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Friday, May 06, 2011

Emergency Broadcast System - Updated

About 10:30 last night there was a failure in the raid system on my computer - it's a twin hard-drive system that mirrors the data just in case one hard-drive crashes. The system has somehow got out of sync, although the computer itself I've managed to reboot. This is a very good sign and hopefully that means that the mirror system has rebuilt itself. Meanwhile I'm taking the precaution of copying everything I can onto external hard-drives.

It's about one in the morning and I'll probably be up most of the night making sure that nothing has been lost before I risk turning the machine off and on again. It probably also means that I won't be getting up at my usual early hour and that I might not have an opportunity to post anything over the weekend.

While this is going on I'm effectively out of action. You can still comment on Bear Alley but I'd suggest you don't try sending e-mails, just in case the re-build doesn't work and I lose any new messages when I try to reboot again.

Hopefully this is a temporary setback and I'll be back to normal within 24 hours, jet-lagged but OK. Keep your fingers crossed for me.


It's now 8:20 am and everything seems to be working OK. The computer rebooted without incident and I'm not getting any messages about hard-drives being "unavailable". Now to see if I can figure out what happened last night and what I can do to prevent it happening again...

Update 2

It's now 9:10 and my e-mail appears to be working OK. I've sent and received mail and nothing out of the ordinary has happened. Looks like everything is back to normal, although I still have some sleep to catch up on, so things might be a bit random for a day or two.


  1. Good to hear that everything seems OK. I still remember the days of banda machines (& the intoxicating fluid!) & Gestetners (?) with their fragile skins that you typed on.

  2. This comment isn’t about this review. I found this site looking for info on graphic novels.

    Seeing how knowledgeable you were about graphic novels I thought I would ask a question about a graphic novel I remember from my youth. I have searched many times for it with no luck. I have no idea of the author or title.

    I read this about 1962, but I have no idea how old it was. It was very similar to Tintin, but it was not Tintin.

    A key plot twist in it was this: they are aboard ship on the ocean looking for treasure. They have a map, but there is no island at the map coordinates. Then they discover that the map was made in France around the time of the French Revolution and used Paris as the prime meridian instead of Greenwich. After which they found the treasure and everyone lived happily ever after.

    The book I’m talking about was about the size (height, width and pages) of a Tintin and the individual panels were also similar to Tintin. It was a book, 40-50 pages and was one of a series (I remember us boys arguing over who was next to read each as they others finished them).

    There weren’t a huge number of volumes in our little library, I would guess three or four, so I don’t know how many there may have been that we didn’t have access to. My memory is that the covers were not illustrated, and it seems to me that the panels were drawn in more realistic and less “cartoony” style than Tintin.

    Ring any bells?

  3. Tom,

    What you've described is a key plot twist in the Tintin book Red Rackham's Treasure, the sequel to Secret of the Unicorn. Both books were translated and published by Methuen in 1959.

    This sequence is part of the upcoming Tintin movie from Steven Spielberg: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, due out in December 2011.

  4. Steve,
    Thanks so much - you are right.

    When I read "Unicorn" I thought, "Yes, this is the book I remember", so we went and got "Rackham" but somehow I missed that Greenwich-Paris sequence when I read it (it's just mentioned in one panel at the bottom of a page and my memory had inflated its importance - I remembered it being more dramatic).

    It's funny how I stumbled onto Tintin again. My wife got some books on tape for our boys to listen to on a trip and one of them was Tintin. I thought the one we listened to was a good story, so we got some of the books, one of which was "Unicorn." And it brought back those forty+ year old memories.

    Thanks for your help! My boys and I are looking forward to the movie!

  5. BTW - I should mention that we have all the Tintin stories which were animated in the early 90's by Ellipse Programmé & Nelvana (my boys are watching one as I type!).

    Also, in their production of "Rackham", the latitude confusion is omitted.

  6. Actually the confusion was over longitude, not latitude!