lotus feet, which are the shelter of liberation.

I can't do that yet. I try, but I'm not qualified. My mind gets disturbed, and I become angry to avoid being sad because it's so hard to live with myself while accepting that I am the cause of all my suffering. Srila Gurudeva is slowly grinding me to a fine powder because I'm too independent to surrender to him even though I want to.

Bottom line on my computer is that I need around $300 it seems to get a used Compaq 3000 that I can pop my hard drive in, and hope the heliostat code is still there. At a minimum this is going to be a one week disruption, but given my lack of funds, probably a month. I've been working on this every day and now I either can't, or I have to redo my last month's work on the assumption that I'll have to anyway. All this is just too much to accept this soon, and I'm going to have to figure out what's next after taking a couple days off (if that's possible).

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