The old laptop our daughter plays games on started making *urk* *click* *urk* noises, and asked for a system disk. And this just after she'd gotten a couple of new games for her birthday. Timing is everything.
Rather than fork over $90 for a new drive, I decided to try using one out of an older laptop that's been idle for two years. But first, a double-check to make sure there wasn't anything on the drive that I would miss.
Memory lane. I found some of my first Perl scripts, cobbled together from pieces of Camel book code. No strict, no -w. Fairly primitive stuff, though many of the scripts used sockets to solve real problems we had at the time. One of the scripts used ADO through OLE to do data migration on SQL Server. One set of scripts was a very early Wiki clone, before I knew about CGI.pm (the original Wiki codebase was also CGI-unware). All zipped up, and saved for a rainy day.
And then the part I fear the most: yanking hard disks out of their mountings, and plugging them back in. I used to burn out transistors with a big soldering iron when I was a kid; few of the projects I built ever worked. I've been hesitant to muck with hardware ever since, fearing that I'd touch something the wrong way, everything would break, and I'd never know why. Even building my own Linux box didn't dispell the fear.
The swapped drive survived FDISK and FORMAT, and is cheerfully loading Win98 as I type. With luck, my daughter will get to play her Barbie game tonight. Oh joy.