Murgh. This has been an exceedingly unpleasant four days.
It began when I wanted to compile an XPCOM component for Adblock (so as to remove a dependency on the not-always-present DOM Inspector). This should have theoretically been possible on Windows, but I was having some rather serious issues in getting the compilation to work. A stub file (without the one necesary function) compiled successfully, but after adding the actual function to be called, I got mired down in a quagmire of missing %PATH% and %IMPORT% directories. Eventually, I got to a point where nmake-ing would end when the compiler complained about syntax errors in #import-ed files… by then, I said “screw it” and whipped out an Ubuntu Linux LiveCD I had laying around. It proved too sluggish and restricted to be able to even unpack the firefox source directory, so I figured I’d try installing the full version of Ubuntu and going from there. I figured this ought not to be a problem, since I’d already installed Mandrake on my three ext3 partitions (/, /boot, /swap).
The Adventure Begins
summary as posted on IRC:
Long story short(er), ubuntu linux — nice install process, except for the part where it failed to configure X properly and made my windows partition unbootable.
I ended up installing four different distros (Ubuntu, Mandrake 9.2beta, Debian sarge netinstall, Mandrake 10.1(++)). Also tried Windows Recovery’s fixmbr (equivalent to fdisk /mbr) and reinstalling Windows on another partition, same drive, which just left the entire drive unbootable (re-installing Mandrake probably would have left me with a bootable linux partition, but… eh.)
The one bright spot in this is that I managed to snag a *retail* 160 GB Maxtor drive (8mb cache) for a measly $70 at CompUSA… currently running on that (details below).
Face the Music
Unfortunately, the 40 GB IBM Deskstar that was holding all my music (~34 GB) decided to crap out right after I installed the new drive, so… sucks. Dataclinic.co.uk has a sound file that indicates it’s probably buffer corruption. This means the data is theoretically recoverable, but since the local data-recovery specialists want upwards of a thousand bucks for it… ’tis now an ex-hard drive.
On a more positive note, it took a mere twenty minutes to transfer ~14 GB of music from my iPod (which covers most of the good stuff) and another hour and a half for ~30 GB from my brother’s collection, which makes up for most of the rest. Still, there will probably be a few techno and ITConversations tracks that I’ll have to go out hunting for. Eh. I really should have known better than to use a Deskstar for *anything* but it could have been worse.)
Currently an unbootable-but-otherwise-functional 80GB drive and a sparkly new 160GB drive which, neatly enough, cost less in CompUSA than the 80GB drive cost on NewEgg in 2003.
On the 160 GB drive, I’ve got two ~8GB NTFS partions for Windows OS + select applications (primary and backup installations), a 60GB NTFS partition for other applications and data files, and a 60GB partition for music (my dedicated music drive crashed and burned, below). The rest of the drive I’ll probably use as a Linux partition or two, along with a ~4 GB FAT32 partition to allow Windows+Linux to easily share files.
As for the 80 GB drive… I’ll keep it around long enough to ensure I’ve fetched all my old files from it… then I’ll completely wipe it and use it for backups. I’m undecided as to whether I should use separate NTFS and ext3 partitions or just use FAT32…
Vanilla Sky is still a pretty fucked-up movie. I understood it more this time around than when I saw it in theaters, but… yeah. If the Matrix is (treacherous) dreams+computers, Vanilla Sky is (treacherous) dreams+control.
Foucault’s Pendulum wasn’t nearly as good as I had hoped.
Othello is decent, but I think I liked Macbeth somewhat better. I wonder if “O” is any good (it does have the oh-so-cute Julia Stiles in it…)