Steve (akicif) wrote,

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Or, how not to fix computers

Well, the plan was to take a week off from (day job) work, do the social catch-up thing, maybe see some Fringe-y Stuff, and spend a bit of time working on the (night job) report due for the end of the month.

Friday: broadband activated - discover that 64Mb/day isn't actually very much, especially when going for new Apache/MySQL/PHP stuff (also suspect serious bandwidth leaking via the machine in mastah_rab's room).

Saturday: manage to convert Excel spreadsheets into database tables - I'm sure I didn't have to go through Access to do this last time. Off to werk (weekend job) - Hibs v. Kilmarnock at Easter Road. Take in over £4k at the turnstile in the first half, spend most of second half watching crowd. Off to Pond to talk to someone about webspace, back home to set them up with userid and password, then back to Pond again. Leave Pond later than planned for Emmental party. No buses by then, gey few taxis, but we make it by 2am. Ver' pleasant.... leave about 5am and crash for a few hours before

Sunday: Festival Cavalcade. Not the weekend job, but as volunteer with the Samba School folk. Somewhat narked beforehand with so-called "senior marshals" scrounging vast quantities of beer off of the C*r*n* Party Bus and our own particular pair of OTC types saying that drummers will have to keep up to speed set by rest of procession or they'll be chucked out of the parade (like, how, exactly?). Point out physical impossibility of walking at one speed while drumming at another. Point out stupidity of having bunch of drummers and dancers processing at "correct" speed, but not actually drumming or dancing. Procession moves off - yes, there's a gap either side of the Samba School, but it's not the biggest. Speak to another volunteer marshal and discover they'd also been told they'd to keep to a certain speed or be chucked. Decide it's all idiocy and proceed to enjoy afternoon anyway. Post-Cavalcade picnic in Meadows, then on to K Jackson's.

Monday: quite a productive day - server set up, MySQL beginning to make a certain amount of sense. Find quite nice library for doing graphics with PHP with. Discover strange errors. Get rid of half of them by commenting out bits of code. Decide I'm not going to use the other types of graph. Discover machine hideously slow, so install servers on other machine and move data across, too.

Everything was looking pretty good at this point - okay, not been in touch with family, but no doubt things will sort themselves out in time

Tuesday: Switch on server machine, it goes
L 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99
99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99
99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99
at me.... It's an evil booting problem, and my own fault for getting rid of the linux partition to make room for more window-y stuff. Discover I no longer have admin password for windows, so can't fix the problem from that end. Waste about an hour doing a windows re-instal in the hope it'd give me a chance to give it a new admin password. No joy. Stuff on web about password retrieval very unhelpful. However, can fix booting problem from linux. Do fastest ever, minimalist installation so can type "lilo -u". Not properly thought through at all, as machine doesn't want to boot at all now. Do slightly slower reinstallation and set up lilo properly. Machine now boots up with choice between windows and linux - not brilliant, may confuse some people in the hosue, but it'll do for now. Except, it's annoying. Continue to look for stuff on password retrieval - some very iffy sites out there - but ignore invites to download Dodgy Stuff and find (well hidden) the One True Windows Way to do it. Realise time, dash to Bongo Club to rattle bucket and sell raffle tickets for Mark Thomas Product Placement Tour (not quite all sold out, so no spoilers, but it was damn' good: one minute audience is roaring with laughter, next they're stunned into silemve - rinse ands repeat). Hung around for a bit afterwards, brief chat with Scotland's 10th most eligible woman, and then off to FORTH (the old-guard SF crowd who don't do K Jackson's).

Back home, decided to check out cunning plan for doing graphing stuff, and notice machine acting weird - browser seems to be redirecting to fake google error messages all over the shop. Just tired enough to think Google must be broken before crashing out.

Wednesday: Nope, not Google, 'cos main machine fine (apart from suddent tendency to not let files delete and then claim they're no longer there, and do serious amounts of disk-checking on start-up). Is evil Trojan. So, shift everything off that machine and reinstal from scratch?

Back to working on one slow machine again, but something definitely up with hard disk (this was the machine that died the other week, necessitating a reinstal of Win98 and then an upgrade to XP 'cos the Win98 instal works from a floppy and the CD drives had gone mysteriously non-bootable). Switch off machine to go out for an hour or so, and come back to the same problem - machine barely doing the drive detecting before falling over. Tried again, got as far as the disk error-checking before freezing. Alternations of this for a while until I decided there was damn' all risk in skipping the error checking.

It worked, and I got in, but it wouldn't let me do any disk fixing there and then. SO, right now, when I should be bailing out all the important stuff on the C drive to another partition, I'm ranting at LJ.

On the other hand, I've not had a cigarette in a fortnight....
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