Scandal! – or – An Open Letter to Leo Laporte, CC: Steve Gibson

Hi Leo,

Apparently you don’t remember me, my name is Nate, and I did an “Audition audition” with you in October and/or November of last year. I hung out in the studio on election night, and helped out with some network issues a week or 2 later. It’s OK that you don’t remember me, afterall it was 7 or 8 months ago, and you’re a busy man. But when Dane tells you I came in a couple of times, you can trust that he’s right!

I fell off the face of the net last January when I was picked up a full time job working as a web developer. The same position mentioned in my letter where I had inherited responsibility of an ailing server. I’m not exactly watching the live stream or participating in the chat anymore as I have other things to do, so I can understand why you don’t remember me. I was planning on watching SN200 and being in the chat just in case my letter was read, but instead I had to be in a meeting. So I’m sorry I couldn’t chirp up in the chat when you totally insulted me and my reputation by practically saying “Nate who?”

To add insult to injury, Steve only read the first half of my letter. That would have been ok too, if he had read the closing line – “got nate?” as I’m sure that would have jogged your memory right there and you’d have apologized to me. But instead I only got half my letter read. I’m going to reprint the whole thing bellow so you can get the full context.


I wanted to share my spinrite story while it was fresh, but would love it if you read this on episode 200 of Security Now. I’ve been listening to you and leo for a few months straight now and wish I had started sooner. I recently inherited responsibility for a mission critical server with a failing hard drive. the previous administrator had tried to clone the hard drive during night hours 3 times and failed each time. Having heard the many success stories about spinrite, I talked the money people into buying a copy. It found a few bad sectors in level 3, so i ran it again on level 4 on just that section of the drive. Then I went back and properly cloned the hard drive to a fresh one and the server has been humming along like a champ ever since.

Now that is my spinrite success story, now let me tell you about the headache that I went through last spring before I had heard of spinrite. I have an Apple Time Capsule with a 1 TB hard drive in it. One day my internet stopped working, and when I rebooted the time capsule, my internet worked, but the hard drive did not. There was an error in the apple setup utility and the only option I had was to reformat the drive. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, it’s just backups after all, but I had recently migrated my only copy of my iTunes music library onto the nice and spacious 1 TB drive. The genius bar flat out refused to help me, and we were clear on the terms: If I want to recover my data, I have to void the warranty. Ouch. After voiding the warranty I hooked up the hard drive to my trusty USB to SATA adapter. My mac was unable to read or mount the drive, but a competing product’s demo was able to read it. Not only did this cost me the price of a new drive to restore my data to, but it also cost me the full price for the competing product. I got all my data onto another drive, but the Time Machine system couldn’t make heads or tails of it’s disk image format. I reformatted the time capsule drive from within the time capsule, and it has worked fine ever since. On a more sobering note, had I heard of spinrite at this time, I still would have lost the warranty either way. Apple should really rethink their customer service policy in situations like that, it left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth.

– got nate?

It’s ok though, I forgive you. I know you didn’t mean to insult me the way you did, and I can understand why Steve shortened my letter. Your studio looks totally kick ass since the last time I was there, and maybe If I can get some time I can come down and show you and the twit army some really cool skunkworks projects I’ve been working on.


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