Saturday, February 20, 2010

This Bloody, Bloody Foot

All I can do is look down at the blood welling from multiple holes and ask, "Why do I keep shooting myself in the foot? Am I really going to learn this time?"

This time...

I always partition my hard drive, it not only makes more efficient use of disk space, but it's part of my filing system, so I decided to give myself a generous C:\ partition for my system and associated file; 100 Gig should do. Then D:\Linux, E:\LinuxScratch, F:\Programs, G:\GeekStuff, H:\Temp.

Well, I set up the C:\System partition and as soon as I'd formatted it, Windows started installing itself. But, "I can deal with this, I have Partition Magic," so I let it go ahead with the install.

After installing Windows and the necessary drivers (after finally finding the CD's), I planned to download all the updates for Windows XP. Once that interminable process was over, I'd kill my Internet connection for safety's sake, install my actual programs and, only after all that was complete, install that major pain in the derriere, Norton Antivirus.

I have one of those love/hate relationships with Norton. I imagine most people who use it do. You've really got to protect your computer from the evils lurking on the Web, but, Dang!, performance sure takes a heavy hit when Norton's installed.

Since I'm still don't know why my hard drive crashed, I want to make sure that I have a prophylactic (Norton) on before I slave it to the new drive and go exploring.

Found the necessary drivers -- all neatly together in a CD rack. Nice, finding one meant finding them all. Installed my modem and network card then got on line. Went to Microsoft, started the upgrade downloads only to get the message, "Insufficient Disk Space"!!!


Turned out I'd missed my decimal point and formatted 10 Gig instead of 100.

Evil Language!

Of course, you know which disk I can't find now... Partition Magic.

Me and Murphy. Joined at the hip and shooting at my foot.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

PC vs Mac

Okay you Macaphiles (and you know who you are -- hell, you're proud of who you are!) Kick a Nerdette when she's down!

Whap! One to the chin!

Crunch! Was that a rib cracking?

Have I ever denied the superiority of your chosen platform?


I ain't dumb. I've worked with both PC and Mac -- and UNIX/LINUX, VAX, Sun, DOS, and even a few mainframes and an early version of CP/M. (Just establishing my nerd credentials here.) I recognise that Macs are more robust and easier to operate; their various generations work better together than PC's. It's also true that they are less prey to viruses and assorted malware, but I suspect a large part of that is because there are fewer of them, thus making them a less tempting target for jackass hackers.


I started out with a PC.



Plus, lo those many years ago, there weren 't as many programs available for the Mac. I wanted a machine I could use both for school and business. Macs were the computers of art, not of science or business.

And it's kinda like getting an SLR camera. Once you buy Canon -- and all the kit and lenses -- you have a built in incentive to stay with Canon instead of stepping over to Nikon. You'd have to buy all new kit and lenses for your all new camera. I'd have to get a whole mess of new programs if I bought a Mac.


That's the bottom line.

(Though if I'm to be totally honest, I have to admit I enjoy tearing the guts out of my machine, the challenge of getting it running again, and the excuse to turn the air blue as I work.)

P.S. Just to add a little icing to the mayhem, my UPS blew up today -- which has nothing to do with Mac vs PC, just to do with my old buddy Murphy. So off to the office supply store I went to fork over another hundred dollars to keep the power flowing. Joy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Slowly, Baby Step by Baby Step

The DamnMachine is being resurrected. I put in the new 500 Gig hard drive today and did the initial Windows XP installation. Unfortunately I haven't yet found the CD's with the drivers for my modem and network cards - or any other of my loverly accessories. Which means I can't access the Internet, which means I can't download the missing drivers directly.

True, Baby Dell has rudimentary Internet prowess, but in order to download the drivers on BD, put them on a flash drive and transfer them to the DamnMachine, I would first have to know exactly what devices I have...

If I don't find my CD's pretty soon, I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and call Dell tech support.

And I really don't like talking to that guy with the heavy Indian accent who claims his name is Nathan...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Toasted Hard Drive

Yep, it looks like the hard drive is toast, so it's going to be a while until I'm back up and running. I'm going to buy a new hard drive, install it, put on the basic software, then slave the old hard drive to it and see if I can pull off any of my data. My address book, eight years of digital photos, my 2/3rds finished Great American Novel, bizillions of e-mails and e-mail addresses.

And let's ask again: Who's really, really learned her lesson about regular back ups?

Sure as hell hope it's me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Really Good Excuse This Time

The desktop Dell has crashed. I'm not sure if it's the hard drive or those 9 updates Microsoft installed last night when I turned the machine off, but this morning it wouldn't speak to me.


This blog entry is coming at you from BabyDell; acceptable for e-mail when on the road, but not for real life.

I've tried all the software fixes I can think of so, cross all appendages for me, tomorrow I'm pulling off the cover and going in...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Most Beautiful Girls in the World

Not that I'm biased or anything, but who could resist these big blue eyes?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A "Modest Proposal" From State Senator Buttars

Utah is having budgetary problems, but Utah has the elected officials who can solve the state's money woes; quickly, efficiently but, sadly, not tongue in cheek.

State Senator Chris Buttars has a plan. If Utah simply eliminates the 12th grade, it will fix most of the problems with school funding. Any remaining financial gaps can be snugged up by also slicing the unnecessary eleventh grade and school busses. After all, if kids aren't in school or can't get to school, not only will the state need fewer teachers, but classrooms can be closed and the heat and lights turned off creating further savings.

My thought is that someone turned off the heat and lights in Senator Buttars' head long, long ago.

Or perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps this is Senator Buttars' sly methodology for maintaining his electorate.

But will it work?

If, as he says, the only reason for the 12th grade is for the high school seniors to have a year to party, will they be grateful to him for releasing them from the confines of academia, thus voting for him, or will they resent his curtailing their year-long party and vote for his opponent?

At the very least they will lack the education and sophistication to be embarrassed by the man who represents them.