1.25.2007

and we're back...

wee, the new windows install is starting to take shape... should have just done this in the first place... but i really wanted to do a successful clone heh...

well poop...

reinstall it is... i'm making a list of all the settings and little programs i have that i want to reinstall, at least if i miss something i can pop in the old drive to check.

i should have done this from the beginning... oh well...

the cunning plan is not coming together...

things are not going smoothly with the drive clone. i've tried several programs (GParted, xxcopy, Ghost 9 and 10) and the clones always come up a few megabytes short, and fail to boot. Ghost gives me errors if i check the source drive for errors during the clone. I have run scandisk and norton drive tools, neither on them can find anything wrong with the disk.

I have a few more things i want to try: back up image with ghost, instead of clone, xxcopy from command prompt(not sure how to do this yet, i'm thinking there's a boot option for xp for command prompt only but i'm not sure, stupid ntfs can't use dos bootdisk can i?). After that i think I'll bite the bullet and reinstall windows, in the long run i'm sure it will be better, and i'll still have my original install intact on the old drive for reference.

pan's labyrinth starts playing tomorrow at a local theater, so that's good news.

time to go to the library after this clone attempt fails... once homework is done i'll be hammering away at this drive situation again, however long it may take... if i was only this diligent at my research...

1.22.2007

chillin' in geekdom

my next hurdle will be cloning my windows partition to my new harddrive. i have a plan, and i'm confident in my plan.


hardware:
temporarily install new HDD in my external USB HDD enclosure. with the new HDD i ordered an adapter that will allow me to connect the notebook drive to a standard IDE connector. i've done this before when i was recovering data from my bosses notebook drive.

software:
after searching for some free cloning programs, i realized the program i've been using to non-destructively resize partitions also has a copy feature. this program has worked like a true champ so far, so it will be what i attempt to clone my windows partitions with. The program is called GParted. It is basically a LiveCD for Linux that just has a hardrive management application. It has a very nice GUI, and has proven to be very intuitive and reliable. Most importantly it can access hard drives connected through USB, many of the other programs i researched lacked this feature, or had this feature only if you ponied up some money.

i think i'm covered on both fronts and am ready to have at it when the drive arrives. my current plan is 30GB for windows and programs, 10GB for linux and programs, remaining ~60 GB will be the shared partition, probably ext2, for music, video, pictures, work data, documents and what ever.

the one remaining uncertainty is how my GPS software will handle the clone. The software key is only good for two installs if i remember correctly. I don't know if it will realize it is on a new drive and issues will arise, or if it will be ignorant to what happened. I'll look into this some more, if i can't find anything out before hand i'll learn through experimentation.

i'm looking forward ot trying out the newest ubuntu on my laptop. i have a few areas i want to see if have been addressed in the past two years.

1) my laptop has a non-standard resolution of 1280x800. in order for ubuntu to run at this resolution i had to jump through a few hoops. nothing too complicated, but nothing intuitive either. it is kind of frustrating, when i run GParted i can easily choose the proper resolution during the setup procedure.

2) touch pad support. this i honestly forget how it worked with breezy, but i've grown very fond of my touchpad configuration. a tap inthe uppe right corner registers as a right click. a tap in bottom left, a middle click. double tap and hold will drag objects. i'll miss these if they are not supported.

3) hibernation, will it work now? i don't remember it working nicely before. i love hibernation, fairly quick boot up time, but none of the battery consumption of stand by.

if i recall correctly everything else seemed to work fine back in breezy. there are a couple features that are relevant to me now, that i didn't care about then. bluetooth support, more specifically, will i be able to hotsync with my phone through linux. this isn't that big of a deal i have hotsynced with my laptop for over two weeks, but i'll still see how easily it can be done.

completely off topic:
i got new tires saturday morning. i feel sae on the road again, the old tires had nearly 60k on them, and the lightest snow gave them all sorts of trouble. the new ones are much more sure footed in snow.

i think i'm done rambling for now...

1.21.2007

a stroll through geekdom

i was beginning to fear the lure of a macbook was getting too strong. i was getting rather fed up with my laptop running sluggishly. while i know a simple reinstall of windows would have fixed that, it is always a pain. so this was making another case for a mac. but mac's cost lots of money, lots of money i have no desire to spend right now. i played around with a program called ccleaner. after cleaning up everything i don't use, my laptop feels young and nimble again.

in i still wanted a fresh look though. i was a hold out from the win 2k days still using the classic windows theme, the blue and green task bar just didn't do anything for me. after a very brief search i found a theme called royale noir that really did something for me. it has the same style at the default xp task bar, but instead of the friendly blue and green it sports a couple shades of grey. grey that i love oh so much these days. i then found skins for firefox and trillian to match. my opera skin already matched nicely.

i'm still trying to decide on a new wallpaper though, my previous wall paper was already predominantly grey, but the greys of everything else were a bit darker. i darken the existing background and looked good. currently i'm using the same image as i use for the background of the blog after doing some tweaks with neat image that gives the image a more surreal look.

with the new found performance and a fresh look i was very happy with my laptop again. the one remaining nag i had was the limited hard drive space. since it is my primary computer now, the 40GB(-6GB for dell recover garbage) just wasn't cutting it. the hard drive is also spins at a mere 4200 rpm, which doesn't help with sluggishness i'm sure. after some research i discovered they make 7200 rpm laptop hard drives with capacities of 100 GB. so one of those is on it's way to my apartment. i'm very excited about this, it'll be like i have a brand new laptop after all this. for a fraction of the cost of a macbook...

with the spacious hardrive, i plan on having a linux partition as well. i'm taking a renewed interested in linux, since vista seems kind of scary. the drm seems far too invasive, i don't drm will ever be a problem in linux. to play around with linux some i installed ubuntu on the old divx machine from flint, she had been sitting in my closet since i moved here. amazingly enough she started right up. one of the hard drives is flaking out though. as i was waiting for the newest version of ubuntu to download, i installed a two year old version of ubuntu, my usb wireless adapter didn't work. read forums and tried some things, 2 hours later still no luck. this reminded me about why i lost all interest before. once the newest version was downloaded i installed that, and everything worked perfectly then. i have not touched it since then though. i'm too lazy to use desktops these days... i need to be slouching on my sofa with my legs kicked up on the coffee table... i suppose i could get vnc running on the ubuntu box so i can use it from my laptop from the sofa... that's how i access my desktop most of the time now... god, that's pathetic...

other excitement, i just found out about "hannibal rising", movie and book. i've enjoyed most of the other movies, ad the books i've read of the series i have enjoyed so i'm looking forward to this. the most interesting thing about "hannibal rising" is how close in time the two are released, only about two months separating the two. it is also the first movie in the series actually written by thomas harris. i'm still not sure how i didn't know about this till tonight though... oh well... i'm going to pick up the book and try to read it before the movie comes out... it'll be a great achievement if i can read a book while not on vacation...

very impressive game by the colts today. while i dislike both the colts and pats. i dislike the pats more, they have recently had their moments in the spotlight. so i'm glad the colts pulled it off, even overcoming the largest playoff deficit ever. i'll be rooting for the bears in two weeks though.

1.16.2007

birthday this weekend. good times. also the auto show. the auto show doesn't change much year to year... i found myself commenting more on the few changes than the cars themselves. we did get our annual picture with the michelin man. as sad as it may sound, the highlight for me was sitting in a mazdaspeed3, which with some luck could possibly be my next car. seeing the new mercedes CL class in person was cool too. sure there were some nifty concepts. to me anymore the show just feels like a bunch of car dealers gathered in one place.

after the show we watched the descent... the director's cut ending makes more sense to me, i liked it. we then went to a couple bars and ended the night in a hookah lounge, very good birthday present hehe. we were talking to the owners, they only opened 3 weeks ago, its a good way to wind down after a night out. i'd be there several times a week smoking from the hookah if they had wifi there. next time i'm there i may ask them about that... though that would be bad for my health...

i need to get back into the school mentality, but it is difficult, i don't have to be anywhere before 3 any day of the week. i already find myself looking forward to the summer when i can go back to work. i should be set on a thesis topic here shortly though... then i have no excuse for doing nothing most of the day...

now back to smoking myself retarded...

1.11.2007

last night went ok, i'm not sure what's next though. she's plenty nice, smart, has a good job, and we had a good time. just have to see how things play out i suppose. i do really like talking to her.

today i fixed / helped fix a couple things... first was a test setup that a fellow student designed and built a few years ago for another research group... it was only collecting noise as data... we turned the power knob up and it worked again... go us! well it was mostly the other guy... but i was there... and our mission was accomplished...

i forget if i announced it here or not, but i sold my older rx-7 to another research group member... so today i got a call saying it was acting weird... so i was on my way to the complex anyway so i said i'd take a look at it... he said he almost lost control on a dirt road and there was a lot of twisting back and forth... it turns out that the MAF sensor plug came slightly dislodged during the twisting so the acceleration was intermittent... we went for a little drive and i had never experienced the on/off acceleration before, at a stop light the car completely died and would start for only a few second at a time... at that point i knew exactly what was wrong... my friend jumped out and pushed, i steered around the corner to a side street, popped the hood, re-taped the MAF sensor plug and all was well... he's really happy with the car other wise and now he knows about that problem and how to fix it, so it's all good... the first time that happened to me was in flint about a block from home... and we pushed the car down raskob... K noticed some smoke in the general area of the sensor and we noticed the loose plug... it happened one other time on a freeway on-ramp... tape only lasts so long...

i also forget whether or not i announced i had taken a step in another direction of geekdom and have been sporting a smartphone for the past month... i picked up a used treo 650 on ebay and have been loving it... my old phone was nearing the end of it's life, a new phone from sprint would have cost me tons of money since i don't get the rebates unless i sign a new contract with a base price of $35 or more... my current plan is less than $35/month so i'd save money up front on the rebate but after a year and a half i'm losing money because my contract is more expensive than before... so for less than a new phone i got a used treo... it has also replaced my nomad as my main mp3 player...

a surprising development... a fellow student recently purchased a macbook after getting fed up with his windows laptop during his phd comprehensive exam... and i find it strangely enchanting and amazingly pleasing to the eyes... this along with the intel processor and ability to run windows means i will be considering a macbook for my next laptop... which i hope isn't for a couple years at least...

tonight i got supper from a nearby Mediterranean deli... i had never been there before... i don't know why... it is one of the closest food places near my apartment... but it was wonderful food and a lot of it for a great price. $7 buys an entree, a salad of your choice, a tub of humus(this alone costs $3 at the grocery), and two full pieces of pita bread. it is my new favorite place.

friends coming up from dayton tomorrow for the autoshow. it will be a great time. i'm excited since it is the first time these friends have been to visit me up here.

i'm also on a frasier kick... i never watched frasier much... but over the break i watched a few episodes and really enoyed... so... i'm watching what every episodes i can find... thinking of getting netflix again just so i can get the full experience... or atleast until i get sick of it...

i don't know what else i'm doing to tonight.... i hope i sleep before 2am though...

1.08.2007

at least michigan lost...

from fark thread:

"If I were Florida, I'd almost feel bad about winning. After the way OSU played, it was like watching a train wreck full of retards crash into a flaming Titanic."
-proteus_theta

this made me laugh...

well, this is a weird feeling for me... i was happy with my grades from fall until i heard what other people received... yeah they were higher than me, why else would i be upset... in some cases very justifiably so, that doesn't bother me, i know they worked harder and are smarter... others ok i'll give it to them, could be based on attitude blah blah blah... others it really kind of angers me, like when their contribution to a project is listening to their ipod and they get a higher grade than me... that's the only thing that is really getting me... oh well, nothing below a B, so i guess i can't complain, it's over and i'm not kicked out of school yet... i'm half way through time sense and credit sense... i think i just hate the point system... .5 just isn't precise enough... 94 could be a 4.0 91 could be a 3.5... i wouldn't care about the 91 and 95... but 3.5 and 4.0... that sounds ewwy...

sushi and comedy club wednesday... hoping everything works out well...

1.05.2007

is that optimism i smell?

hmm it's been a bit, i don't know where the time goes. back north tomorrow. i had a scare last night, i thought i lost my headphone... i was running around the house searching high and low for them. I feared they had fallen from my pocket at some point in the evening. They just decided to spend the night at work though.

i had a very anxious feeling all day... i have not slept well for several nights now, i can't sleep now either... i don't know where the anxiety is coming from...

work is terribly busy, i feel bad going back to school my boss is swamped, and there's just more work coming in... and he's having trouble finding people to hire... they all wants silly things like benefits and a guarantee of a job down the road... he needs more reckless young people like me! everyday he tells me i need to quit school and work for him... today he even said school was becoming a considerable inconvenience... in a year i'll be done... but things happen so fast at work...

music... i've been listening to And One's new album... it has rally grown on me, i like the mixed languages, some tracks in german, other in english... this is the first and one album i've really listened to that isn't all german... i order a legit copy of the album the other night along with three other albums... one is chiasm's first album, i am very impressed with her second and needed more... the other two album are kind of stabs in the dark, i went through random bands on the website and looked at their myspace pages and listened to a couple tracks... one band is called retrosic, as best as i can tell its an aggressive sound with distorted vocals that sound the same on every track... the other is called technoir, more relaxing with mostly natural female vocals... i also ordered the single from cruxshadows new album due out later this month, exciting! more exciting is the new puppy album mythmaker out early next month, i'm doing my best not to get the leaked tracks on line... then a puppy tour!!! then a new vnv nation album!! and a vnv nation tour!!!! it'll be a good start to this year... and there's still three or four album out already i want to get, andi have to order those through metropolis... my new source isn't carrying them yet...

did i say i'm returning to michigan tomorrow? i am... the best thing will be the fast internet... satellite is not good at times...

i've met someone online, and we've been talking bunches via first email then phone, since early december/late november?... and so far things seem to be going very well, i really like everything i know about her so far and i think we could click pretty well in person. it probably won't be long at all before we meet up... that'll be more doable once i get back north... so that's exciting as well! all this excitement, no wonder i can no longer fall asleep before 3!

it seems all things are looking good at the moment, i was just getting settled in dayton, but michigan holds plenty of avenues i need to explore right now as well... it should be a good year!