Coded green.

Monday 27 February 2006

Desk with computers

Pic of the day: And we're up and running!

Return of the Internet

Finally I have Internet access in my home again, two months to the day after I lost it back in the Chaos Node. It feels strange, it feels wonderful, and above all it feels like coming home. But even the last stretch home was uphill all the way. Not that this should surprise anyone: Strange things happen with alarming regularity around me. Well, not crazy strange, but weird strange.

I had returned home with a LaCie 250 GB USB external HDD to replace the Maxtor that had broken down on Monday. One of the first things I did after coming home was to check that the Internet was available. It was, but not on both of my desktop computers. The gaming computer, which used to stand on my bedroom table before, now shares an office table with the older general purpose Internet computer that used to stand in my living room. Both of them were already connected in a small home network, where each of them could access shared folders from the other machine. I used this to write my illustrated story about my Sims: I play the game on the gaming machine, and write on the other, including pictures from the game. Since I haven't had Internet access, I have copied the finished product to my Pocket PC and taken it with me to work, uploading from there.

I tested that City of Heroes worked on my gaming machine. It did, after a brief download of a patch. Evidently only minor patching has happened during these two months. That's fine by me. What is not so fine is that the generic Internet computer did not access the Internet. Which made it pretty much a generic nothing computer. But surely I was no worse off than yesterday? Yes I was: It no longer recognized the other machine on the home network at all. The game machine recognized the other, but it was not mutual. This is a bad thing.

On the bright side, I plugged my portable with Ubuntu Linux into the home network too, and it accepted the Internet connection without a question. In fact, when peeking around in its somewhat unfamiliar menu system, I found a "place" called "network servers". There was my home network, and everything on it, including the machine which believed itself to be cut off from the rest. I did not know machines could suffer from depression... Anyway, this means I can use the portable to run BitTorrent, to download and share fansubbed anime. I can then move the anime to the other computers to view. For all I know, I might be able to download it directly to a network drive on another computer, but this would probably choke the network enough to reduce the total speed, even if it should turn out to be possible.

(I still haven't found out how to actually view anime on the Linux machine. I am sure it is possible, but I am not sure how. I need to install a codec for it, and I don't know yet how to do that in Linux. It's no big deal, though. The point of the Linux machine is that it can be wide open to the Internet with no fear of worms and viruses. Sure, they can march right in, but they will not recognize anything there. It is like a bird flu virus trying to infect an oak... not a smart move.)

Now for some storage space for the anime. Time to set up that external harddisk with 250 gigabytes. Yeah baby. Eh, make that no, baby. Because the box has already been opened. And the cables are missing, both the USB and the power. Well, well. No wonder it was reasonably priced! Though the price hardly reflected the fact that it wasn't usable at all, nor the very likely possibility that it was a returned piece of faulty merchandise, put back on the shelf without even checking that all pieces were in place. (Actually this was probably not the case, but I won't know that until tomorrow.)

Sometime after midnight I finally struck upon the great idea to resort to that new feature of Windows XP, that it sets a restore point whenever you make any system change, and (at least if you have told it to) once a day too. So I reset the system to December 27 at 6AM. Lo! Behold! It worketh! I am actually using it right now. There were some minor weirdnesses from it, a folder in the wrong place, and (probably the worst of it) my speech recognition database is corrupted, a few months of occasional talking to my machine lost. I have to start training it pretty much from the start. But it is worth it. Oh yes, it is worth it. To have all my programs where I am used to them, all my bookmarks, and my e-mail. *love*

There's only one thing to say: TADAIMA!

(The Japanese greeting "tadaima" translates as "I'm back" or usually "I'm home", but it is a much more important part of the culture. Normally a household member will greet the returned person with "okaeri" (okairi) or more formally "okaerinasai", but even if there is no one else in the house you will still greet the house and the spirits that may dwell in it. It is more than just an information of return, it is an acceptance and affirmation of belonging.)

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Sims2 miracle mode
Two years ago: The cell phone species
Three years ago: Thoughts on religion
Four years ago: Virtuality rules
Five years ago: Sometimes I wish ...
Six years ago: What the heck?
Seven years ago: Careers of men and women

Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.

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