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WEEK 15 2013

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Saturday 13 April 2013
Saturday - Keeping busy. Yardword again... The new (to me) patio furniture didn't blow over in the last windstorm, but there is another expected in the next day or two, we'll see how that goes.

Friday 12 April 2013
Friday - Burned this day, used up fixing computers.

The Linux box, Mint Maya, was easy, once I found the USB wifi key and remembered the passwords.

The Sony XP laptop took longer. It wouldn't boot, and even the bios didn't seem to show a recovery partition. But some sleuthing on the Internet showed that to access to recovery partition you hit a different Fn key than you do for Safe Boot! WTH? Anyway, Fn10 gave me the option to wipe the hard drive and reinstall to as-new: XP Service Pack 1. So, why not? It was no good as it was.

Formatting the drive and reinstalling XP took less than a half hour. Then Sony's utility installed a bunch of Bloatware on it. Seriously, it took over an hour of installing junk. I tried stopping it, but without much luck. After all the junk was installed (AOL Dialup for example!) I just removed it all. All this s/w came from the hard drive recovery partition, then I tried updating XP via the Internet. This was a battle.

The Wifi wasn't working - it only knew about WEP, not WPA. So I ran an Ethernet cable to the access point.

At this point it booted from power off to working in about 19 seconds, and was only using 170MB of RAM. Wow.

XP-SP-1 installs with IE6, and you can't download or install updates from Microsoft's own web site with IE6 these days. Eventually I downloaded Firefox, then downloaded the office/network SP-3 pack and IE8 by using that (the automatic Microsoft Update won't work with Firefox itself) and installed from the downloaded packages on the hard drive. It all took a while!

Then, once the service pack and IE8 were installed, I could access the Microsoft Update site - and there were a lot of post SP3 updates:


After all this stuff was installed (multiple reboots - five, maybe six, seven?) I plugged in the USB Logitech mouse, and it just worked again, which is nice.

Then I installed MSE for the antivirus package.

After which the system took about 46 seconds to completely  boot - almost double the pre-SP3/IE8/Updates/MSE time, and was using 385MB of Ram, again about double. But a lot quicker than the four of five minutes it was taking, and a lot less than the 550MB it was using. Eliminating bitrot I guess.

It was about 8:30 pm when I got it finally up and running...

In the middle of all this nonsense I happened to look at Slashdot. And saw this:


Shoot me now...

And, so, after a bit of fiddling around I was back in business in the Bootcamp Win7 mode.

Thursday 11 April 2013

Thursday - I still have the old GIS laptop, so it turns out that I still have Office 2000 available. But we're  mostly done with the submittals, so...

I haven't had the heart, or time to mess with the Bootcamp thing. It took me days to get it set up the way I want, with the software I want, and the thought of re-doing it is depressing.
  1. Bootcamp
  2. Win7 ( +updates)
  3. Parallels
  4. Office 2007
  5. Blender
  6. Vi
  7. Gimp
  8. Dropbox
  9. CoreFTP
  10. Kompozer
  11. Handbrake
  12. Windows Movie Maker 6.1
  13. Google Earth
  14. TurboCad
  15. FreeDiff
  16. FireFox

I did uncover the old XP laptop, and plug it in to charge the battery. Maybe I can put Xubuntu on it or something, or even an old Win2k install? Apparently XP is gone. I have a vague memory of burning some recovery CD's, but that was nearly ten years ago.

The Vista laptop was a definite hardware failure, nothing I can do with it. Maybe put the 250GB drive into the XP laptop? Sadly the RAM is a different voltage, so I can't swap that.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Wednesday  - Still working on submittals.This is taking longer than expected, but we're making progress. T is going to go by the contractors place of business and explain exactly what we require to start work. But he's (the contractor) has submitted a lot of stuff, not a lot left to do there, except get it organized.

One aggravating thing when trying to do all this was that my Win7 partition stopped booting! I had spilled soda into the keyboard Tuesday and then shut the computer down before disconnecting the USB cable. And it won't boot now. It also did a Microsoft Patch Tuesday update during the shutdown, which is suspicious, but there doesn't seem to be anything on the Internet about someone else having this sort of problem :-(

I have a bluetooth keyboard, but the command buttons on the lower left don't work -  shift/control/option/apple. They do work on the right, but I'm a touch typist and it's tough to remember...

And, since the previous death from old age of the Win2k box, the Vista laptop and the Xp laptop the loss of the Win7 Bootcamp Partition means I don't have a machine with Acrobat or Word/Excel on it. Which makes dealing with submittals difficult - mostly I've been using Sumatra PDF and Google Docs to grind through stuff.

Tuesday  9 April 2013
Tuesday - Grinding away on the demolition submittals. A lot more work than we expected. He actually had a guy on site working, before doing this, we had to tell him to stop work, get the paperwork in order, then you can  begin. Well, eagerness is a virtue, but the paperwork is a legal necessity to protect everyone involved.

Monday  8 April 2012
Monday - Sick as a dog for some reason.

Sunday  7 April 2012
Sunday - OTR. Another day in San Diego, then we headed back to Lancaster in the late afternoon.

I went thrift store shopping with S, and she discovered a prize: a commercial pasta machine!

The house was in good shape on my return, no issues (except ants).

Picture of the Week
American Victory, May 2010, Florida 
Photo Notes:SS American Victor, May 2010, Tampa, Florida.

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