good thing I didn't use that SSD
Sunday, November 24 2019
It rained heavily nearly all day today, and this made it impossible for Gretchen to walk the dogs or take Neville to work. The rain stopped around 3:00pm, which gave me a chance to walk them. I had to walk down the Farm Road and return on the bluff to its west to avoid all the rivulets and puddles at lower elevations.
My struggles to eradicate the "not genuine" watermark on the desktop of Woodchuck, my main computer, continued today. You'd think by now someone would've reverse-engineered how Windows 7's "not genuine" technology works to provide both a detailed explanation and perhaps utilities to bypass the automated harassment. Since there was no way to know what was happening under the hood to make that watermark appear, I was forced into increasingly-dangerous experimentation. At some point, I tried installing a Windows loader of dubious utility, and it completely killed my ability to boot Woodchuck. I tried multiple times to "repair" the boot sector (I thought that was what I wanted to do) using the Windows installation DVD, but it kept encountering an error about the disc being incompatible with the installed operating system, which I knew to be false but couldn't work around, at least not this time. So then I tried using a Linux-based WIndows repair DVD, for which I had high hopes, but it didn't work either. So then I said, fuck it, I'll just install Windows 7 from scratch and go through the multi-day ordeal of slowling restoring it to the way I like things.
But after installing Windows 7, it was clear how much work would have to be done. The default Windows desktop is cartoonishly colorful, and its taskbar is unnecessarily thick. I was going to have to change all of that, though I couldn't remember how to do anything. I'd saved a bunch of registry scripts, but some fixes (like dialing down the whitespace in Explorer's list view) are a bitch to do. But for now, I had a more fundamental problem: my mouse didn't work. Its LED laser wasn't evening lighting up. Adding insult to injury, when I put a DVD in the tray of the DVD player, the computer tried to be helpful by offering a menu of things for me to do, as if I am too mentally challenged to open things when and how I want. That's a feature I have long found both infuriating and insulting.
After some searching, I tracked down the old 250 GB SSD that had been Woodchuck's boot drive until October of last year. When I used that to boot Woodchuck, everything was exactly the way I wanted them. At that point, I realized something important: almost nothing I'd done on Woodchuck in the past year had affected the boot drive in any way that really mattered. The biggest immediate change I had to make was simply to update the two shortcuts for the months of blog entries from September and October of 2018 to October and November of 2019. All those actual entries were on a mechanical hard drive that wouldn't be changing. And all my media (my music and movies) were on a network drive. Even my porn collection was on a non-boot drive. Perhaps a few software packages I needed were on the newer SSD, but it wouldn't be more than three or four, and the ones by Microsoft might've been the source of whatever malware had caused my computer's OS to be flagged as "not genuine." You can be sure I'll be much more careful about installing Microsoft products in the future. The only other thing I can think of that I'll be needing is a handful of Arduino libraries, all of which can be copied en masse. My new plan was to buy another SSD, image the year-old SSD to that, and then copy whatever I needed from my non-booting one terabyte SSD. This would be far less work than trying to build a working system to my tastes from a stock Windows 7 install. And when it's all done, I'll put the old 250 GB SSD back on the shelf, ready to use should my OS crap out again in the future.
In amongst all that work, I periodically took breaks to do repairs to all the drywall I'd butchered in the recent split installs. Drywall repair is a multi-phase process, and between every phase, one must wait for things to dry. To speed that drying along, I put a space heater out in the shop and turned on the split in Gretchen's library, both of which are normally cold. I also had a very small amount of drywall to repair in the laboratory, though I've been keeping it toasty in there.
This evening, I did a number of Sunday chores, including laundry and preparing dinner (I cheated and just heated up a little Vegan Harvest pizza and sautéed some mushrooms; we had no onions.) Later I took a bath in the basement bathtub, which was sparklingly clean after being professionally scrubbed yesterday.
The flood-swollen Chamomile "River," viewed from the edge of a bluff to its north. In the distance near the top of this photo, you can see the stone wall I built in the late summer and fall.
Click to enlarge.
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