Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

HD Failure, day 6

I realise I’ve skipped a few days but there’s not been a huge amount to report until today.


A DHL courier has now whisked my laptop off to have its hard drive fixed, so it’s no longer in my hands. What I do have is my old laptop, now my dad’s, which does work and has the benefit of a relatively new battery and power supply after the old ones died on me in October last year. Despite it having been mine before, the system has been reconfigured to suit how my dad uses it and as such it doesn’t have some of the programs I use regularly or a huge collection of music on it. For example, there’s no FeedDemon or Trillian, and there wasn’t a copy of Firefox until earlier today when my patience with IE ran out after, oooh, 10 minutes. Trust me, once you try tabbed browsing, you’ll be hooked and wonder how on earth you managed without it. I’ve managed to convince Dad to use Thunderbird so that was already there, although I did create another profile to ensure that his stuff didn’t get affected.
I’ll be using this probably at least until the weekend, maybe for the next two weeks – it depends how long it takes for Toshiba to sort themselves out. In theory it could be ready as early as Wednesday if I’m really lucky but I find that highly unlikely. Until then, I’ll only be using MSN Messenger, so if you need to talk to me I’m totalxsive at hotmail dot com – this machine doesn’t have Trillian. Well, it did, but it doesn’t now and I don’t really want to install it just so that I can use it for a few days.
This machine is also somewhat slower than I remember. Now since then SP2 has been installed, but I still don’t remember it being quite so sluggish. In any case, I’ve run Bootvis (the magical tool that MS says won’t offer a decrease in boot times but I and many others beg to differ) and disabled some unnecessary services, and it seems to be a little better. It could probably do with a good defrag too at some point. Still, when you’re used to a Celeron 2.2Ghz with 512MB of RAM and have to use a Celeron 900Mhz with 128MB of RAM it would seem slower, I suppose.
The other thing that is annoying me is the keyboard. Having used a Toshiba keyboard for several months, I’m used to its layout – now I’ve got another one with buttons in odd places. I keep hitting Fn (second function) instead of Ctrl, for example, and Delete is in a completely different part of the keyboard – top-right instead of bottom-right. Yeah, I know bottom-right is an odd place too but it’s what I’m used to. The Ctrl thing does really annoy me as I use it so much for copying and pasting and for opening new tabs.
As for the iPod Mini, I’m still waiting. Apple have now taken the money for it and sent me an invoice, but it hasn’t yet been delivered, nor does it appear that they have attempted to deliver it (no “sorry, we missed you” cards through the door, for example). It would have been nice if, like most other companies, they give you a date for when it’s likely to arrive so that I or my parents could try to be available that day to collect it. Oh well.
I’m now also the proud owner of a pedometer – a small device that you attach to your belt that counts how many steps you do. Since I put it on at about half past one this afternoon (6 hours ago), I’ve managed around 1500 steps, or 15% of the target that I’m supposed to acheive per day. Still, that’s almost a kilometre – pretty good considering I haven’t left the house since putting it on. I’m at work for a full day tomorrow so I’ll see how much I do then.

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