Toast With Jam

Computer struggles continue, but I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We got cablemodem last week, but due to technical difficulties (not, I am convinced, operator error) I could not reset my password, and so I was not allowed into the support area that contained the security software (virus, spyware, firewall, parental control, etc.). In the meantime, we were inundated with popup ads, some of which wormed their way onto our computer so that even when we unplugged the ethernet cable, they continued to raise browsers and attempt to reach the outside. The volume of popups made the computer basically unusable. (For all Windoze users (go ahead and point and laugh, MacForester), this page from the FTC is a great tip to help keep the pop-ups out in the first place.)

So when we finally got Cox techsupport to reset the password, we decided it would be a good idea to reformat the drive (partition) and reinstall Windoze 2Kpro yet again, to scrub any internet nasties that might have burrowed in, and it would be pretty low impact, since most of our data was still lifeboated and yet unpacked. The reinstall had a few extra quirks over last time. I'm not sure if the Windoze setup kept cycling and failing until I finally provided an Organization ("dis") to go with our User (by the way, our computer is now named BUBBAHOTEP, after one of the funkiest, most bizarre movies out there), or because of struggles with the new hard drive.

Anyways, it seems to be working OK now. I plan to install Linux (not sure if I'll stay with Red Hat or move to Debian or some such to take advantage of native NTFS support) on a 10G FAT32 partition that's ready to go (Windoze occupies a 10G NTFS partition, and the remaining 60G forms a NTFS partition that's intended to be the data store for dual-OS access). And of course I still have to deal with trying to recover 2 years of original, full-size digital pictures off the old hard drive; or at least 18mo or so of pictures from a backup CDROM that is failing to read.

Extra-geeky note: Knoppix is amazing! Knoppix is linux on a bootable CDROM. Any Windoze user can try out linux this way, without ever having to install anything. I even booted up to fully-operational linux without a hard drive plugged into my case!  If I knew what I was doing, I'm sure I could have used it to rescue my failing hard drive.


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