As a theorist I am often fond of joking that you shouldn’t let me near lab equipment. It’s an image I semi-consciously try to cultivate. But it appears that cracks may be forming in my theorist guise. Anyone who looks at my CV will notice I have a degree in mechanical engineering. I can usually convince people to ignore it (“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”).
But, after nearly a decade of living frugally (i.e. being in debt up to my eyebrows), people are starting to notice the following facts:
- Since I couldn’t afford to replace my iPod Video when I broke its screen, I bought a replacement screen online and very, very, very carefully – and successfully! – replaced it.
- I am building a tree house out of scrap wood and logs I have lying around, prompting my father (a retired HS English teacher) to remark that “he’s not his father’s son,” indicating, rather, that I took after my grandfather (and my mother). I have also built an eight foot tall arbor out of cedar for my church (matched to the style of the 1775 building) and a slew of other things.
- I now regularly perform maintenance on my car and my tractor.
- I chop wood.
- I’ve fixed numerous electronic devices via creative splicing.
There are tons of other examples that have gotten people’s attention, but what might just throw the cloak off my disguise is the fact that I am seriously considering attempting to fix my busted hard drive myself.
I don’t have the $1800 it would cost to send it to a clean room (after trying everything under the sun short of taking it apart). I have a new drive in the computer already. So here’s what I, who am poor, plan to try in order to recover my data:
- Buy a cheap hard drive of the same size.
- Swap the platters from one to the other.
Yes, you read that correctly. The IT guys at work showed me what the inside of a desktop drive looks like so I’m going to get an old busted laptop drive and take it apart to see what it looks like. Then I’m going to try to swap the platters out. What have I got to lose?