Everything, Everything - September 2005

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Like That
Thursday 29th September, 2005 13:56
I'm listening to the latest Black Eyed Peas album, Monkey Business, and it's pretty good. Seems to rely on a lot of other songs though, from artists like Sting and Jack Johnson. Their last album had a few great tracks, but I tended to skip the rest of the tracks. This one is quite listenable all the way though.

Yummy, custard creams and coffee, what more could you ask for?
How Much
Wednesday 28th September, 2005 20:02
I mentioned before that the new Lost DVD box set was considerably overpriced in the UK compared to the US set of the complete series. In the UK you can get half the first season (episodes 1-12 over 4 DVDs) for £25.99 or the complete first season (23 episodes over 6 DVDs) of Desperate Housewives for just £30.99. Both shows are about 42 minutes per episode. I think I might add Desperate Housewives to my Xmas list, or perhaps just buy it myself sometime.
Brand New Friend
Saturday 24th September, 2005 23:11
I just finished reading Mike Gayle's new book, which my brother ordered off Amazon and let me borrow earlier today, and I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure how it compares to his earlier work as it's been ages since I've touched them, but this one was very entertaining and there were a lot of bits I could relate to. Must remember to give it back to him tomorrow.
Guardian
Thursday 22nd September, 2005 00:39
No, not the newspaper. If you hate Jamster and/or want to avoid getting caught by their premium rate things, you can now submit your mobile number (ideally that of your child) and enter the password they text to the phone and they'll never send you any rubbish ringtones or themes.
Delivery
Thursday 22nd September, 2005 00:08
I wasted all day today waiting for a parcel to arrive. I was 'carded' according to the website (where I was tracking it), even though they never rang the doorbell or posted a card. I called up shortly after the website was updated, and it sounds like they tried to deliver to the wrong place (insisting I had a green door, which I politely told them was wrong). They said they'd try and deliver later that day, but they never showed (according to Multimap my local depot is just 8 miles away). They'll try again tomorrow, but I won't be in for too long as I need to go to work, so I expect (assuming they find it - and they have managed to deliver here before, so it can't be that hard to find) I'll get carded 'again'.

It's those sort of annoyances that make me think retail stores, such as PC World, aren't all that bad. Sure, it costs more, but you don't have to worry about being in all day for delivery, you can get it immediately if it's in stock, and if it goes wrong you can take it back without the hassle of proof of postage or insurance.

So I decided to sulk and ordered dinner from Dominos via their website. They managed to find it on time without any trouble (admittedly, they're only a quarter of the distance away from me).
Nigel
Tuesday 20th September, 2005 12:08
I hope you don't want an engraved iPod, if you have an offensive name like Nigel - how odd. Apparently "Paedophile" is fine though. Well done Apple.

Opera should also be congratulated for finally ditching the adverts - grab a free copy of their browser now! I might even try it again just to compare it against IE and Firefox.

Now what was the name of the song about Nigel... XTC - Making Plans For Nigel (and covered by numerous others, including Robbie Williams).
Errors Again
Tuesday 20th September, 2005 01:42
Now it says:
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
11 percent completed.
Errors found. CHKDSK cannot continue in read-only mode.

Very dodgy. The errors seem more pronounced the less disk space there is too, which could explain why it only started to appear on all my drives when they were practically full.

Now I have:
CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
Deleting corrupt attribute record (128, "")
from file record segment 561.
File verification completed.

Errors found. CHKDSK cannot continue in read-only mode.

I immediately followed that by another chkdsk which got to stage 2, and at 10% it hit errors (again). I love how I get different results every time I run the utility.

EDIT: Turns out my IDE controller was dying, ordered a new one, and all is now well, no data was lost!
Note To Self
Tuesday 20th September, 2005 01:32
Must make this month XHTML 1.1 compliant sometime, the alt tag will go away when I remove the image later next month, but the pre tag I used before needs to be changed (I presume because I tried to use <pre> inside of a <p> tag).
Dodgy Controller
Tuesday 20th September, 2005 01:27
Ingredients:
1 x Promise Ultra 100 IDE Controller card
1 x spare 30GB IBM drive that has worked perfectly for 5 years
1 x rounded cable (new, but I think it's reliable)

Add them all together, format the disk, copy 23GB of content onto it, run chkdsk.

I decided to start a check as I began copying the content. I got:

I:\>chkdsk I:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is TEST.

WARNING!  F parameter not specified.
Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
File verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
Index verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
Security descriptor verification completed.

  30017420 KB total disk space.
    484032 KB in 6 files.
        16 KB in 13 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
     66920 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
  29466452 KB available on disk.

      4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
   7504355 total allocation units on disk.
   7366613 allocation units available on disk.

I ran it again after a while, the disk was about half full, and got:

I:\>chkdsk I:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is TEST.

WARNING!  F parameter not specified.
Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
File verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
Index verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
Security descriptor verification completed.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the
master file table (MFT) bitmap.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.
Windows found problems with the file system.
Run CHKDSK with the /F (fix) option to correct these.

  30017420 KB total disk space.
  16444224 KB in 113 files.
        68 KB in 17 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
     67032 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
  13506096 KB available on disk.

      4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
   7504355 total allocation units on disk.
   3376524 allocation units available on disk.

And now that all the content is across, I get the same message (actually, now it's gone again - how odd). I'm fairly certain the controller card must be playing up, some kind of intermittent fault, and I'm very confident that the 4 disks that used to be plugged into it are perfectly okay - the random errors are now gone, and I can read the content back perfectly in another system. There's still a small chance it's the new cables (although I had been able to copy the content onto all 4 disks without any trouble for the last few months, so I think it's just trouble reading data via the controller), but I'll order a new card and see if I still have trouble. At worst, I'll have wasted £18 on a card, which I could always use in another system. I might even try out a spare IDE cable in the morning, just to rule it out for certain.

Yeah
Monday 19th September, 2005 17:28
Are you diggin' on me?

Yes, I'm a bit bored right now, so I decided to listen to Joss Stone for a minute.

My old Promise Ultra 100 controller card seems to be playing up, I have had it for 5 years now, and bought it 2nd hand off a friend, so it lasted well. A brand new card only costs ?18 anyway. I'm quite relieved, as I was getting random (and very serious) errors on all 4 disks that were attached to it, but they all appear to be fine on another PC, I haven't lost any data.

She take my money...
Natural Selection
Wednesday 7th September, 2005 14:18
I came across this article on The Register, which surprised me. A mere 26 per cent of people in the US believe that life on Earth has evolved without any input from a supreme being. Also, researchers at Pew say that an analysis of the poll suggests that there is some confusion among respondents about the meaning of the words evolution and creationism. They point to inconsistencies in people's declared beliefs and what they think ought to be taught in schools, after 64 per cent of those surveyed said creationism ought to be taught alongside evolutionary theory.
The Search Box Personality Test
Saturday 3rd September, 2005 15:08
Okay, so I got this idea from another website, but I liked it: "The plethora of online tests purporting to uncover the inner most reaches of your psyche all have one thing in common. They're b******s. Go to your favourite search engine, click into the search box and press the down arrow key on your keyboard. You'll probably come up with a huge list of all the search terms you've entered over recent weeks and it's damn sight more revealing than "If you were a flavoured condom, what flavour would you be?"

Admittedly, it relies on AutoComplete being on, and I'm not sure how well it works on the minority browsers (although they all probably support it). Looks like I'm a geek that's addicted to TV. Who would have guessed?
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