Things what I writ

I sometimes write nonsense about things to try and sound clever

14 percent completed

is it taking ages for you? I mean, I log in and when I try to access email it takes, like, 5 minutes to start and then that little network icon thing appears and just flashes a bit and it all runs really slow. does it do that for you? er. yes.

there’s only a limited number of times you can try and defrag a 250gb disk only to find you don’t have 17% spare to actually perform that action and so you go ahead and start creating multiple restore points and then try and remove the previous 4 versions of adobe creative suite without breaking anything that’s left and after you’ve rebooted about a hundred times and then had a go at using add/remove programs to try and remove a few programs – which you thought was a perfectly acceptable course of action – only to find that need for speed: stupid won’t actually remove and that if you get rid of the source code for half life that steam will actually blow a gasket and you have to download the ship before it’ll let you play episode 1 and then have a go at just ‘cleaning up’ some of your ripped cds only to find that you’ve just made all 200 cds that come after ‘The Smashing Pumpkins’ disappear into a mysterious explorer black hole at which point you’re wondering why you didn’t just back stuff up and reinstall the whole system.

or just back stuff up. oops

which is why you find yourself running the lovely chkdsk /r again because you can’t now even back up your 3 years worth of digital photos and ripped cds because fricken stupid ntfs file system doesn’t know where they are even though it’s looking REALLY HARD and locking up the whole system every time you move a window an inch to the left to check out the progress of disk check which will fail after 10 minutes because you’re running it when you’re actually logged in you idiot and because you’re LOOKING at the disk in a funny way it’s throwing a wobbly and hiding behind the sofa and throwing up into the event log which you finally checked after googling all your error messages only to see a millions references to bad sectors which have been there since january but you didn’t realize because you just thought you had probably made something go wrong because you installed a web cam and so you were asking for it and that’s why every time you synchronized go live it took 17 hours to update a teleweb widget which is coincidentally about how long it takes to explain why making it a capital ‘E’ should be such a problem but anyway here you are frothing at the mouth at gibberish like Windows replaced bad clusters in file 32122 of name DOCUME~1TimLOCALS~1APPLIC~1MICROS~1MEDIAP~1CURREN~3.WMD and wishing your sun ray at home had arrived or your acer ferrari but at least it’s a holiday in the US so you’ve got an extra couple of hours to catch up on things, like, um, WATCHING STUPID CHKDSK UTILITIES FIX PROBLEMS WITH MEDIAPLAYERS, so everything’s alright. nobody’s reading this anyway so how less productive can you be, waiting for the chance to be able to restore all your design work for the last 2 years?

28 percent done. it worked last time. if it doesn’t work this time I’m going to take the spare disk out of the w2100z that’s actually got solaris installed and port adobe creative suite 2 myself. by teatime. and then draw massive pictures of sheds with wings and print them on the rasterizer whereupon I’ll plaster them onto the bus shelter and do a short fandango with a spanner.

is it fixed yet? NO IT ISN’T. alright, I was only WELL DON’T

chkdsk /r

car park 4
car park 4 by Tim Caynes

that should be on. I mean, there should be a screensaver or something, not a vsync test on input 1. wait, I guess she’s done something and just only half closed it down or something so I could probably just wiggle the laser around a bit and wake it up. oh. anyway. I’ll just press all the keys on the keyboard at the same time, that’ll do it. right. oh. I’ll just turn it off and on again then, that always works. ok, right, that looks alright, so, what should we play for the next hour or so?

hang on. UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. what the hell is that? I mean, I recognize a blue screen when I see one but that’s normally because nv_disp has blown it’s top because I tried to clock a 7900GT to 700/2000 or something, not a shouty message like this one. so, hang on, if this was Solaris, I’d, um, I dunno. think. go, on, back it the mists of time when you sat in front of a Sun Ray or an Ultra 2, or an IPX, or a Sparcstation 1+. you know, when you sat on the live call transfer desks in watchmoor park and pretended that, when British Gas phoned up and said that they were losing 10000 quid an hour because Oracle has decided to take it’s ball home, you knew what to do next and said some old rubbish about mount volumes and striping. come on, think about all those CMS tickets you picked up on the warranty support desk from cheap-but-valued support contract holders who had just got a sparc 10 and couldn’t get the floppy disk to load a cdrom. there must be something you used to say to them that is probably relevant now.

how about, er, f s c k? would that help? probably. on Solaris. you could probably run lots of other really useful things like format, partition and mount that were in that manual you got on that training course when you were that student doing that sunsolve online stuff. except this isn’t Solaris, is it? no, it’s windows XP, which you you treat with the same caution as you do the Megane Scenic – as long as it’s getting you to Tescos, you don’t look under the hood – so what are you gonna do now? look it up on google? well, you’ve still got the w2100z sat over there which you could use to do that, but it’s past midnight now and if you fire that thing up at this time, you’ll wake the whole street. right, no, you’ll just have to GUESS what to do next. so, what the hell does UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME mean then. um, my filesystem is f**ked? hell yeah! probably! is that bad? er, you work it out. only 5 years worth of family photos and your 2500 cds ripped onto that baby and now you’ve probably lost them all. is that bad? is it? did you back it up recently with that external drive you bought specifically to back it up should something like, ooh, i dunno, a filesytem error happen? mwuhahahaa.

ok. I’m guessing I have to boot this thing up some other way and then do something with a command prompt? getting warm. ok, I should have an XP cd somewhere then? very warm. boot off the cd and then do some kind of repair thing? ooh! burning now! right. ok. I’ll take a look in this drawer behind me which has all the cdroms that have been anywhere near this machine and hope that the copy of XP I find is one with a printed logo on it, not a permanent marker scrawl saying something like //|nd0//5 XP cr4ck on it. aha, Dell recovery disk. I hope that’s analagous to Dave’s recovery truck. let’s see. hmm. right. ok. not I dont want to install windows again. no. I said no. reboot. ok, right, aha! options! that one has the word ‘repair’ in it, so I’m going to select that one and see what happens. ooh, safe plus command plus headache plus sweaty palms. that sounds about right. let’s see…oh. a command prompt. er…

having done help everything about 17 times and tried to remember what each one did, I gave up caring and just ran one which sounded like it should work, although it would probably format my brain and pass my pin number onto some bloke in russia. chkdsk. ok then, chkdsk /p. oh dear, if the next 98% takes 5 minutes for each 1% I’m in trouble. aha, yes, I know it’s broken, I want to fix it. ok, chkdsk /r. I says something about ‘recovering’ data. not sure what it does with it. put it somewhere else? just let me know it’s recovered it? ah well, whatever. chkdsk /r. <return>

I woke up about an hour later just to catch the progress meter go from 50% up to 75% and then promptly back down to 50% again before sitting there for about an hour before it went to 51% just to have me think it was actually doing something. I’d had enough. I pressed the big button on front for about 3 minutes just to make sure I’d really turned it off. disaster. I’ll have my morning tomorrow on the phone to Dell support walking through the whole experience with a 23-year-old warranty support engineer who’s probably just come off the phone to British Gas and really can’t be arsed to help me out. I should be finishing off my globalization review then, dammit. right, I’ll just give it one last chance before I slope off to bed.

press. click. buzz. ping. It didn’t get to ping before. oh. I love you.

I’m guessing it was chkdsk that finally got things straight, but I really don’t know. in any case, everything is fine now and I’m spending the rest of the day copying every single byte of data on this drive onto a magnetic tape by hand with a pair of tweezers. I’m at 0.00000000001% at the moment and it’s not moving very fast.