Why Did I Ever Leave Fandom?

January 22, 2007

I’d forgotten how very wonderful the women were.

I don’t have to be nice to impress people, keep jobs, or make others comfortable. I’m fucking tired of you chimps. This is your Very Special Promise:


Dangerous Beauty: Lea Hernandez-DivaLea

There aren’t any men like this in techgeekland.

LifeDrive Notes: Failure #1

January 22, 2007

I finally had a stretch of several hours to sit at the desktop PC to attempt bringing the LifeDrive back to, uh, Life.

This report will be a source of great merriment among the technomaniacs. But I figure every other brave/desperate dope like me is going to go through this process too, so even though I come off like an eejit, I intend to document it to save others from blindly flailing around as I have done.

I downloaded dd for Windows. This was the first Duh! It can’t just be clicked on to run. No. It doesn’t work like that. It took me some time to figure out that what it actually does is add the dd command to the Command Line Interface of Windows XP. Of course, this is the sort of baby step the tech jocks don’t bother to mention.

And, oh, using the CLI again was brain-damaging. I had to dredge my vast and cluttered mind for those damned few DOS commands of the early 1980s I once knew. Like how to change a directory and list files. Going through that, I can’t believe there were once people who preferred DOS over the MacOS in the mid-80s. No doubt those people are now drooling away watching static-y teevee in nursing homes for Alzheimer’s victims. CLIs kill brain cells!

Once I had the dd thing sorted out, I invoked it after plugging the LifeDrive’s 4GB Microdrive into a USB 2.0 multi-card r/w.

But I didn’t see anything that resembled the Microdrive pop up in the cryptic list of storage devices.


OK, maybe the reader couldn’t actually read a Microdrive. Others have reported such problems. However, the r/w light on it did show activity, so something had gone on.

I tried another multi-card r/w. This one was, groan, USB 1.0.

I invoked dd again.

Same result.

WTF? This I just refused to believe: that both r/w devices cannot see a Microdrive. I refused to believe it. Refused!!

I reviewed some of the directions I referenced here and saw that some people needed to reboot their machines with the Microdrive already attached.

OK, I tried that.

Cutting this short: Same bloody result! With both r/ws, dd did not list the Microdrive.

Then I saw in this 1src thread a mention of something called Windows Disk Management. I’d never heard of that before (go ahead and laugh, you CLI-huggers!). I had to use The Google Beast to find out where it lived in XP.

I got a Microsoft Knowledgebase page: How to use Disk Management to configure basic disks in Windows XP. That was the first time in my entire life of having to use the Microsoft Knowledgebase that I got the page I actually needed.

The 1src post then said:

When I placed the LDHD into the CF reader, Windows Disk Management saw it as a physical disk with the following:

partition1: 65MB, healthy
partition2: 22MB, unallocated
partition3: 3.73GB, healthy

Ah! This was good, useful stuff!

For me, however, Windows Disk Management reported:

Disk 1 Removable (E:) no media
Disk 2 Removable (F:) unreadable
Disk 3 Removable (G:) no media
Disk 4 Removable (H:) no media

And that explained why dd was not listing the Microdrive. Because:

The disk is inaccessible because of possible hardware failure, corruption, or I/O errors.

This was the point where I decided to give up. For now.

I have several possible future steps:

1) Learn some Linux.
2) Learn how to create a bootable Linux CD.
3) Learn how to get my PC to boot from that CD into Linux instead of XP.
4) Then get dd_rescue and try that. (This might be a total waste of time!)


1) Learn some Linux.
2) Learn how to create a bootable Linux CD.
3) Learn how to get my PC to boot from that CD into Linux instead of XP.
4) Follow these hackndev instructions. (Which means learn a hell of lot of Linux!)


Use Kirk’s Kobayashi Maru solution.

By this time, those with far more tekkk sKillZ than me are probably laughing like mad or ripping out their hair over some very (to them) obvious points I’ve missed.

No matter.

It would have been just swell if everything had gone smoothly. But I hadn’t expected it to. The entire point here is to be able to learn how to tranny a LifeDrive. And to learn what problems might crop up in that process and how to solve them.

My money and time haven’t yet been wasted. I’ve learned how to open up a LifeDrive, how to disconnect its battery, how to disconnect its speaker, how to lose its two wee feet (yep, I managed to do that; but I could have done without learning that!), how to slice through that eejit This Will Void Your Warranty!!! sticker, how to remove the Microdrive, how to use dd, and how to use Windows Disk Management.

And for what I paid for the LifeDrive — a unit that is in otherwise near-mint condition! — I am still ahead of the game. I am still way below the price of buying a new LifeDrive. The three hours I’ve spent in time go under the I’ve Learned Something New category. That is an accrual, not a deficit.

This is where things are right now. I must ponder my next steps.

Some things I wonder about, though. If that Microdrive is a total dead duck, what does Palm do with it when it’s sent in for service under warranty? If these drives are so prone to suicide, does Palm complain to Hitachi and get a refund or what? Does Palm have some whizzard software that does an xyzzy to determine if the drive can be salvaged? I wonder what the dumpsters behind Palm HQ are filled with? Hmmm…

So for those who want to sex-change a LifeDrive, here are the first two steps not offered anywhere else:

1) Brush up on those damned DOS commands!

2) Run Windows Disk Management first on the Microdrive to see if further action is possible.

LifeDrive Surgery Class is dismissed for now.

Harlan Ellison’s T-Shirt Rules Here

January 22, 2007

It was in an RBCC or TCJ interview, waaaay back in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

The interviewer either mentioned, or Harlan Ellison himself mentioned, a T-shirt he wore around the house with the following slogan on it:

Dig Or Split.

That’s what rules this blog.

If you don’t like it, scram.

If you understand what’s happening here, stick around.

And Then Google’s Stock Finally Thank You Jesus Crashes And Takes The Entire Global Economy Down The Toilet, Thank You Science!

January 22, 2007

Ultra-Dense Optical Storage — on One Photon

Why should this be surprising to anyone except The Moron Set?

h i n t : D.N.A.

Keep buying that bandwidth, Google.

Waste. Of. Money. Baby.

Oh, and are you eejits still laughing?

— linkswipe from Warren Ellis