Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gremlins

Gather round, Children. It's time for another session of Nos' stories of things that boggle the fucking mind.

Sgt Ovakil sends me a DVD, which I receive yesterday, as the USPS does not run on Sunday; the slackers.

Pop the DVD into my PC here, which promptly declares that the disc is blank, and asks if I would like to burn some data to it.

Now, I know he didn't send me a blank disc. I got my first CD burner almost a decade ago now, and I can smell drive conflict with burning software.

So, I get creative. I go to fire up ISOBuster, only to find out that I've since uninstalled ISOBuster. Dig up the installer from my archives... to see that I have recorded my key nowhere.

Fuck.

As a secondary option, I download and install IMGBURN. Fire it up, where it declares that there is an error on the disc, and it is not readable. I tell it where to shove its diagnosis, and just make me a damned image anyway.

Error pops up. "Insufficient free space on C:\"

...I have fifty-two free gigabytes. This is a four gig DVD+RW. How can there possibly not be enough free space?

Look closer, and IMGBURN has decided amongst itself that the resulting disc image will be eight point seven terabytes, and require some ninety-five hundred hours to create.

...Obviously, we have a problem somewhere...

In sheer exasperation, I try out my dad's laptop, as my old PIII no longer has a DVDROM in it (long story).

The laptop reads the disc without incident. The laptop, I might add, is a 2001 vintage Sony Vaio, that I've had to resurrect from death's door at least a dozen times. I didn't know it could even read a DVD+RW. The damned things didn't exist when it was made.

Fucking Emachine pieces of shit...

Anyway.

So now I have to get more creative. I dig up an ethernet cable, and prepare to LAN the two together; as I have no double-ended USB cables, nor any CD-R's to transfer the files to.

I'm loathe to do that, as it means disconnecting my PC from the cable router, and trying to set up a home network - something that has not gone well for me in days past.

An idea strikes. His laptop is already configured to plug right in to my router to use the cable connection, so maybe newer routers function as a LAN hub, too. Sure enough, after turning on file sharing on both systems (normally switched off for security reasons), the computers can see each other, and readily transfer data.

So now, instead of copying the files at a hundred plug megabytes a second from DVDROM to hard drive, I'm transferring said files across a LAN at two and a half megabytes a second. I've seen USB 1.0 drives work faster than this shit.

The electromagnetics in this apartment must be horrendous... I always suspected, because of my hit-or-miss cell reception, but wow.

Now, I'm thrilled that I found some way to copy the files - and surprised as hell that my idea to set up a quickie-LAN actually worked - but what the fuck?

Why in the hell won't my PC read the disc? Why in the hell will the Vaio?

Between this, and a little RAM debacle I had awhile back... I'm just about willing to write Emachines in general off as a bad idea. Fucking Gateway never has turned out a PC worth a damn.

Not sure what else to do, though. Building my own is an option I'm not willing to deal with anymore, and no other makers are batting a thousand these days. Alienware - even if I was willing/able to spring that much, is now a wholly owned bitch of Dell. Not sure if old favorites like Falcon Northwest are still even in business... and I'll buy another EMachine before I touch a fucking HP.

You know what would be great? If computer makers would stop jerking each other off, trying to see who can get to the first googlecore processor, and spend their time building some reliable, compatible hardware.

Then again, reliable, compatible hardware doesn't force people to buy new every year and a half...

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