Thursday, October 13, 2005

I hung around at my mate's place for an extra day, to help him fix up his computer.

Early in the morning, I took my laptop in the back room, and set it up against the window (where I can see over 30 wlans), and connected to one. The connection was really flakey, I was trying to download a virus scanner to install on the PC after we rebuilt it, and it just didn't work.

I let him do the work to start with, adding in extra disks in order to sort out the files, but after a little while, I lost my patience, mailing because, while my mate could have done it, it would have meant I ended up there for several more days.

When he put the extra disk in the machine they mainly use, windows wouldn't boot anymore. I just laughed. Typical.

I grabbed my Mepis disk, and booted the machine up. I had a quick poke around the disks, to try to find what files he wanted, but I couldn't work it out. He didn't seem sure either.

I didn't want to waste more time on that either, and I'd brought up a spare disk, so I shut the machine down, and totally reconfigured it, with 3 hard drives (the original from the machine (5GB), the one we wanted install in the machine we were fixing (20GB), and the spare one, (120GB)), and the new DVDR drive, which would hopefully be faster.

I got the machine up, and went to start copying everything onto the 120GB (spare) disk, but discovered it had an NTFS partition on it, so I couldn't write on it.

Luckily it only had a couple of hundred megs of photos on it, so I copied them to my 512MB USB flash memory thing, and then I repartitioned/reformatted the disk.

I had to reboot for the changes to get picked up for some reason, even after deleting and recreating the partition, and formatting it, when I mounted it, it would mount as an NTFS partition, and still had files on it.

Once I rebooted it was all good, and mounted as fat32. I moved the photos back to it from my USB flash memory, and then went about recursively copying the contents of both disks onto the 120GB.

This took a good hour, to push about 25GB worth of data across.

After that, I put the machine all back together, and went to install the DVDR and 20GB in the faster machine.

The internals of the machine were disgusting, it was so full of dust. I cleaned it all out, and then installed the DVDR and the 20GB disk.

For some reason the machine wouldn't power on, it would only beep. I disconnected the drives, but that didn't fix it.

I took out the USB card, but that didn't help, I pulled out the ethernet card, but that still didn't fix it. I even took out the video card, but it still made the same noise.

It wasn't until I took out the ram sticks, and put them back in again, and reinstalled the video card that the machine would start.

After that, I put the ethernet and USB PCI cards back in, and reconnected the disks. It was all fine.

I booted up Mepis on the new machine, going a bit quicker. I clicked around, and because I was planning to repartition the hard drive, and install XP on it (I feel dirty even typing that), I decided to install Mepis on it first.

I did this, and it booted up quickly, but I didn't configure X properly in the process, so it was only using the vesa video driver, and trying to play tuxracer was impossible.

My mate was looking for the XP cd, to install it (I wasn't helping look for the CD at all), he didn't end up finding it.

He found a CD that I'd sent him a couple of years ago, with a ghost image of windows 98 for this machine, so we installed that instead.

The machine seem to run nicely. The ghost image didn't have the drivers for the ethernet card installed (though now I think about it, I think they're in the image, just not installed), but everything else worked.

I setup the modem on it, and my mate setup his dialup connection. He dialled up, and started downloading the virus scanner. He'd downloaded it on the other computer recently, but because they were both running 98, and I didn't have the drivers, I couldn't use a USB drive to transfer it.

I suppose I could have either attached the 120GB disk and copied it off there, or booted up linux on both machines, mounted the hard drives, copied the file to the usb drive, and off again, but it all sounded like too much fiddling around.

Anyway, he started downloading the virus scanner install. It took about 80 minutes to download 9mb. It was killing me.

After that, I kicked it off downloading firefox, and at that point I packed up my stuff, and we left.

My mate told me that he and his roommate go to an amateur cinema place on Thursday's, where they show foreign language films, and short movies and stuff.

It sounded pretty interesting, so we went over there. It seems like a pretty good setup, albeit basic, with some AV gear up the back, and a projector mounted on the ceiling, and they show DVDs, and community TV.

It reminded me a bit of the mobmovie thing I read about the other day.

We watched a Russian movie, and then some weird skit comedy DVD.

I went to get on the train after that, and while waiting on the station, they made an announcement that the trains weren't running tonight.

A train for the Hunter line came through, and the guard shouted at us that there were no trains tonight.

I decided not to spend 4 hours on an all stations bus to get home, so I stayed another night at my mate's place.

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