Friday, November 29, 2013

No Black Friday For Us — But It Was A Close Call

Stella and I, as a matter of principle (not to mention a matter of sanity), don't shop on Black Friday. We are fairly relentless in our determination not to do so.

But when I started to back up my bills-paid file to a probably five‑year‑old external laptop‑friendly (i.e., tiny) hard drive, I found that it was unresponsive. Ruh‑roh!

The drive was plugged into an external USB 2.0 hub, on which the power light was cheerfully bright; the drive itself was powered from the USB hub over its one and only cable, and its light was similarly bright. A reboot didn't help. Unplugging/replugging the drive cable from/to the USB hub didn't help. With a big sigh, I contemplated the possibility that I would have to go against my principles and head for Micro Center on Black Friday (shudder).

Suddenly I realized something looked funny about the whole apparatus. Where was the signal cable from the computer to the USB hub, which usually goes into the back of the hub? Sure enough: it was plugged into the big box, but not into the hub! The connector on the hub end is one of those square-shaped USB connectors, good and sturdy, the kind that doesn't simply fall out on its own, and indeed it never has fallen out before. I looked on the floor beneath my feet... sure enough, there was the cable with the connector! Plugging it in restored the external HD, and I could do my backup.

The connector surely had some help unplugging itself. I don't know if the help's name was Esther or Lily; I suspect Lily, but I really can't pin the deed on either of them. Hey, it's the day after Thanksgiving, and they're wonderful cats; there's no way we would deprive them of their treats on a holiday for such a minor offense!


  1. USB cables are just annoying as HDMI cables - neither has a way of being secured. My HDMI cable gets knocked out of the back of the big box at least once a week. I think I;ll just shift to DVI because, either the cats or I disconnect the sucker regularly.

    1. Bryan, I missed this one mainly because I've never seen this particular cable disconnected unintentionally before. Now that I know it can be, I'll know to look for it. Stella still insists I disconnected it, not the cats, and I can't prove she's wrong, but the rascals do spend a lot of time below my table...



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