March 31, 2003

Somebody recently said that one of the foretold signs of the approach of the end of the world is that time seems to go by faster and faster – a day seems like a few hours, a week seems like a day and so on. If you take my case, then the end of the world must be right on top of us since that’s how things seem to be with me right at this moment. I find myself running hither and thither, always with things to do and when they are done, there’s more stuff to be done. It never seems as if I had any free time but if I look at it carefully, I discover that most of my time was spent doing stuff that would be considered leisure :p So where did the rest of the time go?

Be that as may be, I did manage to get the desktop working and it all seems to be running along smoothly – touch wood 🙂 The whole problem disk thing turned out to be a saga in it’s own right. I ran SpinRite on it but I’d forgotten (or had not known in the old days when everything was DOS based) that SpinRite actually went by file system information and not by raw disk access – at least, that seemed to be the case since it wouldn’t detect any of my hard drives which all had NTFS partitions. Fortunately, a guy at work had given me a Seagate utilities diskette since the failing drive was a Seagate and I next decided to use that diskette. Guess what? That diskette had problems and my machine wouldn’t boot up from it :p So, I used SpinRite on that diskette to get around the bad sectors and try to recover the data. It recovered enough but still wouldn’t boot up from it.

So I needed to create another boot disk and I found that I needed a Win9x machine and both my machines now ran Windows XP :p Fortunately, my brother’s notebook was there and that had Win95 on it and so I was able to create the boot disk but the OS took up too much space on the Win95 version of the boot disk and I couldn’t put all the Seagate utilities on it 🙁 So I had to do a selective copy and finally got the Seagate utilities to run after some mucking about and after all that trouble, they confirmed that the drive was damaged enough to be sent back to the manufacturer for replacement. Of course, this is Sri Lanka and you can’t do any such thing here :p

So I dumped that drive and put in another 4GB drive I had handy. So I’m running on a 5GB and a 4GB drive at the moment and have less space in total than the damaged 17GB drive but at least, I’m able to work with the machine without it locking up and so far have managed to fill the 4GB drive almost completely by installing just two games – “WarCraft III” and “Never Winter Nights” :p Incidentally, somebody asked me why I didn’t go with an ATI card (which is fairly cheap) rather than get a nVidia card. I can give two answers – the short one is as Confucius says, “good things no cheap, cheap things no good” :p But the longer answer is that this machine will be used a bit for gaming and I haven’t had too much success with ATI cards for gaming. My notebook uses an ATI based card and I can’t see in-game maps in “Dungeon Siege” at all and I’m told that this is a known issue. And that’s just the latest in a series of other game related problems with ATI cards. The only problems I’ve had with nVidia cards as far as games went is that I always had to have the latest drivers to make it work – that’s all … at least so far :p

Posted by Fahim at 6:25 am  |  No Comments