Home > Computers and Internet > Entry 05/10/2008 08:14:04 PM – Mentat 407

Entry 05/10/2008 08:14:04 PM – Mentat 407

05/11/2008
     All right…  Quite a bit of ground to cover, even though the ground is mostly confirmed news that I had spoken about the last entry I had written…  This particular entry starts around Tuesday when I was sitting there in Yahoo Chat, having a conversation with my friend Luke about the things that I wanted to do once XP’s Service Pack 3 were released, and he tells me that he had seen the Windows Update for it on his XP laptop and that it had run without issue.  So, unblocking Windows Update, I zoomed off to the Update site, and sure enough, the update was there and ready for download.  Checked through Microsoft’s site to see whether the whole Service Pack was ready for release, and found it there for 314 or so MBs.  Downloaded it in about 20 minutes and got titillated over thought that I would be getting the wipe and format done by the weekend. 
     I pushed up the schedule to Thursday, and was able to not only successfully wipe out the partitions…  Yes, that’s right…  partitions.  Seems that when I ran the FixMBR the last time, it changed the diagnostics partition from a standalone that could only be accessed from the boot menu options to a semi-active partition.  Which is why I couldn’t get Partition Magic to recognize the NFTS partition in Windows to resize it on the fly.  So, wiping it out while doing the reinstall, and fixing it to take up the entire drive fixed the issue. 
     Because I didn’t have an image with SP3 in place, I had to format and install from scratch in order to create an image of it.  And as of this moment, I have to admit that I haven’t exactly made an image either (using Norton’s Ghost), because I suspect that there might still be issues with some programs, but I’ll confirm that soon in the next couple of days. Of course, the install didn’t go without quite a few hitches.  First off is the Audigy Drivers (Sound Card), had quite a few issues because the most recent drivers weren’t signed as "kosher" by Microsoft so when installing them, something completely FUBAR’d with them as playing Windows sounds were completely crappy and the speakers were popping and crackling toward the end of the sound-bite as though the speakers were going immediately inactive.  Took about two or three uninstalls/reinstalls in order to correct that problem — with the third time everything was straightened, and things sounded crystal clear.  The speakers were even behaving as they should and not shutting down to inactive in under 3 seconds to boot. 
     Of course the Service Pack upgrade broke my Windows Skinning program.  Not surprising, given that the last time I went from SP 1a to 2, it broke then as well.  I checked the various forums for the product and they’ve been made aware of the situation, and it’s only a matter of time before they release the new version that will work with SP 3.  And I also realized that once I got iTunes installed that I had forgotten to get the necessary translation drivers for Japanese and Asian languages, because when I saw a tune from Dreams Come True came up (specifically いつのまに (A-Mix)) and it was coming up with boxes, I had to go into the language controls and get them installed.  A reboot later — and they were coming up correctly in iTunes. 
     There are a couple of quirks and one loss to this install that I forgot to back up.  For example — not all of my programs are showing up properly in the system tray when it’s going from active to inactive; but that’s something that I know straightens itself out in a couple of weeks…  Until then, there’s a work around by using Processor Explorer and re-starting the misbehaving applications in order to get them to show up properly.  Either that or a complete re-wipe of the inactive icons in order for it to work properly.  I don’t remember exactly how I cleaned that up. 
     Oh, and some of the things that I had disabled because I got tired of the warnings are back.  Which means that I’ll be taking care of them as they come up.  No biggie there. 

     Linux is up and running on the other partition, and I’m more than a little impatient with some of the changes that I’ve been catching.  Seems with this version, the folk at Canonical are a bit more purist about what’s free and what’s restricted — keeping heavily to the free side of things — thus restricting a lot of programs that were readily available in 7.04 and 7.10.  Basket — which I used as a OneNote alternative in Linux was on the restricted list.  Further, I noticed that they changed out the instructions on a lot of the codec files that were easier to load in the last version — particularly for WMV files, and Encoded DVDs.  Heh, I’m still having some problems getting the DVDs to play on Linux, with them currently playing the movie without too much issue, but can’t for the life of me get the player to recognize the menu commands…  But I’m working that one out at the moment. 
     So far, I think the worst thing that I’ve found so far with 8.04 has got to be the PulseAudio controls for sound.  Setting my video effects to moderate, when I’m moving the windows about, or minimizing/maximizing any window — the music skipped.  Pissed me the hell off, when that was happening.  Currently trying to work out that problem, and hopefully when I go at it tomorrow morning, I’ll have that straightened out. 
     Right now, I’m tired of the tweaking that I’ve been doing, and all the changes that I have to normalize on the Windows side, and the streamlining and fixing of Linux.  So, I’m chatting with Luke and playing a little bit on the side while I’m working on this journal entry. 

     In other wonderful news, I got my stimulus check from the government a full month ahead of the anticipated mailing out time!!!  So tomorrow, I’m going to look into making a 5 day holiday trip to the west coast to meet D.  Woo-hoo, I’m definitely excited about that!  I did preliminary checks and it looks as though I can afford the whole of the trip on the stimulus check with some money to spare.  Tonight, I’ll talk with D about it and confirm whether it’s all right. 

     Other than that, I’m pretty knackered through the last couple of days.  I’m glad that I got the computer back to running the way that I wanted it, and also got it to a dual-boot system like I had promised.  I still have a ton of tweaking to do, get a couple of the art programs that I had installed properly, give one a go in Linux once I get Java installed on it, and learn some of the things that I promised to learn now that I’ve got Linux reload:  namely PERL scripting and of course the various terminal commands for Linux. 

     I’m going to head off for the time being.  Have a couple of things to do — call D, bed down, and pass out relieved.  Until the next time…

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