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Sunday 11.27.05: Week in Review

An odd week -- let's call it a holiday week.

Everything took a back seat to upgrading my desktop's operating system to Windows XP Pro, with the goal of better networking with my laptop. The point of getting a high-powered laptop in the first place was to have a back-up system for the inevitable desktop crashes. So I put it to the test. Transferred my e-mail, web authoring, and checking applications to the laptop and attached my removable hard drives. Detached my desktop from the internet and plugged the ethernet cable into the laptop. I was in business.

I can be competent with these things but I'm s-s-l-o-o-o-w -- learning and trying to jot things down as I go.

The idea was that I'd wipe out my hard drive on the desktop named Bluejay with a "clean install" of XP, then rebuild it with a new "identity" (kind of like a witness protection program for born-again computers).

The process of documenting all my applications, tracking down application installation disks, and digging out/updating critical device drivers finally threw me into an obsessive groove. My important files were all backed up but I still went on a search and rescue mission lest I miss one original paintbrush or downloaded font.

But when I went to make a backup CD of all my fonts, they got weirdly "stuck" in the "ready to write to CD" mode and couldn't be deleted. I could read from the CD but not write to it. The demon in the machine. I couldn't wait to reformat the hell out it.

Sometimes being well organized gives you the opportunity to be super-duper well-organized. I spent hours transferring all my Rodadex cards of applications installed, dates, and serial numbers to a Word file. Compare it to what I see on Bluejay's hard drive. Nothing must be missed. I have 33 separate applications, with an assortment of add-ons and plug-ins.

When I finally got around to doing the clean install of XP it worked differently than expected. Isn't Satan just that way? I decided to give the desktop the new identity of "Ewald," after my grandfather -- a kind man who knelt by his bed every night to say his prayers and a technically skilled man who could fix anything. A worthy patron saint.

Anyway, the installer program told me it wanted to partition and install XP on my D: drive. Oh, shit! That's where all my video creations are. No! This panic flummoxed me enough so that I missed another instruction and wound up with 2 versions of XP Pro on the same C: partition -- a "dual-boot" system. I could boot up the demon-possessed Bluejay (with all my old files intact) or the fresh-from-Baptism, cleansed-of-original-sin Ewald. Ugly.

To make a long story short, I scoured the internet for instructions to do the final exorcism of Bluejay. Done.

That was Monday through Wednesday. I have been reloading application software ever since. The irony: my desktop still won't see the shared folders on my laptop.


Thanksgiving was Thursday. Jim and I usually have our own little turkey dinner for two, but this year his daughter made a family feast of it. Jim's son Roger came up with his wife and daughter. And Jim's ex-wife -- Heidi & Roger's mother -- also flew in with her husband. We happily gorged ourselves -- I guess mix-and-match families are no big deal anymore.

On Friday afternoon the gang came over here for happy hour. Jim and I made a giant pot of soup for dinner, but they didn't want to stay, so we know what we'll be eating all week.

Tomorrow: back to business!

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