Monday, March 12, 2007


Ever miss a clock change? You know, you forget the night before, and then sleep in... a lot. Then you don't turn on the radio, or any valid TV that might remind you, and you stay off the web. Then, when you go to meet up with some friends, you're an HOUR LATE because they didn't forget? No? Me neither.

Ok, once... a few years ago, I missed the switch back to standard time and the gf and I ended up at some friends' place 45 min early while they were in the middle of dinner.

This weekend however, I was actually awake at 2am, so I set the clocks ahead to 3 and went to bed. I guess I should set the last couple TVs...

Yah, that's kind of how exciting my weekend was. Friday night was spent getting some things taken care of at home, until I ran into one of my best friends down the hall from me (because he lives there). A couple martinis later and it was bedtime. Oh, one of those things around the home involved almost breaking expensive things in frustration at my on-going computer issues.


Ok, geek tangent. So a little over a month ago, my C: drive up and died. It was fine one night, I shut it down, and the next morning "invalid system disk". Shite. Reboot, BIOS checks, cable checks, etc... nada. No backup, no recovery disk... drive not even being seen. So out comes the drive and off to my folks' I go. I hand it to my brother to scan and see if it's recoverable. My mother comes back with "all that money on Computer Engineering and you can't fix it yourself?" I then explain the need for a VALID C: DRIVE to fix it. That or a bootable Linux disc, which I was also lacking. Anyway, the data was still there, so all documents, mail, photos, etc, were backed up. Luckily the bulk of my non-program stuff was sitting on separate striped RAID arrray, so I wasn't too devestated. The drive was in the death throes though, with bad sectors magically appearing.

So off to my favourite computer store to pick up a replacement drive. Once there, I decide TWO drives are better than one, so two WD 160GB SATA II drives leave with me. First experience with SATA for moi, and I like trying new things (feel the excitement). Get home, plug it all in and.... blargh. *many hours pass* I finally get a semblance of RAID 0 (mirrored) array up. WinXP installed! (took 3 passes to succeed), poker software on! Woohoo! Off to bed.

Next morning - BLARGH! Horrible horrible errors with the array! Faulty drives! Cats and dogs living together! Sigh. Why what's this? My Asus board doesn't support SATA II? I need to rummage through my parts bags to find jumpers to force the drives to SATA I? That would have been nice to find mentioned. Thank goodness I had my Archos WiFi kicking around to surf teh intarneets and find this stuff out.

And then success was met, and I was able to leave for Israel with the knowledge my computer lived again, and my C: drive was now wonderfully mirrored so I'd never have to worry about losing it again. Ever.

Until I got home and it turned out the drive on Channel 0 was faulty and the slave drive had to be duplicated. Not a big deal, because I could still fully use my system off the slave. That's the beauty of mirroring. Days pass and on Friday last I decide to finally fix this.

This obviously involves me duplicating the faulty source drive to the slave! ID 10 T errors abound. Ah, but I was not so stupid as to not back up my C: drive this time. Somehow, I was miraculously able to get back to Windows (drive faulty - data preserved, just outdated!) And restore the backup. Attempt # 2 - copy the RIGHT way. Array still buggered. No booting. Anger... rising. Unplug faulty drive, reboot.. yay! No array = no problems. Plug faulty drive back in, do NOT create array. Windows recognizes 2nd drive. Full scan... drive okay?? Ummm... scan good drive... no problems. Hrmm...

Blame motherboard and stupid VIA controller. Plug SATA drives into Promise controller ports (yay flexibility!). Create brand new mirrored array, duplicate the right drive. WinXP... success!! Turn off computer. Turn on again (gotcha gremlins!) Success!

SO, as of this exact moment, my C: drive is mirrored and operational. Let's see if it's still that way when I get home.



Saturday was the moving of aforementioned friend. By far the easiest move I have ever helped with. Nothing heavy (so much solid wood furniture, all so light). One truck load. Sweet. Home in time to continue fixing computer (covered above) and put together a to-do list of stuff I need to get done (as to-do lists involve).

Sunday was the capper to getting the computer to live, followed by me heading over to another friend's place to try and fix her computer issues (much less serious than mine). I think I've met with some success with that computer, but today should tell. It was a worthwhile visit and hopefully stopped some serious issues from escalating.

There is obviously a lack of poker content in there. Oh, here it is!

Saturday night - semi-functional computer. Fire up FT peep token and Stars WSOP $16 Turbo DS. FT is fine. Stars however, has a severe case of no slider. I found my self in a NLHE Turbo DS without a slider to increase my bets. No entry field either. So I'm relegated to min bets/raises. What the? Obviously my opponents are fine. Must be the computer... something missing in a system file (does the Stars client use Active X? Java? .Net framework?) or something. I sit out and reinstall the software, update, and.... nothing! Ok... sit-out, restore my most recent backup and... nada! Ermmm... restart! Nope. Back in the game that all purposes is a limit game for me now. I look like some sort of nutcase betting nothing but a BB into big pots. I scare people with my constant min-raises because I've shown some monsters with nothing but min bets. What the hell? It's too deep into the 1st table to sit out again and restore an older backup. I finally, mercifully go out in 3rd on the first table and do said restore. Load up stars and a cash game and.. there's the the slider! Whew.

It made for a very interesting exercise. Playing limit in a no-limit environment makes for some interesting choices. I'm still trying to figure out if I learned anything.

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