Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

A different, rambling approach

Posted by Trixter on July 23, 2007

After nearly two weeks of unsuccessfully trying to restore the HighPoint RAID mystery sector information that ties my partitions together in a RAID 0 bond of harmony, I’m going to chuck it (the RAID controller, not the computer).  Serves me right for trying to do RAID on the cheap.  The new plan is to attach the drives as Plain Old Dumb Drives(tm) to the PATA ports, restore the XP partitions to a PlainOldDumbDrive, hope it works, and then fire up XP using any means necessary just long enough to export all proprietary databases to open ones (iTunes ratings, Thunderbird filters/junk/prefs, etc.).  Then I most certainly will be rebuilding the machine.

You know, I’ve had this XP partition/setup since 2001?  I guess that’s a testament to the stability of XP.  If you don’t act like a fucktard, XP won’t act like a fucktard back at ya.  I’ve had nearly no issues with XP in 6 straight years, which was a refreshing change from Windows 9x.  What prompted me to purchase Windows XP in 2001 was an experience in Windows 98 that almost had me damaging equipment:  I lost the ability to drag icons.  That wasn’t what made me mad, though: What made me furious was that, a week later, it fixed itself and started working again.  That’s just retarded.

So anyway… the new approach in trying to manage all this is System Rescue CD, brought to you by the fine folks who created partimage.  It’s a Linux rescue CD (a “liveCD” that you can boot directly and use without installing Linux) that works pretty damn well.  It’s taken Linux a long time to figure out how to do NTFS properly, but sysrescuecd distribution works well enough that you can mount a SAMBA/Windows share to a local directory and back up entire partitions to it.  I’m in it right now (running FireFox to add this weblog entry, no less).  In one window I’m copying my Acronis backup images to one of the PlainOldDumbDrives (so that multiple restores will take 30 minutes instead of 5 hours); in the other window I’m trying to figure out why I’m getting only 50mbit/s over my 100mbit/s FD network.  It’s plain, but functional, and can even boot off of a 256MB USB key.

All this because Apple couldn’t keep their iTunes database in XML by default.  Or, making even more sense, store the rating information in the MP3 files themselves using ID3 tags like everyone else.  I was lured into a false sense of security when I learned OS X was based on BSD Unix.  I thought maybe, just maybe, Apple would play nice with the rest of the world for a change.  Silly Trixter!

I’m not giving up yet.  I’m going to get my 14 months of song ratings back if it nearly kills me! Until then, I get to irritate my friends and family by posting blog entries from public computers while my email goes unread for, oh, going on 16 days now.

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