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End of a good day

I went to bed about an hour ago and was just laying there awake thinking of what I’d put in a blog post. So rather than think about it, I thought I’d get up and write something and see if I can purge myself of it all and get some sleep!

First off, the biggest news is that I finally got the translation of the archaeology book sent off today! I don’t think it has sunk in yet. Lorraine finished her proofread on Friday and I got tore into it today and got it all done. It’s by far the biggest freelance project I’ve undertaken and, although I feel like I’ve acheived something really worthwhile, it’s not something I’ll be looking to do again in a hurry. It was too much for me at the end of the day and I bit off more than I could chew. Still, I wasn’t to know that.

So, to celebrate having my work done, it was time to put in the 36 GB Raptor drive I bought on eBay a couple of months ago. I have two 160 GB SATA drives and one 200 GB IDE drive in my main rig. The IDE drive is all data in one big partition, but each of the 160 GB drives has partitions of about 25 GB at the beginning of the drives for operating systems. For some time now I’ve wanted to put XP on its own drive, and the small-capacity 10,000 RPM Raptor was the obvious choice.

I built my system to be silent as it can be, part of which involves suspending the hard drive cage inside the case with elastic. With the 3 drives in there it was hard to balance the drive cage and so I’ve been running with the side panel off for a few months now because it touched the side of the unbalanced suspended drive cage and negated any benefits of suspending it in the first place. Now with four drives in the cage, it balances a lot better. Plus the fact that this is the third time I’ve done it so I have more experience of what elastic works and how to go about it.

I also installed an Icy Box drive cage in an empty drive bay so I can slide in SATA drives straight into the empty slot for back-ups, etc. I bought a 320 GB SATA drive to back up my collection of FLAC files from the media server to keep off-site as I’m paranoid about losing all my music. I have about 250 GB of FLACs right now, all on a server that I can stream to my Squeezebox 3 digital music players (one in the living room hooked up to the amp and one in the kitchen with a pair of powered speakers.). It has revolutionised the way I listen to music. I also plan to put my CD collection into CD binders for storage and throw out the jewel cases. They take up way too much room. I will keep the back-up drive at my wife’s office I reckon. I’m looking forward to the day when storage is so cheap and reliable that I can do the same with my DVDs!

Anyway, back to the drive installation. I got everything up and running before midnight then went to install XP on the Raptor. It was then that I discovered that the product key was in the ring binder that I’d just handed over to my accountant to do this year’s tax return. D’oh! Thankfully I was able to connect to the server where I keep my Thunderbird profile using Windows through Parallels on my MacBook and found the e-mail that Microsoft sent with the product key when I went legit from my hookey version. Now I’m glad I decided to keep my T-bird profile on the server!

I still enjoy geeking out on my rig, although it’s not quite so exciting as it used to be. I was thinking back as I lay in bed to the very first time I reinstalled Windows 98 on my first laptop (Pentium MMX 266 with 64 MB of RAM and a whopping 4 GB hard drive that the salesman told me I’d probably never fill!). The first time I entered format c: was quite nerve-wracking and exciting. Now it’s just a matter of course really, but still slightly exciting I guess. I’m going to leave Vista well alone by the way, just as I did with XP until service pack 1 was released. I find that XP does me just fine and don’t fancy the performance hit of Vista on my now aging rig (AMD 3500+ w/ 2 GB of RAM).

And onto another topic completely – we decided to start potty training Freya as of yesterday. We took her shopping so she could choose her own new pants (she chose frogs, princesses and strawberries) and also to get a new toilet seat as ours has been loose for years and would slide off to one side if you weren’t careful. We got one that the lid won’t fall down on (it drops down gently) and a cusioned insert for Freya to sit on. Oh, and a footstool with a tiger on it for her to climb up on. At the end of day 2, she still hadn’t got the hang of it and had gone through all her pants and most of her trousers too. It should be fun to see how she gets on at the crèche tomorrow!

Right, maybe now I’ll be able to sleep so I’ll close with a nice picture I took today and bid you all goodnight.