Friday, April 02, 2004

moments into the 2nd quarter

gee. it's april already.

spent most of my free time last week restoring a laptop where the existing windows installation dug itself into a hole it didn't seem to know how to get out of. it was a custom vendor install, and in chinese... plus my first real attempt at playing with laptop hardware. i'm sure that nobody really wants to read about the nitty gritty details, but after fending off a few technical challenges and one week after taking delivery, it's good to go! (or so i say...)

a few things learnt/noted:
  • borrowing toys err i mean tools from the IT guys at work is handy, and firewire is nice! i'm glad my mobo came with it, even though it wasn't on my list of "wanted features" when i was shopping for one
  • it's funny how one can be quite apprehensive about doing something they've never attempted, and yet so quickly become blase with even the tiniest smidge of "experience"! not always the best thing i suppose, but yeah... opening up a laptop isn't as scary as i first thought :p
  • firewire is nice :)
  • the backup utility in xp seems to be handy and might be worth checking out a bit more
  • running the express install of the winxp service pack one via windowsupdate doesn't work very well... i've now wasted a few hundred megabytes of download (not to mention the time it took) on at least 4 failed attempts on two different computers
  • downloading files via IE is slooooow... use a download accelerator like DAP (it's free but adware). unless of course you're using dial-up, in which case it probably won't make much difference! :p
  • unicode filenames (eg containing chinese characters) make backing up data on CDs a non-trivial matter...
  • file renaming utilities won't work on unicode filenames either... d'oh!
  • unless you run it from a chinese operating system... ahhhh....
  • having a home LAN comes in veeery handy :)

i do enjoy solving problems :) especially the sense of achievement at the end when the problem is solved/fixed! hehe. still don't know/understand what went wrong in the first place, but that's one for the "too hard" basket :p

- - - - -

have to cover for someone at work again, while they're away on annual leave. this means learning a new job. don't have too much of a choice about it, and it's not something i'm really looking forward to... but at least i'm relieved to find that it's not next week (was going to go into panic mode today!) but the week after. ok so i'll panic slowly over the next week...!

also been involved in helping out with staging (where new equipment for whole registers are checked and set up before shipping to customer sites). still quite basic work - unpack, assemble on bench, record serial numbers... but at least it feels a step closer to IT/technology, and i think that's where i like to be :)

- - - - -

words of wisdom #78
what not to do if you have files on your computer you don't want people to see:
  1. create a folder called "Top secret" or similar
  2. under there, create another folder called "TOP TOP SECRET" or similar
  3. now that you've put neon lights pointing to this location, place your files in the second folder

it's a tactic that's sure to work! kinda like the free netMD sling-type backpack my dad got - it has a hard shelled compartment for your MD player... on the *outside* of the bag, nicely labelled "NetMD" and in a contrasting colour so it stands out.

what about this doesn't scream "steal me!" when you're walking around with the bag on your back...?

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