“You know, you’d think that after all of those conversations we’ve had about voltage and electricity…” I said on arrival at work the other morning.
“What’d you blow up now?” Jeff asked.
But back up: I was so excited when I got my air shipment that I immediately pulled out my backup hard drive so I could run a backup . As mentioned, we had had a lot of conversations about electricity, but most of them had included mention of “but pretty much all of your electronics will be fine,” so I didn’t even think twice about a hard drive. Unfortunately, my external hard drive turned out to be a bit on the cheap side.
Three trips to Maplin’s and €75 spent on a voltage converter, a neat but SATA only USB hard drive mount, and an exchange for a SATA/IDE enclosure when it turned out my cheap hard drive was either cheaper or older than I thought, and I had my backup drive back online.
The disk was fine in spite of Josh’s joke that dumping 240 volts into a 120 volt power supply would just make the hard drive spin twice as fast, and Jeff already knew about all of that. Here’s what I had to tell him that morning in the office:
No more than a score  minutes after I got my drive back online and finally got my backup started, I decided I’d do some unpacking and setting up of things. The closest box happened to be the Wii.
Of course, as soon as I plugged in the power brick, the thought that “I should probably check the voltage on this…” crossed my mind; I turned the brick over in my hand and leaned over to read it just in time for it to almost literally blow up in my face. Flash and poof of electric smoke, brick thrown to the ground, circuit blown (of course interrupting my long sought after backup), god damnit chaeap ass Nintendo.
The Wii is fine as I hadn’t plugged the adapter in, but after trooping around Dublin looking for a replacement adapter, it looks like I’m going to have to order the damn thing from the UK on eBay. At least it’s cheap.
“You know, you’d think that after all of those conversations we’ve had about voltage and electricity…” I told Jeff when I called him the next day from home, ostensibly waiting for my internet installation.
“Oh no, what now?” he asked.
I told him how I’d woken up that morning and my MacBook Pro was dead. But after noticing that it still chimed and the drive grumbled a little, I tried FireWire Target Disk mode on a hunch and sure enough, it appears to just be a dead screen. Sure a screen won’t be cheap to replace, but at least all the data is safe thanks to the fact that I was so insistent about getting that backup hard drive up and running. 
Epilogue: I spent that afternoon mooching internet with my work laptop at Havana before stomping around following leads on service in Dublin, and amazingly, it appears that there isn’t anywhere in the city center I can just drop it off. Rather than testing my luck with Apple, I opted to spend €30 in courier fares to have the promising sounding Mactivate pick up my MBP, where it still is.
Long story short: triple check your voltages and wattages, at least twice.
 Look, I know that’s probably not the first thing you would have expected me to do, but Time Machine had been bugging me about doing a backup and I’ve taken on the order of 30 gigs of pictures since I’ve been here (look, there’s a DSLR involved) that I wanted to archive.
 Bear with me; I’m trying to reclaim “score.”
 Who’s laughing now? See .