Home > Life or something like it > Entry 12/22/2006 08:19:51 PM – Mentat 309

Entry 12/22/2006 08:19:51 PM – Mentat 309

12/23/2006
     Survived the week working at Brown University…  Yeah — that’s why this entry’s being written on a Friday night instead of during the week where I could dedicate a time towards other things — like drama, or database creation/editing, or simply cruising the net to find information on the feasibility of a Dual Boot system.  And what with it being something like three days before Christmas doesn’t exactly help matters any.  Sure, I might not have any family drama, and even the drama of the on and off depression that I’ve gone through at this time of year being one of those nagging itches that I occasionally get in the back of my mind, but it’s still one of those commercial come dysfunctional stressors that simply can’t be escaped this time of year.  So, I’m laying low like I usually do, and waiting ’til Christmas comes and go… 

     So what can I say about working at Brown University for the last week?  For an "Ivy League" school — the particular building that I was working in was a pretty damned ratty and run down sort of building for a start.  In some parts of the building, the place smelled something odd…  Either ethyl alcohol some times at the beginning of the week, to god only knows what I was smelling towards the end.  Didn’t help matters any because on the inner parts of the building were various engineering and physics labs with various warnings that included cancerous agents, toxic gases, and various needs for protective clothing.  Joy!  Just what I wanted to be anywhere within a half-mile of — cancerous agents.  *sighs* 
     Trying to compare the kids at Brown — particularly the physics & engineering majors — to the kids at Providence College that I dealt with, is pretty much like trying to compare…  Say Peaches to Dragonfruit.  As I had said to a couple of my friends at the beginning of the week, some of these kids haven’t seen the light of day since they were like 5 when they learned they had an aptitude towards math and sciences and have been cramming at the books since then.  Hell, none of them are worth mentioning, other than perhaps my internal want to help them come out of their social shells and make them somewhat remotely presentable to the world. 
     But, the job wasn’t too hard — although the money that they were offering was by no means where it should have been given that I was working on installations, hardware repairs, and software rollouts via Sneaker-Net (for those of you that don’t know what Sneaker-Net is; it’s what happens when you have go from computer to computer to computer to do software changes/updates).  Heh, today I was completing a motherboard and RAID-rack replacement on an HP NetServer that usually costs upwards to $60,000…  Um, no.  First of all, I didn’t fill out the routine hardware waivers for working on such equipment, but they certainly didn’t pay me enough as a hardware professional to go through a RAID reconfiguration.  Instead, I played dumb as though I wasn’t able to do it and let them go through it instead. 
     For the next week, I’m out of the contract with the slight possibility that I’ll be going back for a couple of weeks in the New Year.  Not sure yet, as the man that I was reporting to stated that he had to talk to his boss to figure out whether he’s going to need the help when they get back from vacation.  Either/or though, I’m glad that I have the week off between Christmas and New Year’s.  It’ll allow me to focus on what I’ve been toying with the last couple of weeks… 

     …Yeah that’s right.  I’ve been toying with the thought of making this computer into a dual boot system comprising of XP as the primary O/S, with Linux and Windows 9x being the secondary and tertiary O/S respectively.  The reason why I want to load up Windows 9x was that last weekend I had attempted to load up Final Fantasy VII on this machine, and the blasted thing while being able to load, simply wouldn’t get beyond the opening movie.  While I should’ve looked for the patch, command line options to circumvent the movies, I decided that perhaps it would be easier just to create a system that could dual boot instead.  Plus, it would allow me to be able to play X-Com: UFO Defense which I’ve also been jonesing for, for some time.  Not to mention that I’ve wanted to cut my teeth on Linux for some time now. 
     I started a little research on what I need to do to download and install for a dual boot program; and ended up dealing with a headache and my head swimming from the reams and reams of information one needs to consider when using a program that makes changes to the MBR.  Hell, for more than one moment while reading that information, I came to two realizations — 1. that folk are too busy trying to explain ad nausea precisely how the MBR control works (mildly interesting yes, but not for the novice that wants to see it go, without so much explaining), and 2.  that I was reading something on molecular biology instead of an MBR modifying program. 
     I sent off a message to my friend Jer who happens to be a Linux guru a request for a little input on MBR Dual Boot programs and which one he would recommend.  Hopefully I’ll get an answer sometime in the next couple of days, and perhaps get an idea on what I’m going to be sinking myself to, now that I’ve got a burned DVD of Fedora Core on my desk.  *crossing fingers*

     Well, really there’s not too much else to talk about at the present time, so I’m going to call it a night.  Until the next time.

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