01 August 2005

Random Ramblings: Windows Here and There

It's been a Windows sort of day around here. My mainstay machine, which has been running Windows 2000 Pro for more than 2 years now, has been acting "funny" of late. I can't quite put my finger on it though. My anti-virus and spyware checkers don't report anything amiss, but the sensors in my gut are definitely getting bad vibes. And when this happens, it's always a good idea to do what your intuition tells you to do.

Granted, a whole lot of drudgery goes into a clean install. I have an installation checklist that's almost 4 pages long and past installs have usually required a full day's work. But admittedly, Windows does run nice and spiffy when it's fresh and clean, and given that I've procrastinated for two years now, I figured it's time to pay the piper. At least Windows 2000 is better than the Windows 9x family, where I've found yearly overhauls to be necessary.

This time I promise to document my Ghost backups a bit better (I have a dozen of such files, but don't remember EXACTLY what each one comprises). Good reason to throw out these 10+ gigabytes of backups as well. I also have to remind myself to visit the "ickier" sites on my second computer, not to mention playing with test programs on that computer as well. At least I'm not throwing out my comptuer as news sources say some people are doing when they get ovewhelmed by viruses or spyware.

08 October 2004

Random Ramblings: XOSL No More

While converting Wobble's Page 1 entries to Thingamablog format, I had the chance to re-read all of my past entries. Given that a lot of time has past since I wrote those things and as a way to get back my sea legs, I'm going to post some updated thoughts on these past entries in the coming days.

The last full-length article that I wrote more than a year ago was on XOSL, a freeware bootloader. Sad to say, XOSL isn't running on any computers that I use anymore, either at home or at work. The reasons for this about face are several:

  • My need to boot multiple operating systems from a single hard disk has now been mooted. I now have three computers attached to a 4-port KVM. One computer serves as my main work horse, a second computer is used when I need to do network related work, and the third computer accepts a removable drive that's ready to be loaded with any operating system that I choose to deposit on it (which I can do at a moment's notice using Norton Ghost). In addition I have a fourth computer, a server, running Linux that operates 24/7. If I have any non-disruptive Linux work to do, I can do it on that computer, either directly at the console, via an ssh client, or by booting from a thin client boot floppy (the server runs K12LTSP).

  • I had trouble getting my sidekick Petch to understand what XOSL was all about and why it was useful or necessary to use. I actually installed it on a pair of hard disks at work, but eventually removed it because I couldn't convince myself either that there was a justifiable reason to use it given that these were single purpose computers.

  • The fact too that further development on XOSL seems to be in limbo also influenced me somewhat. Not that I don't use orphaned software, I do, but ...
An interesting factoid: when you search for "XOSL" under Google, my original article ranks among the top 10 results found. If nothing else, this points to the fact that there have been relatively few write-ups of XOSL.

01 May 2003

Article: XOSL

I've just posted a new article, "XOSL: A Test Project", a rather lengthy piece on the freeware bootloader XOSL. This is still a work in progress though: two sections still need to be added and it could do with a few more screenshots.

08 February 2003

Article: Booting Linux from a Windows Boot Manager

Sigh, it HAS been a while, hasn't it? I just wrote a piece for a Linux class, re: how to boot Linux from a Windows boot manager.