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August 2002

2 August

The last Wednesday of the month is the 'Signature Wine Evening' at Burswood Resorts fine dining restaurant, Windows.
Once again the food was magnificently created to match the chosen wines for the evening. On arrival we were greeted with a sparking wine and canapés.
Mmmm Peking Duck Strudel... I just kept going back for more and more. Actually, last month, I was a little too conservative with the canape´s, mostly out of politeness, a mistake I was determined not to make again. The biggest trick it to make sure the wait staff keep walking past you with the trays of goodies, this was achieved with a combination of salivating... drool hanging from my lips... and staring the staff down. Mmmmm peking duck strudel
Sorry... I digress...
We were served a rather nice wooded Chardoney with our starter course, and a Cabernet Sauvignon with the main course, and two different Shiraz varieties with dessert.
Needless to say, it was a good thing we were traveling by taxi that night. Top

12 August

I get on chat a fair bit, not these web based chats like you find on Yahoo or Bigpond, but a chat program called IRC. On the DalNET servers where I usually lurk, I have operator status in all the channels I go to. This gives me power to do things like set topics, moderate the channel and remove people who are breaking the channel rules. Because the channels are created by an individual, rather than being organized by a team of people working for the company running the server, some channels have operators on power trips. It is an inevitability and nothing is really going to stop that. I always try to play fair. I work under a karma principle of treating people how I would like to be treated.
Needless to say, from time to time I remove people from the channel and they act like they are being treated unfairly! Yesterday was one such occasion. A user was being generally abusive for the sake of it, and had been twice kicked from the channel by another operator. I was away from the keyboard at the time so I missed the start, but when I realised what was happening, I set a ban on him. He got upset... private messaging me with such things as "i'm sorry.... i forgot freedom of expression isn't tolerated under fascist rule."
I do love it when users decide their being removed from the channel for being abusive and then get all sanctimonious...His next step was to reinforce his opinions of my fascist ways, and how better to do that than with strong language
(14:25) (|Neo|) thanks for bringing me into line.
(14:25) (|Neo|) kommandant.
(14:25) (|Neo|) f***in nazi f***.
Obviously a degree of editing was required there!
The thing is, its all well and good to go quoting freedom of speech, but chat created by, but not exclusively about, free speech.
If he spoke like that in a public forum, he would get removed... Probably by burly security guards, which I imagine would be far more painful!
I did point this out to the offending '|Neo|' and he replied with 'lol' and left it at that... I will take that as 'point sucessfully transmitted'!!! Top

16 August

OK! So I have a love hate relationship with computers. I love playing around with them, but sometimes they can really irk me.
The machine I do most of my work on was starting to run rather slow. So slow, in fact, that the 'Microsoft Sound' (You know, that piece of music when Windows loads up) was becoming a 12 inch extended remix complete with 'scratching'.
I knew that a reinstall was on the cards, as it hadn't been done in a while, and my registry was getting bloated.
I spent a fair amount of time last week trying to find my product key for Win98 so I could reinstall the operation system before finally resigning myself to the fact that it was lost... Gone for ever, so on Monday, I made a call to Compaq to see if i could get a replacement product key. I phoned Compaq first because the Win98 was preloaded into the machine and a CD called 'Quick Restore' was provided.
Compaq informed me that they would be unable to help me with the key and that I should contact Microsoft directly.

I have heard a lot of stories in computer magazines regarding Win XP and problems people have had with Microsoft when they have phoned up to reactivate the OS after a hardware change, and so I was a little apprehensive about calling them. I was even more concerned when the person from tech support asked me to tell her what the hologram said on the read face of the CD, as there was none.
I gave my name and number as requested and was advised that they would get back to me, probably the next day.
I was half expecting to get a call from the Police regarding pirate software... Call me paranoid, I can't see a company the size of Compaq providing pirate copies of Windows, but I was half expecting to have to prove that I had got it with the machine.

As it happened, I needn't have worried. I guess I registered the software back in '99 and they retrieved the infomation from their database.

After making sure I had done a backup of my data, I placed the Quick Restore disk in the CDRom drive. Thats when I Quickly discovered that it was not going to Restore!
So thats when it was back on the phone to Compaq... 'Oh hi, I have your Quick Restore disk and its shutting Windows down, rebooting, then comming up with an error message ... drive chain incompatable' to which the techie pondered and said that he had never come across that one before. I wondered if maybe because the machine has been upgraded with a new Hard Disk Drive and CD burner on top of the hdd and CD that was already in the machine. The techie agreed with me and suggested I return the machine to its original configuration.

This involved removing the drives from the CMOS as well as disconnect the power supply and the IDE Cable. I decided not to remove the network card.
Still I had no sucess. Still the same error message, and I was beginning to think that 'Quick Restore' was nothing but a pipe dream.
Then it dawned on me what the other major change to that machine was. It was running a duel boot Windows/Linux system.

That complicated things quite a bit. Linux is incompatable with FAT32, the file system windows runs on, so the hdd is partitoned to allow both Windows and Linux to run.
To get the (incresingly poorly named) Quick Restore to work, I had to remove the Linux swap and Linux native partitions and replace them with the full sized Windows one.

Surprisingly enough, I still got the message on bootup asking me which OS i wanted to use, however the Linus kurnall was pretty much desemated... Quick restore STARTED TO WORK... The product key was correct.

I spent the next few hours configuring Windows and reinstalling programs that I use and all was right with the world... Until I tried to upgrade the Internet Explorer to Version 6. It installed, the machine went to reboot... And never came back on
It froze on startup
I took and educated guess that the unstable Linux section was probably the cause and dragged out the Mandrake CD's and reinstalled that.
About an hour later... that problem was fixed.
I am guessing that the install of IE6 wrote over the section that asks what OS you want to use, and left the computer not knowing what to do next... On the other hand, I could be totally mistaken *shrugs*

It has been smooth sailing from there on in. I decided, while i had the cover off the box, I would install more RAM (I put in an extra 128MB) as it is so cheap these days.
Now that things are running properly... I wonder what I can stuff up next???

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