PCNet File Catch - SpinRite 6.0
In my last 30 years in computing I've met very few programmers that I
consider to be genius at it. Specifically I can recall four. Oh,
that's not to say there aren't a lot of really great ones out there, but
these are the guys I ran into. What do I consider the mark of a great programmer;
someone that can take a general idea and turn it into tight code
and if it's just a quick and dirty program, do so in a manner of hours.
Secondly they write truly elegant code; I can brute force something in
400 lines and they could do the same function in 10 lines. Thirdly
they're good in multiple languages which includes assembler. If you've
never coded assembler believe me, you need a GREAT mind to do it.
Finally they have a built in sense of what a good user interface should
be. Because I share none of these traits yet still have an appreciation
of what's involved to get there I greatly admire the talents of these
Among the four includes Steve Gibson. He's written a slew of great
programs; ShieldsUp, Shoot the Messenger, UnPlug 'n Play and
DCOMbobulator. He's written columns and a collection of same titled "A
Passion for Excellence". I think that the title of his collection
describes Steve perfectly. Oh, I've disagreed with him on some issues
but I always, always respect his position and frankly I suspect that if
we debated our differences he'd win. Out of respect for my ego I don't debate Steve.
By far Steve's magnum opus is SpinRite, which I've been using for so
many years I can't recall when I first started using it. What is
SpinRite? First it incorporates Steve's theory that it's not if a hard
drive will fail, it's when. Second it includes his coding and
it'll likely save your hard drive's bacon.
SpinRite, which is distributed as a single 170Kb file (yes, that's
right, 170Kb which shows you what writing code in assembler can get you;
tight code) gets "down to the bare metal" of a hard drive and verifies
and tests the physical magnetic media and warn you (as well as fix) of impending problems
BEFORE they happen. If you have lost data SpinRite may be able to do CPR
on the damaged media and bring the data back to life. Other
features, such as drive benchmarking, are icing on the cake.
SpinRite is totally non-destructive nor does it care about your
operating system; it boots from a floppy it creates so it'll handle just
about any disk format including NTFS.
SpinRite, along with Steve's other (free) programs, is available for
$89 from the SpinRite web site.
Upgrades for users of previous versions, and I do strongly recommend the
upgrade to version 6, are available at a discount from the full price.
Of a couple of tools you'll want in your fight against the evil
forces of computers you'll want SpinRite on your side. Don't compute
without it. -- Don Watkins