I have my T42 back, and thanks to the work of the IBM help center, most of my data was saved. Here is the synopsis?
My Linux partition and data. Since it isn’t the standard image, I either have to rebuild it or forget about it. I got the Linux partition because I was getting tired of 6 Windoze security updates a day and software glitches and crashes. The Linux image that was available to me as a standard load was at best tough to work with. It didn’t have the right graphics drivers and the support was nonexistent as yet. I have to research this more and likely take a different Linux path than before.
Also lost was all of my “remembered” links and passwords and a lot of customization that I do to get the a machine to my liking. I’m a tinkerer and am finicky as to how I want it to work. This will take days if not weeks to get it to where I was before. Each time I visit a controlled place (inside the firewall at IBM for example), I am re-entering data. Some stuff I’ve had for so long, I can’t remember the sign in’s.
I’ll admit, as an option to Windoze when I retire, I considered Apple as it seems more stable and secure, it’s going to Intel, and my computer life is more media oriented at an increasing rate.
All my music and podcasts, most of my recent data from the Windows partitition and anything that was on a server somewhere else of course.
Keep backing up, this saved me. Keep a spare computer as a back up and keep it current. Yes, your life is very disrupted when your computer crashes. We shouldn’t be that dependent on something so unreliable.
Disk and storage technology has changed in capacity (I once heard that 49 GB was the physical limit when I was in the storage industry) and size (cramming more and more into smaller disks), but is still mechanical and electrical, therefore the part most likely to fail.
Update: After I wrote this, I read this article from ZDNet, remarkably similar to my story, but I didn’t like the MAC failing also. Steve O’Grady also has recommended Ubunto to me also.