Tag Archives: Hardware

Stuff that lives in the box on your desk

Screw you, Billy Gates

Ok, I know it’s not precisely his fault. But after years of building up a good head of antipathy, I’ve finally lost my rag with Microsoft products.

Mid-way through posting this morning’s Dreaded Press review, the file system on my secondary hard drive collapsed irreparably. I tried accessing the partition from a Ubuntu live CD, but the drive read as being raw and unformatted, so it’s reformatting now.

This could have been much worse. Indeed, it was much worse last time it happened, as I only had one hard drive then – meaning that when it died, the entire machine was DOA and I lost almost all my documents along with the Windows install. To be fair, though, that was caused by we screwing around with settings I should have left well alone.

After that incident, I bought a second HDD, splitting the system so that Wind0ze ran off the c: drive and the My Documents folder lived on the f:. “That way,” I thought, “when Wind0ze dies again my files will be intact and I can rescue them!”

Naturally, it was the (newer) f: drive that went down this morning.

This isn’t a major tragedy, as I take weekly backups every Sunday and have almost all my writing and business data saved to a USB stick; plus the machine still runs, although it’s slow as all hell because it keeps hunting for files that aren’t there any more. It is, however, a major irritation. I now have around 400 CDs worth of music collection to re-rip. Again.

So, it’s time to take the long-threatened plunge. Once I’ve made a list of all the Firefox settings and passwords on this machine, and a list of the programs I have installed (and that I actually use with any regularity), I’m going to completely wipe Wind0ze off of this machine and put Ubuntu on it.

Yup – The Hall Of Mirrors is about to become a 100% open-source household, and f*ck the learning curve. I’m sick of being at the mercy of poor programming and legacy filesystems; I’ll find it easier to accept problems when they’re caused by my own ignorance rather than someone else’s incompetence.

This is a very long way of saying “things may be a little quiet here for a day or two”, though I hope to be up and running pretty swiftly.

Indulge your hardware fetish: supercomputer picture gallery

This is a minority interest post, I’m guessing.

If you aren’t kind of fascinated (or or utterly and irredeemably geeked out) by huge racks of the most powerful computer hardware on the planet, you’ll have no interest in the picture below, or the others like it in this gallery of supercomputer images at Guardian Unlimited.

MDGRAPE3 supercomputer

[Image: hardware from the supercomputer MDGRAPE-3 at RIKEN in Japan; image credit – RIKEN.]

[tags]computer, hardware, supercomputers, images[/tags]

Friday Photo Blogging: Electronic intestines

Precious, precious computer innards – I love them so:

Glistening functional computer innards

Okay, so that’s a bit of a cop-out for a Friday photo, but as previously explained I’ve not had much of a chance to get out of the house on photographic missions. Even if I hadn’t had the computer crisis, the weather has been far from conducive to leaving the centrally-heated comfort of The Hall of Mirrors. So, PC innards is what you get. I rather like the way they look, as it happens, and I’m considering keeping the sides off of the case on a permanent basis – not just for aesthetics, you understand; it also improves the airflow. Ahem. Continue reading Friday Photo Blogging: Electronic intestines