Disappearing Act

Well, so much for the goal of updating this site at least once every two days, even though I likely haven't had a single pageview.

You see, I got the slightly unlawful Windows XP disc with SP2 from somebody at work. Now I had a perfectly good copy of XP, however it decided to die during a Linux upgrade over the summer (turns out to have been a conflict between my boat loader and Windows.. the new LILO seems to break Windows XP, so now I've switched over to GRUB for my multiple-OS bootloading needs.

The trouble was that during this time I decided to smarten up and get a nice new 300GB hard drive. Unfortunately, it seems that Windows XP Home Edition doesn't like it, and only is using PIO mode when it should be using DMA (specifically UDMA-6). This means that the hard drive is running at roughly 2% the speed that it should be, which means the computer can't even play MP3s and have a Windows Explorer open without skipping on the song. This is bad. Yet Linux, which works fine with the LILO/GRUB problem fixed, runs the disc on DMA mode almost perfectly (there are a few upper sectors where it decides that only PIO is available, but that's less than 40MB of a 300GB drive -- unfortunately, it does lie within the swap, which is unfortunate).

Okay, fine, how about an old WinXP corporate a friend lent me? Oops, doesn't have SP2, which meant it got virus-infected within about 6 minutes. Okay, download the SP2 executable, burn it onto a CD, reinstall WinXP, install the service pack while offline and....oh, wait, the new SP2 requires a registered copy of Windows. Okay, retry all that with an SP2 that doesn't require the licensed copy... still doesn't work. Well, it works, but it still won't read the hard drive properly.

So now I have Windows XP, with SP2 built in, all the fancy stuff... and now I'm going to be offline until likely Friday whilst I reinstall three different operating systems {MS-DOS 6.22, Debian Linux 3.1, and Windows XP Professional}. Now with this fancy disc, I can try it all out: I've been using Linux almost exclusively since late June, and its sad not being able to view pretty girls on webcams using MSN, or have seamless operation of my digital camera and MP3 player, or transmit my webcam around the world, or play MVP Baseball 2005. Or Deus Ex, or NHL 2002, or The Sims 2, or.....

Which means for four or five precious days, I will be offline. Might be longer, might be shorter. One thing however is clear: I won't be posting to this blog until close to the weekend, which will likely cost me any audience I have built up. C'est la vie.