Saturday, November 11, 2006


That's in response to Blogger perkily telling me that, yay them, the new version of Blogger is ready, so now I get to sign in with my [almost] completely unconnected Gmail account.

It's also in response to Samsung's website, which obviously is using avian TCP (or possibly semaphore) all the way from Korea given the response times, denying all knowledge of them ever producing a DVD drive with the model number SD-608 (it can find a 604 and provide downloads for a 612 but thing sitting in front of me, looking a bit grubby, has never existed anywhere in the world). I tried getting the 612 firmware to see if that would make the drive behave a bit better, but clicking on the .exe file in the download did nothing. The instructions told me what to do once the pop-up window appeared, but not what to do if il n'y a pas une fenêtre.

The Samsung was really incidental; I'd tried copying a data DVD from that to other DVD on my computer, but it's a bit hard when the Samsung denies there is a disk in drive. And why was I trying to copy a DVD? Because my ever wonderful Philips DVD-writer has a tendency to render fully functioning DVDs as interesting coasters or impromptu mirrors. If it's multisession, then it's a gamble as to whether adding more data will result in A+B or an error message forevermore as helpful as Sim, nós não temos nenhuma banana (and this doesn't seem to be brand based as cheap, generic DVDs have the same failure rate as extra-special made for Philips, the Inventor of DVD Technology, by Philips, the Inventor of DVD Technology, blank DVDs, which sort of makes me wonder why they bothered).

Which is really great when the spare space on my hard drive is less than the capacity of a DVD, so either I have a lot where I've used 12% of the space, or I have to try and combine them and hope that Jupiter is in Aries or Sol in Anus, and thus, by some mystical quirk, such an act does not destroy all that has been, all that is and all that will ever be. Perhaps it would help if I turned the whole computer thrice widdershins while it burns (I meant while the drive burns the DVD, but the other option seems appealing, provides entertainment and seems likely to have an equal chance of success).

Now you can see why I tend to put so [too] much on Flickr; it's the most reliable Drive C overspill I have. It's just a shame it doesn't take mp3s. Oh and if anyone should happen to have any music by The Cranberries, Terrorvision or the Stereophonics please can I have a copy? I did have legitimate copies, in the form of CDs, and had copied those to my computer, whereupon a charming ex-flatmate purloined the CDs shortly before vanishing entirely. I now don't have a copy as I put them on a DVD, checked it worked umpteen times, then tried to use it a few days later only to discover one drive cannot find the disc sitting inside it and the other claims it is corrupted. I'm beginning to think DVDs must oxidise, because that's only way something which has moved a grand total of about 34 inches since recording, and sat statically in a sealed container for most of the intervening period, could possibly become irreparably damaged. At least I didn't wipe the other drive C originals which were also on the disk, along with copies of all my CDs between A and C.

And I know someone will suggest making more that one copy, but if the method of production is the same, under the influence of the same arbitrary failures, then what's the increased likelihood of survival?

If anyone should want a copy of anything I have between Coldplay and Placebo email me; I'm sure it's not illegal if you're acting as a file storage device for me, occasionally performing data checks to ensure continued function.

And I've just found a CD with the Cranberries et al on it, so now I'm trying to remember what else I had that has been lost (all mp3s sent to prompt my memory gratefully accepted). Does anyone know how to scavenge data from a DVD when Windows denies there's anything on there yet other programmes will give the size of the data but fail to access it? Why the hell can't Windows XP cope with recording DVDs; was the concept really so leftfield when it was being developed? It's bad enough having to resort to Nero (an apt name; one constantly wrestles with its power, beseeching it to look at the bloody DVD before it imperiously decries there's nothing of any importance on there, all the while suspecting underlying insanity) with Windows handily asking what I'd like it to do with this blank CD; er, well I'd like you not to call it blank and to notice it's a DVD, if that's ok with you.

Sometimes I wonder if all Microsoft can do is re-enjargonise:
Microsoft Windows: Bluescreen thinking.

And yet he who wishes to remain nameless on this blog wrote me an email containing the words "Forget Linux, unless you want to spend your life chasing round trying to get each little component to work."

At least in Linux you know things are changeable and it is relatively easy to change them. And given the tendency of the drives to sulk (Windows has currently mislaid drive E, the Philips DVD recorder), I quite like the idea of only letting the things exist when you want them to. It's a shame I don't have enough spare space on C to add Linux, a situation I cannot resolve until I can clean out the hard-disk, which I'm unwilling to do while any DVDs it gets transferred onto have a tendency to Schroedinger. I could of course buy a new hard-drive if only Dell could make up their minds as to what the maximum size can be before the computer shrugs uncomprehendingly. I could use an external hard drive, if I get round to buying a PCI USB card which will allow me to bypass tediously slow current pair (yes, my computer is that old). I also need to up the RAM as everything which specifies a minimum level somehow manages to know exactly how much I've got in there. And the chip is probably verging on the prehistoric too, but I'm reticent to change it as apparently that causes all sorts of things to get huffy (er, get?) and then I'd have to figure out what to do with a very old and confused hamster. I'm beginning to think the easiest way of upgrading is to loiter hopefully near a skip; well, someone's bound to throw out something that's better than what I've got.

It's not surprising the IT guy tends to be the unhealthy looking one*; one day of futility and I overcame the guilt to sulkily stomp off and demolish half a pack of chocolate digestives quicker than it takes to rip the Greatest Hits of Yazz.

* That's not intended as a slight to Dan; it probably isn't true if the entire company does IT stuff. Anyway, he's more the antithesis of his company's name.

And as the biscuit effect is waning I ought to stop and try to find some more convincing food.


Hey, at least I'm an unhealthy looking one with short hair again for the first time in ages! :) Wait, I don't do IT... I'm a developer. Or support person. Or a general IT monkey kept in a dungeon during daylight hours. I think the last one pretty much sums it up.

Huh. I'm confused about how I can be the antithesis of my company's name. It's late :p

WV: uhscxpw - emphasing my confusion at this late hour
Whereas I appear to have reverted to what has been called my blackberry bush look.

I demand pictures.

And without mentioning the company name, it's not exactly the most fun sounding word, is it? It sounds like a best-not-discussed disease and yet you are probably better described as infectious.
Hehe, that's funny, because MQ says that about the name of the software we work with too :)
If I remember rightly, Dan's company is a very positive (but mis-spelled) word, whereas the software is the ugly sounding name with the evil-looking logo. Is hoo confusing the two?

I demanded pictures too but that doesn't seem to be working.
I'd only heard the name of the software, hence assuming that was also the company.

I'm now trying to work out the name of his employers:

Yes, the last is geeky being a misspelling of something positive.
Opposite of dim. You can find out, if you stalk enough! :)

And I didn't get the caution one.
Ah, no, it turns out that the name I am thinking of is a CMS as well, based on the CMS you were thinking of.

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