Monday, March 8, 2010

All Night Long

About this time I got a phone call from the video rental store in Somerville which was using the software that I wrote when working for Patrick Alessi. They were having a problem with their hard drive. They were using an IBM PC/XT with a 10MB hard drive. They were backing up their hard drive onto about 30 floppy disks but for some reason their restore wasn't working correctly. They asked if I could help.

I drove to Somerville and took their computer home with me. I used a disk editor application to examine the disk. I needed to look at each sector on the disk and manually reconstruct their database. I was up all night long working on this. Thankfully I did manage to make their system work again. I took their computer back to the store and gave them the bill. $115. I was surprised to see the owner thought this was too much, but I thought it was actually a good deal given the heroic effort I put in. I didn't lower my price.

I was really, really tired and when I got home there was a church meeting going in our living room, so I sat down. My eyelids were very heavy, and I could barely stay awake. When the meeting was over I'll never forget that Joe Silipo, the one doing most of the speaking, came up to me. I thought he was going to scold me but he just smiled and said, "Brother, get some sleep."

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