Eewww-- Bad Caviar. :-P (9/29/99)
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Western Digital, makers of hard disks galore, have posted an announcement that several of their "Caviar" model drives are being recalled. Apparently they've discovered a quality control "issue" that can make these specific drives "fail to power-up after six to 12 months of full-time use." Considering the average life of a modern hard drive is quite a bit longer than that, Western Digital is pulling those puppies back in-house. They've got a list of the affected model numbers.

We hear you-- "Why should we care?" Well, some of you might have bought a Caviar drive to add into your existing Macs, but more importantly, MacWEEK notes that Apple's been using Caviar drives in its latest Power Mac G4 systems. While only about 5,000 of the bad Caviars appear to have made it into Apple's desktop supercomputers, that still means there are five thousand time bombs out there, ticking away, just waiting to explode. So basically, we're just trying to do you a favor. If you've got a G4, or you know someone who does, download Western Digital's utility to test the hard drive (assuming they ever get the thing posted correctly), or else you may find yourself staring at a blinking disk icon when the drive goes kablooey.

By the way, for those of you who have never experienced the death of a hard drive, trust us-- someday it'll happen to you, even if your drive isn't a Western Digital Caviar from the bad batch. Hard disks are mechanical beasts, and like anything else with moving parts, entropy will someday claim your drive and your data. So here's an AtAT public service announcement: if you haven't been backing up your data, now's the perfect time to start. May we recommend the excellent Retrospect Express, which we personally rely on each and every day for automatic backups of the AtAT production systems? That's an unpaid and unsolicited endorsement, folks-- it's saved our lives more than once.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 9/29/99 episode:

September 29, 1999: Dell's not the only PC maker poised to ride the iBook's coattails to consumer portable success. Meanwhile, Western Digital reveals that up to five thousand Power Mac G4s may have hard drives that could blow at any minute, and Apple's lawyers are having a tough time stomping out Kihei image sites, as the photos spread virally across the Mac webscape...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1812: Copycats Come Quickly (9/29/99)   You have to have one thing to the Wintel manufacturers; it takes a while, but they learn. Well, they learn some things, at least... For instance, you may recall that the recipe for the collective Wintel response to the iMac's original unveiling way back in May of last year was two parts snicker, two parts guffaw, a jigger of ridicule, and just the barest hint of dread...

  • 1814: "They're Everywhere!" (9/29/99)   Oh, man... you just know somebody at Apple is screaming his lungs out right about now, and that somebody is most likely Captain Steve. The release of several alleged Apple marketing photographs of the as-yet-unannounced "Kihei" sequel to the iMac qualifies as probably the biggest hole in the Silicon Curtain since Mr. Jobs returned to Apple and started plugging leaks...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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