Home > Life or something like it > Entry 12/14/2009 09:18:49 AM – Mentat 545

Entry 12/14/2009 09:18:49 AM – Mentat 545


     Two days into my vacation and I think I
got the new workhorse down to pretty much the way that I want it.  One piece of hardware got retired for the
moment as I won’t be able to use it on the main machine, and will be relegated
to the SAN — my Iomega Zip Drive.  Yes! 
Amazing as it is, that rugged little piece of hardware had served me
loyally for almost 13 years now.  Went
through practically as many of my PCs as I had owned when I lived in Atlanta,
and did so without nary a problem, skip, issue or ate any of the 10 or so Zip
Discs that I had for it over the years (The same amount that I would use to
move files off the hard drive until there were enough to burn on CD/DVD).  I was also able to once again get my
Smartphone to be recognized by Outlook thanks to the new version of Windows
Mobile Device Manager.  Seems that the
older version wasn’t allowing me to kill the existing partnership set up; which
is why it wasn’t synching up with Outlook. 

     Sadly there were some casualties for
programs that I had here…  Seems about
six or so games that I loved hanging on to and playing when I got the chance.  And about three or so business-type programs
that I used to rely heavily on.  But then
again that’s not surprising given that they had been designed for Windows 95
and 98 and that with XP they did even have some compatibility problems with
them then.  Moving to 7 – they would
either not remotely load at all, or simply would crash when trying to load
up.  I 
might move them into the Virtual XP Machine that I finally got installed
last night, thanks to someone in dAmn chat on Deviant Art that reminded me that
I had the ability to load it up and run it Win 7.  We’ll see though as a majority of them were
only what I would call the "part time" games that I’d play if I were
bored or tired of playing the games that I normally played during my off time.   Heh, this also means that now that I have
the processing power — there were a couple of programs and games that I had
eyed the last couple of months that I’ll be able to load up and play with…  Couple of interesting looking games that hit
the shelves not too long ago, and of course Incendia…  Which is currently loaded up on this machine,
but I’ll be go to hell if I can figure out the interface for the program.  But that’ll be something to pass the time
later on in the week when I get the chance. 

     One program that I’ve held off in
installing of course has been Nero 9. 
While they say the program is compatible with Windows 7 on their Main
Page and confirmed based on my license that it’s the most up to day — I’ve
been more than a little leery about loading it up, given the absolutely clapped
out way that it loaded in XP.  It would
pop-up menus when loading up new DVDs and CDs into the ROM drives.  Further it didn’t at all load any manuals for
any of the programs and instead pointed to a PDF file that said they weren’t
available.  Some say that I needed to
download a cleaning tool.  Others said
that it was a corrupt download of the installation program — but given that it
was duplicated twice and the tool didn’t fix anything — I went into the
registry and hacked it manually fixing the problem.  Of course, seeing that I’m running Windows 7
Ultimate and that it comes with Windows Media Center — it’s the primary reason
why I’ve held off given that it’s playing DVDs and movies without problems or
the need for additional programs and drivers. 

     Overall, I’ve been imminently satisfied
with the new workhorse.  While it’s been
a little on the sluggish side in some places that I’ve been used to it running
smoother, at the same time it’s pulling off more complex and processor
intensive work that my old machine couldn’t handle quite so well.  Heh, like watching Hulu shows in my queue
full screen without so much as a skip or a snafu.  Or the fact that I’m sitting here putting
together 1024 x 768 postage stamp fractals with outrageously ramped up
resolutions (10K and higher) in less than a half-hour (which would take more
than 2 hours if I were to do it on the old machine and Laptop).  Not to mention that it’s been pushing out
SETI@Home and Einstein@Home work units at an alarming rate.  Sound’s a bit on the muted side — even for
the inboard soundboard that I’m currently using.  However, I’ve got in transit the Asus Xonar
DX2 (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_IwCteZiV0GQ/SNGDwK0pu6I/AAAAAAAAAnc/TrEiRHYlHpI/s400/asus_xonar_beauty.jpg)
which is a beauty to behold and has gotten solid reviews for those that have
jumped ship from the Creative Labs boat. 
I’ll probably get it installed Thursday night after it’s arrived and
given it a go to see what kind of sound I get out of it. 

     Further, I had run a speed test at home
and discovered that the culprit to my degraded speeds hadn’t been because of my
routers or the cable modem, but instead had everything to do with the network
card that I had installed on my old workhorse. 
As you can see here with this clipping from Speedtest.Net.  I definitely call this picture "bragging

     My review of Windows 7 however will have
to be held off until I’m more familiar with all the bells and whistles with
it.  However, some of the impressions I
have will go here… 

     Like Vista, it has a habit of doing some
things with UAC that I find more than a little annoying, however unlike Vista,
getting to the UAC controls is imminently easier.  I also like the manner which it will allow
for elevated access when it wasn’t originally launched and seems to know that
elevated privileges are what’s required to perform the task.  Security controls are nicer too, and allowed
me to crack open the security on the old XP drive in order to move the saved
files in my %USER%My Documents folder. 
Pretty handy and definitely easier to work than XP’s and AD. 

     While I don’t mind the fat-crayon approach
of Aero and the taskbar (which still reminds me of a see-through version of
KDE’s task menu-bar); even with the smaller icons/smaller task bar settings,
it’s more than a little big.  I do like
the ability to snap to size within either window of full screen mode which is
easier to work with than the old-fashioned resizing I had been familiar with in
XP Pro.  I accidentally discovered the
minimize all other windows when I shook the window that I had been working with
(and vented my frustration on it by shaking it).  Which means now I have to find a different
method of handling my stress at something misbehaving than grabbing it by mouse
and shaking it.  (Don’t get me wrong, it
was amusing when my aunt heard me say, "what the hell?!" because of

     I am currently disappointed with the fact
that there’s no skinning capability within Win7 — however I’m sure that it’ll
only be a matter of time before someone better works it out for it to be
properly skinned.  Which I look forward
to, given I like my colors and skins and don’t always like what Microsoft hands
to us with their fat crayon box.  Oh and
I definitely don’t like
the Start Menu.  It’s like the worst of
both worlds (XP and Vista) when it comes to how it organizes things and shows
the last things opened.  Not to mention
cleaning it up was rather a chore…  But
given that I was able to reload KeyText (http://www.mjmsoft.com/keytext.htm)
for 7, I’m happy and everything I normally launch can be launched from simple
keyboard commands instead, so I can avoid the menu whenever possible. 


     And ha! 
As I was sitting here working on this journal entry — mail’s a bit
early today and it would appear that I’ve received my upgrade (well, full
version that I will use to upgrade) to Office 2007.  Wanted to do that considering Office here has
been getting a little long in the tooth. 
Pretty surprising that it arrived in just 1 weekend (2 shipping days) by
Express Mail. Pretty damned efficient for the Post Office and during the
holidays particularly given that it reached the Tundras of the Biggest Little
and was shipped from Milpas, CA (Santa Barbara area).  I’m under the impression the post office is
really trying to get their act together for the Christmas Holiday season given
that for years they usually fumbled when it came to shipping closer to the
holidays.  Hell, anyone my age and older
can assuredly remember that it was required of us to get the stamps on our
Christmas Cards and into the mailbox at least a couple of weeks in advance if
we wanted to make sure Grandma got our Christmas card in time for the
holidays.  Seems that with the
competition from UPS and Fed-Ex, they’re taking the competition serious enough
to deliver in as speedy a manner as possible. 


     As for me… 
I had the rage going just after my last journal entry.  Enough so that it took me almost a week
before my blood pressure had finally come down enough to stop the ringing in my
right ear from drowning all sense of hearing from the right side of my
body.  I know that several things had
contributed to that rage.  I think I’ll
write more about that tonight.  Right now
though, I’m pretty knackered and I definitely need my sleep.  Until later then. 


[Last Edited: 12/15/2009 06:11:50 AM]


     Well, I finally did drag my sorry ass out
of bed, get Office 2007 loaded up without any problems whatsoever, go through
not one, not two, but three updates from Windows Update and Office before I was
able to sit down and chat with friends and generally have a pretty damned good
time getting caught up with someone that I hadn’t spoken with in about six
weeks.  Good thing too, given that it
allowed me to take a little away from me time necessary before I came back into
my journal to try to write a little about the things that had been bothering me
from earlier yesterday that I hinted at before I went to bed. 

     So as I was saying yesterday before I
headed to bed to pass out, I had a hell of a lot of rage going on in the
journal entry that didn’t quite get posted. 
Part of the reason had to do with the changes at work.  Part of the reason has to do with the change
in people that I have to deal with, and a dynamic that I don’t normally
encounter on the days that I used to work. 
Part of the reason because I feel like I’ve been acting like a complete
pushover and hiding half a dozen of the niggling (not to mention growing to
overwhelming) pains that I had been going through since the beginning of the
holiday season (along with the crap from the children
that I have to work with).  And part of
the reason because I’ve been feeling like I’ve spinning my wheels being
Nightbreed and not being more…  Assertive
with my needs. 

     I’ve decided that I’m going to cruise
through the remainder of the year and wait until next year to sort of start
afresh.  This will let some people enjoy
the douchebaggery they have been pulling off for the last year.  As well as face some of the other issues that
I’ve got to deal with in my life.  Happy
holidays and all that…


     Well that’s about it for the time
being.  Off to upload some of the work
that I’ve been working on the last couple of days.  Until the next time.

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