Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Spontaneous Computer Combustion

I think computers are pre-programmed to fail at the worst possible times. One of my friends had his Windows installation mess up last week (ahead of project deadlines), and one of my housemates had his hard disk fail today, taking his project work (which he has to present tomorrow) with it. He had saved an old copy on the university machines some weeks ago but it needs some work before it’s ready to present.
This was why I always saved two copies of my coursework (in OpenDocument and MS Word formats), which was then copied to my pen drive and to the university servers too (which are backed up nightly, I believe). That way, short of Bradford getting vaporised by a nuclear warhead, I’d have a backup of some sort, and in any case myself and my tutors would probably also get vaporised so it would be a moot point anyway.
My computer, incidentally, is mostly fine, apart from ongoing heat issues. Since I’ll be getting a Mac in a couple of months I’m not too worried.


  1. If it’s anything important I usually use Gmail Drive to store it. That way short of the annihilation of the planet, I should be fine.

  2. I wouldn’t worry about being vaporized so much as being “liberated” – but that pretty much depends on what Bradford’s oil reserves look like.

  3. I’d email it to gmail too (gmail drive seem(ed) like too much work when i tried it)

  4. I think it’s all just some wacko government conspiracy-either that or perhaps your friends are living the real student life, and spilling beer in their computers-hey! We’ve almost all done it! But my computer actually did go up in smoke about a year ago, after finally doing some impossible coursework, and I hadn’t printed. It was a beautiful moment in my face-many shades of red and blue, lol! You aren’t alone when it comes to spontanieous computer combustion!

  5. Hi Neil, update on the hard drive situation. Having a new one installed, getting the broken one back as the guy who is repairing says he the information is unrecoverable and im getting a letter to prove this. Other than that ist just hit and hope with the whole situation!