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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Wednesday 17 March 2004 (Day View)

17.03.2004Wednesday 17 March – Hot, Relaxing and Fast

I was awoken by the phone and Joe waking Tonya, several times. Every known relative and friend must have phoned her this morning. Eventually it got too hot to lie in bed, and I was forced to get up, shower, and face the day. I decided to decrease my computer’s memory management settings to a slower and potentially more stable setting to see if that fixed the unusual problems I’m having with Adobe Audition, ACDSee6 and NVIDIA’s nvDVD. I don’t seem to have any problem with any of the other programs I use, but I find it hard to believe that those three programs could possibly be as buggy as they appear to be, and figured it was worth a try.
  Once in the BIOS, however, I foolishly decided to overclock the RAM to the maximum, just to see what happens. I also, in the process, upped the system and PCI bus speeds considerably, and rebooted. Not surprisingly, the computer wouldn’t start, which isn’t normally a problem. What was a problem though, is that it wouldn’t start somewhat drastically, and that I have fancy failsafe dual BIOS, which I have set to reset the main BIOS if, after twenty seconds, the machine hasn’t gotten past the POST, and if that fails, to revert to a prior BIOS version. The problem was that I had a bad feeling I’d overclocked things too much to leave the machine on for twenty seconds so it would reset, and because there shouldn’t normally be a need for it, my computer doesn’t have a CMOS reset jumper like most do. It seemed to be looping through the low-level hardware initialization – I could hear the hard drives constantly seeking and resetting which was what worried me the most. The power LED did an interesting strobe, which I haven’t seen before and I suppose is some sort of error indicator.
  After a read through the motherboard manual, which includes a reasonably detailed schematic of the actual logical (as well as physical) layout of the motherboard, I managed to find what would, hopefully, reset the BIOS’s CMOS without having to remove the battery and lose all the RAID settings and stuff. I went and sharpened a screwdriver on a file and managed to short across the two tracks I intended to, which sort of did what I hoped, and rebooted. The BIOS was probably corrupted, because it reverted to a backup BIOS with default settings, which let me reboot the computer and enter the BIOS again, where I set everything back to how it was originally, checked that everything ran, and then rebooted again. Interestingly, this time it used the newer BIOS, but with the settings from the older BIOS, which seems a bit odd considering one is an Award BIOS and the other Phoenix BIOS, but it all worked.
  I then, having determined that all hardware was functional and apparently stable, noticed that some programs, specifically ACDSee6, no longer ran. They gave cryptic error messages, which were no help at all, and refused to quit. I messed around for ages, eventually deleting all registry references to ACDSee, along with all its databases, uninstalled and reinstalled it and some older versions before noticing that my system clock had reset back to 2002. After adjusting it to the current time and date, everything except ACDSee6 worked. I still haven’t got ACDSee to run as it used to, but that’s probably not surprising, as there’s about ten and a half copies of it installed with several different and overlapping databases and plug-in repositories.
I drove up to Smith Road, where I bought some scratch-its for Joe, $1 of lollies, and $6 chips and six potato scallops, which we ate for dinner along with some salad.
I’ve just had an argument in the #bits channel, as usual. I made the terrible mistake of asking “is anything faster than SCSI”, which, after Clint helpfully pointed out that light was, I quickly clarified to mean “is any (semi-normal or common) external computer interface faster than SCSI”. They then proceeded to say, repeatedly, that “fibre optic” was faster than SCSI, which is clearly mixing two different issues. “Fibre optic” might be faster than “copper” or “electrons down a wire”, but that isn’t an answer to my question. I tried to counter their anal-retentiveness by rephrasing my question to “available protocol”, but it was too late. Someone then pointed out that “speed” is equated to “distance per time”, but they didn’t seem to be able to understand the basic concept of context. “Speed” could equally validly be interpreted as “data per time” (which was clearly what I meant), methamphetamines, a transmission gear, the sensitivity of a photographic film to light or any number of other things, depending on the context, and the context in which I used it was pretty clear – all of which I pointed out, but to no avail. Once they reach critical mass in there, they all back each other up, begin ridiculing their opponents on unrelated (and often illogical) matters, and generally become immature and annoying, before banning whoever it is that dared to point out they are wrong or ask a simple question. It’s a bit annoying at times. At least the great “Linux versus the known universe” and “open-source versus happiness, food and wellbeing” debates weren’t involved.

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