Entomological Description

My photo
Sydney, NSW, Australia
I'm a Christian husband currently finishing a Software Eng degree and wondering what God's plan for my life is. I sleep soundly in the knowledge that time will assuredly answer that question with little effort on my part.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

RIP Tarantula

After all the relevant backups were made, Tarantula (the system name for my aging laptop) was wiped clean last night. He now awaits a new hard drive from Singapore (thank you manufacturer's warranty) and has received a tripling of his RAM in preparation for his spiffy new operating system - Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron! Bring on the release!

This screen, by the way, may be the saddest screen ever to see...

Pride and Privilege

I make this post from the CSE Undergraduate Thesis Laboratory, which I have only just discovered is set aside especially for us. And there are TWO of them, no less!

I think I've just found a really good place to actually study on campus - I have a computer, but not one that allows me to be ultra distracted, I have a quiet and clean work environment and it's really close to my supervisor...

Perhaps, after almost four and a half years of uni, I'll develop a work ethic?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's a Hard Drive

I seem to have an effect on hard drives. Or rather my laptop does. I now have a pending RMA (warranty claim) for the hard drive in my laptop, which has died in a slightly less-than-spectacular, but nevertheless frustrating manner. At least it had the dignity to give me advanced warning through a SMART error detection (Self Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Tool) so I've had time to dump the data into safer bit-buckets, but it still leaves me with an untrustable laptop for some time.

This is the third hard drive for this notebook. The original manufacturer's drive wasn't very good, always made very loud clicky noises and failed after a couple of years. The second was a new one that I purchased (the first was outside warranty) and it worked fora while before showing significant signs of distress (each and every program in Linux would segfault, and Windows would simply bluescreen - I couldn't read the data when I attached it to another computer either) so I had it replaced under warranty.

All very well and good. But the new one had exactly the same problem. After much umming and ahhing and bitter complaint about a hard-drive-eating laptop, I ran a memtest from an Ubuntu installer CD. Corrupt memory. So I replaced the RAM and things have been hunky dory since then.

Until now, when it seems I have a genuinely dying hard drive, four assignments due in the next three weeks, no working Linux box (my desktop got borked), a thesis implementation to do on Thursday without a computer, and a thesis presentation to deliver in two weeks with nothing more than a blackboard and chalk.

Argh! Three things are certain in life. Death, taxes, and the utter failure of technology at precisely the most inopportune moment.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Despite my earlier enthusiasm for the imminent release of Ubuntu 8.04, which has in no way abated, it seems that I may be forced to delay my installation of said superior OS in deference to the weight of assignments and thesis-related presentations that need doing.

And somewhere along the way, I should also determine whether or not when my laptop's hard drive says "1702 - SMART Hard Drive detects Imminent Failure", it really means it or not.

There's only 119 bad sectors on disk. I don't see what all the fuss is about...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It's coming!