February 6th, 2019


This should have been simpler.

The monitor on the computer that Gretchen and Julie share is quite old, substantially older than the computer that it's connected to. Some months ago, it split open along the seam at the point where the switch is and gave a good impression of a dying monitor. As in, wouldn't light up. But Julie is irrationally attached to things and insisted that she did not want a new monitor. I would have tried arguing her into taking a new monitor, but Gretchen managed a duct tape and baling wire repair on the corner and the monitor has continued to function, although we no longer even *think* about trying to turn it off with the switch, lest it end up in the great electronics recycling graveyard in the sky.

The monitor attached to the computer in the studio is *not* a "company" monitor -- it's one of my old monitors from my desk upstairs that I moved down there to replace the monitor that died as part of a swap when I bought two lovely Dell 16x10 monitors. I had lusted after the extra screen real estate for years for these screens and I finally got it.

Lately, I've been contemplating how nice it would be to have a bigger screen down in the studio. I could get a 27 inch screen. I could get a 4K screen, except that it looks like there are some potential sizing problems that I would have to fight through with Cubase. And my current video card probably wouldn't support it. And I would need a new, really long cable. On second thought, let's just ditch that whole idea of a 4K screen. Maybe a nice 27 inch monitor with a DVI port so I can use the existing cable. And then I would have the old screen as a hot spare to swap in upstairs so that I would not have to listen to the anguished cries when the duct tape and baling wire repair finally gives way. (There will still be anguished cries, but there would be an immediate fix. This is a good thing, as my service level agreement with my family seems to be "Nothing must break. Ever!")

So I've been browsing monitors on the Micro Center site and when the new ad came in, I went to browse them again and convince myself that I didn't need another monitor. And I found that the lovely 16x10 Dell monitor that I have on my desk had been marked down to $159.99.

Well, that *is* a larger monitor. And should one of the monitors on my desk decide to die, it can be the hot spare that I borrow to keep working up here until I replace it. It's got VGA, DVI, and Display Port capability, so it actually bridges across the older and newer monitor port technology. And then my old monitor can become the hot spare to replace Gretchen and Julie's monitor.

I had a gap in my schedule over lunch, so I reserved the monitor, drove down to Micro Center and picked it up, and then grabbed lunch, girls from school, and went back to work. After work, I went down to wire in the new monitor.

"Oh, right," I said as I started to work. "The computer is turned off, because we had a brief power outage (less than a minute, I think) during the extreme cold last week." That's convenient, because I don't have to worry about confounding anything by working on the monitor swap with the computer turned on. After a bit of struggling with plugging a wire into a port by touch, I had everything hooked up and it was time to power up the computer.

The RAID configuration screen came up. What do you mean, "degraded"? Oh, crap. I booted into the configuration tool and it became evident that one of the two drives was toast. Looks like a 2 GB drive. What drive do I have in there anyway? Wait, there's the model number. Let's plug that into my phone. Ok, there's what I bought from Amazon about three and a half years ago. Right. Three year warranty. And obsolete. But here's the new version. And I order a new drive for Friday delivery so that I can reestablish the mirrored pair.

Except that I have also booted the computer into Windows. And there is no network connection. Why is there no network connection?

I had moved an old network hub down to the basement so I could have some more ports. I'm not actually *using* more ports yet, but...

And the little network hub's power light is just sitting there blinking and showing nothing connected to it.

I suspect that it is dead too. I'd know for sure if I'd bothered to wire around it, but by this point, I had had enough entertainment for the evening. And I really didn't want to be running the computer more than necessary until I get the RAID reestablished.

So the new drive will be here on Friday and then I'll put things back together.

I suppose it was good that I bought the new monitor. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have found the dead drive...