Commentary: May 2009 Archives

Some good news

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The data back up I did last week was done the night after I finished renaming my Japan photos. I also did a backup of those Japan photos to the same disk (which I wouldn't normally do because I do photos to a different disk).  So even though I was able to recover those files off my dying disk, I know I have a clean copy of them.

I remember earlier there was something interesting I wanted to say tonight.

But I can't remember.  Maybe cause people pissed me off tonight.  Or maybe just one people.

Not Stu.  He's the bestest sweetie ever.

Windows 7

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Well today I went and bought myself a new hard drive (500gb Seagate for $139). 

Brought it home but didn't get to touch it, as Caroline came over for dinner and was busy cooking and eating and watching tv and playing Wii.

Finally got around to installing it.  Didn't take too long to figure out how to pull apart my case (which turned out to be rather simple).  Swapped out the old drive for the new one.

And ran Windows 7 setup.

There was a tense moment as it seemed to have hung in the same place it did last night, but it carried on and installed fairly quickly.  Once in windows it took a hard reboot to kick the network interface.  But apart from that it seems to be going ok. 

I'm a little worried about attaching the USB hub.  While I was having all these other troubles, the computer hung at the Dell splash screen when the thing was attached.  Whether or not it'd do it now I'm not sure.. I'm almost not game to try - what if it kills this disk too??  I'm sure I'm being paranoid.  Pretty sure the disk problems started happening before I first attached it.... Wonder if I could retrieve the old disk's windows event logs to see....

So anyways.. we'll see how this goes..

So tonight I thought I'd have another go at installing Windows 7 but as a new install instead of an upgrade (which wouldn't work because you need to be in windows in order to run the upgrade).

But after some time of it extracting files, it gave this lovely friendly error:

Windows cannot access the installation sources. Verify that the installation sources are accessible, and restart the installation.

Googling tended to indicate that probably the hard drive was fubar.  Fine.  Well lets see if I can boot off a live CD and mount my drive and see what can be salvaged.

The two knoppix cds I have refused to boot (the old Neither of my Knoppix cds boot. Can't find KNOPPIX filesystem, sorry. error) so tried a Suse cd Simon burnt me last year.  This thing *just worked* first go, even on the network. 

So figured out how to mount the internal drive  (
mount -t ntfs /dev/sda3 /mnt ) and then attached a memory stick.   Was able to retrieve the file I most wanted to.  But had all sorts of problems with the drive staying online (and getting lots of I/O errors in the syslog).  Stu brought home a large hard drive for me to copy files to, but Suse kept wanting to make the NTFS drive read only.  Tried a few things, but in the end just formatted the disk as linux.  Will be able to copy off from a live CD if need be.

So I'm currently copying off what I can from stuff I know I've modified in the past few weeks.

The plan is to buy a new drive as soon as possible, install Windows 7 on it (Windows will be on a separate partition this time!!), then restore/retrieve my data from backups.  The medium term plan is to get a file server so can actually do daily backups, instead of backups every couple of weeks when I bring home hard drives to backup to.

I kinda like this Suse thingie too.  May even setup a virtual machine with it on at some point.


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Watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tonight.  I saw this at the movies in 2005.  At the time I couldn't remember much about the book.  But as it happens I'm half way through reading the book *right this moment*.  And I was actually surprised how faithful to the book (to the point of quoting text line by line) it is.

... oh.. except the ending and Willie Wonka's dad stuff... :)

Willie Wonka, Willie Wonka, the amazing choclatier......

Shop at home

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On the weekend we thought we'd give Coles shop at home a go.

We weren't really sure what we were doing, so just thought we'd stock up on some of our staples and non-perishable stuff.

Good points:
  • can shop at own pace, from home, no crowds, online - the way we like to deal with people (or not ;) )
  • pricing shows price per unit on different products, and you can sort by that too.  This is actually really cool and saves having to calculate it in the shop
Bad points:
  • you can't read product labels.  All you get is a picture.  So you can't see the ingredients, which means we have to stick with what we know
  • too many plastic bags! (ten for this shop - cause can't use green bags obviously)  Far too many bags than we'd ever get through. 
  • fresh stuff came cold but don't know how much I'd trust things like ice cream
  • we still need to do fruit and veg shopping every week (but can go to the markets for that)
  • can't just browse and see what's available easily
So we may do it from time to time, but we'll need to build up a repertoire of "safe" food, and better plan the shops so don't forget things and have to go to the supermarket anyway!
  • decide on when we were *actually at* locations in local Japan time (except for Sydney and first plane trip photos which are on Sydney time)
  • put the date/time stamp on everyone's photos and put that into the file name of each file in consistent format
  • fix problems with cameras still set to Sydney time, problems with times being an hour out because of daylight savings
  • script renaming files by an hour or two or three where necessary (which included movies that didn't have exif data so were renamed in the first instance by date modified)
  • fix mistakes in renaming by adding back an hour where necessary
  • fix script problems that sometimes renamed 00 to 0
  • fix days that sometimes went into the next day
  • sort each day's photos into day directories
  • triple check I haven't missed any
  • fix problems with some of Sandra's files that lost exif data
  • sigh over Sandra's camera being twenty minutes slow
Yeah so that about sums up my brain.
On the plus side, I now have all photos with a consistent and accurate time/date stamp on them, so will make sorting them out and picking highlights that much easier .....  (for me anyway - anyone else would just pick the ones they liked and be done with it ;) )

I finished STVI a couple of weeks ago and would have watched the movie last Friday night except we had the Japan catchup night.

So we watched it tonight.

Star Trek VI by J.M. Dillard is one of my favouritest ever books.  I've read it like four times, even more than the Harry Potter books.  I'm not entirely sure why I like it so much.  Probably because I can picture the movie (which is maybe my second favourite Star Trek movie after The Voyage Home (or even equal to)), but also because of the wonderful character development.  In fact it wasn't until reading this book that I really understood what character development really was.  (High school English essays might have benefited from this knowledge! ;) ). 

I was always so surprised in the movie how hostile they were to the Klingons, especially after the end of STV where they're all chummy and drinking with them at the end of the movie.  In the book of STVI they continue with the Carol Marcus thread (which hadn't been seen in the movies since STIII).  Carol is injured in a Klingon attack and Kirk doesn't know if she'll survive.  All the media about the event also influences the others' opinions too.  So this stuff in the book made the story make much more sense.

So anyway.  Great movie, great Friday night :)
So it seems my mother found my blog by putting my conspiracy address in the search bar instead of the address bar.  Damn my google rankings!  Luckily it's dropped off the first few pages, so you never know, it might take her a while to find it again ;)

Star Trek

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Star Trek
Went and saw Star Trek tonight.

Fricken awesome!

Really enjoyed it.  Well, most of it .. :)

(potential spoilers in extended entry)
Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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