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For years I've been naming my hard drives after the gods of ancient Greece: Dionysos, Hermes, etc. My iBook hard drive, the same one that ceased to function properly, as described in my last Coffeeblog post, had been called Pan after the horned god of the ancients, the goat-legged god of wild vegetation who was reputed to give hunters luck in finding and bagging game.
As it turned out, Pan has been replaced twice by the Apple Depot in Tennessee with "new" hard drives, erased six times (I am now on my seventh as I write this), and had Apple's Tiger software reinstalled after each erasure. Interestingly, the international ship and aircraft distress code uses the French word "panne" to communicate a breakdown: "Pan-Pan." Add to that the fact that the word "panic" was named after the god Pan.
During the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, a sailor Thamus was sailing past an island named Paxos when he heard voices crying in distress, "The Great God Pan is Dead." This incident took on enormous significance when it was reported by the Greek historian and biographer Mestrius Plutarchus, known as Plutarch. Pagans pondered whether Pan, unlike the other gods, was actually mortal. Christians, in a later era, interpreted the lament to mean that the era of the pagan gods, as personified by the ancient horned god Pan, was over. It is now said, of course, that a horned, goat-legged devil named Satan is alive and well in Christian theology. What, however, of my computer? Will the great hard drive Pan die once again of directory corruption? My experiences of the past two weeks remind me of the Garden of Eden legend, in which Eve tempts Adam with the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, knowledge, that is, of good and evil. In Western Christian art, that fruit is often depicted as an apple. Unfortunately, my recent dealings with Apple the Cupertino computer maker, and their repair depot, has brought about persistent thoughts of good and evil in terms of another fruit: the lemon.blog comments powered by Disqus Comments (View)
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