Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Ok Ok Ok Ok

Well, I've been busy. My bags arrived Sunday night, thank god! I went through an initial panic while trying to install the Kodak software for connecting the camera to my computer; I'm not sure exactly what's going on, but even though I'm running XP, my computer seems to think it's running Windows NT. I noticed this before I blocked my IP address on Gostats, that it was listing my operating system as NT.

In any case, the Kodak CD says that the software won't install on NT, so I was panicking, thinking I might have to break down and buy a damn card reader. When shopping for motherboards, I was |---| this close to buying one that had card readers built in, so I was kind of kicking myself.

But you know, the more I use XP, the more I love it. Never mind the little annoying things, I find myself incredibly pleased every time I add a new peripheral or piece of hardware. XP has support for just about everything built in already, and I didn't even need any extra software to connect my camera. Fucking r0x0r.

Or my new CD burner. I don't think I've mentioned that yet. I got some money from my Italian grandparents, and I knew immediately that I would hang onto the money until I came back, to buy a CD burner. I learned my lesson with the Polaroid burner -- one, Polaroid sucks ass and two, if you buy a $20 CD burner, you're more likely than not to get what you paid for. Instead of dealing with packaging up and mailing off the Polaroid burner for an exchange, I just decided to say fuck it and bought a $50 burner at Wal-Mart, instead.

Now, I normally wouldn't make important hardware purchases at Wal-Mart, but I knew that if the burner turned out to not work, or if it was a piece of shit, that I could return it and just get my money back. Fortunately, after struggling with the Nero software and it causing my computer to seriously freeze/crash every time the cache got to 65%, I discovered that XP has CD burning support built right in, and that it's as easy as dragging and dropping files.

I got my computer into a bit of a mess before I left for Italy; I was trying to fix a couple errors as well as System Restore, so I tried to do a new install of XP. thinking it would overwrite my old system files. Well, it said it would, anyway. So after an initial panic of thinking I'd erased my hard drive by accident, I surrendered and started to rebuild everything again.

This is when I discovered something strange. After I downloaded Musicmatch Jukebox, all my MP3s, previously believed to be gone into the ether, loaded up. I sat there staring at the screen with my mouth open as my library populated itself.

I was a bit dumbfounded, and then I started actually poking around, looking for things. When I thought I'd erased everything, I never bothered, because, frankly, I've been there before (accidentally deleting or losing everything) and I was resigned to the fact from the very beginning. What I discovered is that instead of overwriting the previous OS, XP created an entirely different set. I then noticed I was suddenly missing 5 GB of hard disk space -- putting me down to 4 GB free, not cool.

I asked the computer guru, Alex, and he said it wasn't easy getting rid of the second OS. I started thinking about intentionally (ha ha) formatting my hard drive, since I know I had all sorts of bits and pieces left over from programs I'd removed, the extra OS I wanted to get rid of, and various stuff like that (i.e. all the shit I've fucked up). I thought that since I have a burner now, I could just put all the really irreplaceable stuff on CD. I mean, I had enough of a scare and disappointment when I'd first thought I lost everything, so I wanted to back it all up on CD anyway.

It took me about five hours overall, to burn all the CDs. Only one CD has actual programs and stuff on it; fifteen of them have all my irreplaceable MP3s (friends' albums I'd copied to disk, rare, bootleg, etc.). I didn't bother burning the MP3s that I have in my CD library, that's easy enough to fix later.

In any case, I formatted my hard drive, but not before taking my burned CDs to school with me just to make doubly sure that the information was actually burned onto disc and not cleverly cached or something somewhere on my system. Cause knowing my luck, that would happen to me. I also made a hard copy of my backup CD.. the original backup is a CD-RW that I can use like a floppy, and I thought I'd make a plain old CD-R copy on top of it -- just in case -- because you never fucking know. And I have the worst luck with shit, so I have learned over the years to be as prepared as possible.

Amazingly, everything went off without a hitch. I imagine my computer is happy, now that it's not struggling through the sludge of two operating systems, random files, and fragmenty-bits-and-pieces files. It's still listing my OS as NT, though, which I just can't figure out, but it might be due to the LAN port that came built into my motherboard.

I don't have everything installed yet, like I have to add Norton and my pop-up killer. And my offer still stands that anyone who wants a great pop-up killer for free -- without viruses -- just has to email me. It's not a huge file, and everyone should be free of pop-ups.

So yeah, I've been kinda busy, but overall am very glad that my computer's all cleaned out and fixed, at least for the time being.

I have a new photo album: Random/Artsy Photos

And a treasure trove of compiled stuff about ENFPs.

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