Sometime in the last week or two, our laptop’s hard drive decided to self-destruct. John tried everything he could to fix it, running all sorts of diagnostics, but to no avail. It got to the point where he couldn’t even keep it running in safe mode. Finally he consulted with my brother and determined that we would have to replace the hard drive. If you go onto HP’s website they will be happy to sell you a replacement drive for about 500 bucks, but if you go to a discount computer website, you can find the exact same thing for about 60 bucks. We decided to take a trip to MediaMarkt in Vaihingen this afternoon, where we found what appeared to be the correct type of hard drive (80 GB as opposed to the original 60 GB) for a measly 80 Euro. That’s one Euro per gigabyte! Not bad. Even better, John was able to successfully replace the hard drive and then he plugged the old drive into our big computer and recovered all of the files. I guess even if the hard drive is fried, it still can act as a storage device. The whole process seemed too easy (knock on wood). I mean, I was envisioning having to take the laptop to a computer repair shop and explaining the problem in German! The only bad news is that I lost my copy of Adobe Acrobat, but on the bright side, losing my PDF-making software has encouraged me to finally get this blog up and running.