A Disaster Averted.

by rmtwrkr

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t posted anything in the last few days. This is because on Friday my Powerbook G4’s internal HD started making the ‘Scream Of Death’. That means it started to die – loudly. My Powerbook is my main workstation, digital hub, media viewer and general dogsbody. I use this machine heavily, at least 10 hrs per day with intensive tasks, 7 days a week, 362 days a year (for christmas I give it some rest). I use this machine for also testing software, recovering clients hard disks with my professional tools, and running databases from it. This machine is 4 years old, with the original HD. A true workhorse.

Anyway, it died. So on Friday I was without computer. OH NOES!!…what a strange feeling to have no computer anymore. But of course, my clients kept on calling and asking for support. Which I could not give via my Powerbook as I had already flayed its guts across the table, and started surgically removing the HD in preparation for a new one (no easy task) . So what to do? Tell my clients I cannot do anything now? Call back next week? Nope.

Like a trooper, my iPhone took over central administrative duties. It proceeded to carry out the following tasks:

It obviously dealt with all emails. around 40-50 emails in/out.

A client called from another company. Their OSX server had a hung AFP deamon. It needed restarting. So I VPN’ed from the iPhone into the companies network, logged into the server via SSH with Terminal, and restarted the deamon. Problem solved.

Another client called with a problem setting up a scanner in OSX. She was located in another city on the other side of Germany. She wanted me to fix the issue, but to also show her how to fix it in the future herself. Solution: call her from my iPhone, then while in the call, switch to the springboard. Log into her network again via VPN (used over WLAN). Launch VNSea and log in to her desktop. I setup the scanner whilst talking to her on the phone (via the iPhone headphones obviously). She was happy. And she could not believe that I had done all of it via my iPhone.

By 6pm the battery was down to 1/3rd full, but I had successfully managed to do all the normal things that I do with my Powerbook in a working day. I listened to music as I went home.

This just goes to show that when the shit hits the fan, and you need to be GTD, the iPhone can in a pinch replace a desktop for most tasks. I wouldn’t say it is ideal if you needed to use it like this everyday, but in an emergency it can literally save your bacon.

Current Situation: My Powerbook is back working again, at it’s desk. My iPhone has now taken a short holiday, and is currently streaming Last.Fm via Mobile Scrobbler to my loudspeakers. Equilibrium has been achieved again.