13 Left

Sunday 1413hrs

For those who remember, there are 13 days to go before I can breathe a sigh of relief and know for sure I did the right thing.

For those who don’t? Click here.

Today I had a fiddle with Norton Ghost.
It went horribly wrong.
I have a SATA HDD and an ASUS P4P800 motherboard, and oh boy once it got into DOS did things go haywire. Norton suggest using the switch -NOIDE if you’re using only a SATA drive, which lets GHOST run, but won’t let the program that reboots your PC run.

So what happened?

Ghost creates a “Virtual partition” and makes it the boot partition. It puts some files in here. If you are unable to reboot using GHREBOOT as I was, you are left in a mess. Rebooting only causes the PC to repeatedly boot off the virtual partition back to DOS, with no apparent way of gettng back to Windows.

After a lot of research on another PC, a lot of frantic questions to friends and some wall thumping, I used FDisk to reset the active partition to what I thought was the right NTFS volume (FDisk is a bit funny with NTFS volumes…) and once it (successfully) booted back into Windows, used drive management to delete the weirdass virtual partition and the 2.8g of unallocated space it seemed to have created.

I then uninstalled Ghost.


Transfer your Luck

Friday 1055hrs

Some of you may recall a little while back I was building a PC and Overclockers UK screwed up the order. RMA frenzy. Some of you may also recall last week I was building a PC for myself, and EBuyer screwed up the order.
Today, I’m building a PC for my parents and, guess what…
Overclockers UK got the order spot on and it arrived bang on time.

I should pretend it’s for my parents every time I order from OCUK, they seem to get it right then.

For those of you who are interested, it’s going to be a weeny BioStar SFF box, rather nifty I thought.

Bowman Flash Game

Thursday 2326hrs


That little flash game kept me amused for hours last night when I should have been doing something to make some money.


See if you can beat the PC with wall and wind enabled. Took me ages…

Red Redmond? Never.

Thursday 1252hrs

An interesting little piece on Microsoft, about them telling the world that Open Source software is a waste of money.
Excuse me?
Rambling outbursts like this amuse me sometimes, which is why I posted it for you. It goes on to suggest that open source software is not free, because the companies supporting it are commercially motivated, just like Microsoft. Ho hum. One thing they fail to pick up on is that those who choose to help themselves aren’t subject to a squillion and one security updates, ID trackers and monster license fees.
Maybe I’ve got the wrong end of some stick here, but it looks like Micro$oft wants make clear to the world that when you program Open Source, you program Communism. Interestingly enough, they’re trying to sell this viewpoint to the East, most notably China and the rest of the rapidly developing nations out there. I wonder if they’ve noticed that they’re not Capitalists? Mind you, it wouldn’t be unlike good old Uncle Sam to roam into a country ignorant to said country’s social and economic quirks… :S

Something on my desk is rattling, so I will stop typing until I’ve nailled it down.

EBuyer Beware

Tuesday 0843hrs

My foam-mouthed ranting could go either way this morning, as I am waiting for a customer support helpline to open. Why so? Yesterday I bought some parts from EBuyer.co.uk (No, they do not get a link from me, they don’t deserve one yet.)
In true UK E-Retailler fashion they have dispatched, as always, the wrong parts. The item in question this time is a Chieftec BX02-B-B-Sl Case. A quick shufty at the Chieftec website indicates that said case is all black, save for the center panel. What I received was a BX02-B-Sl-B, which not only looks thoroughly homosexual but is also THE WRONG CASE.

Why does this always happen to me? I am being tested.

The EBuyer support lines open at 9am, so I will be venting my spleen at them shortly. The results of said venting will doubtless be aired here soon.


I called their support line and spoke to the lovely Karen, who said she’d do all she could to arrange for free courier collection of the case today. Just a few moments ago, a Citylink van turned up and whisked it away. So, the case will be with them tomorrow, and hopefully when I pester them around 1100hrs, they’ll dispatch a replacement same-day to get to me by Thursday.
I live in hope.
All is not lost, my DVD writer (NEC2500a) arrived earlier also, so I’ll be bunging that in soon and backing up all my work, finally! I bet as soon as I publish this, my main HDD explodes in a puff of smo…

Profit Mad

Monday 0940hrs

What is it with Wall Street and business directors? All they want is profit, profit profit. Profit has become the sole measure of success for a business these days and if you’re not making any, you’re obviously failling.
But hang on a moment.
If you’re providing a top-rate service, you pay all your workers a healthy salary, you have provided for business expansion, refurbished your offices and on top of that paid yourself a big fat salary then, well, why measure the business success by the money you haven’t spent and have left over?
My case in point is British Airways, once again the BBC starting my rant juices flowing.
They were “suffering” from falling profits. Lets see, this year their profits are up around 100 million on last year. “Gee wow” go the shareholders and economists. Ain’t that dandy? Well, to be honest, no. They’ve sacked countless employees, scrapped flight routes, stuffed planes in the hangar and I’m betting the workers canteen has either closed or is at least no longer subsidised.
In my eyes, British Airways is stumbling down the well-advertised path to false economic glory and humanitarian faliure.

When will these pig ignorant brokers and directors get the message? How does the huge profit help the company? It doesn’t. Sure, money in the bank could buy more planes, lead to pay rises or a new canteen, etc, but if you scrapped that to get the damn profit in the first place you’re just eating your own tail. Money-mad greedy investors and people who control the ephemeral “values” represented on the stock market will destroy the place. I guarantee it. Not only that, but whilst the average UK worker is sat at home, wondering how he’ll pay his rent, the damn bastards at the top will be contemplating whether spend this years profit excess on having their yachts refurbished in beige or charcoal.


Saturday 2122hrs

For anyone who couldn’t get to my site Friday/Saturday, it was because my host United Hosting were doing some server shuffling and under their new system you cannot make database connections to “Localhost” anymore, only to
Thanks to the excellent mods in their support forums as soon as I was tipped off about the problem by Zimmerframe I had it fixed within a few minutes.
Doesn’t mean you get any new photos, though.