It's a duck pond.
Why aren't there any ducks?
I don't know. There's never any ducks.
Then how do you know it's a duck pond?
Thursday, October 30
I've recovered 37,000 files so far. That leaves about 210,000 files to go.
If your filesystem has become corrupt and Windows no longer recognises it, panic not! Delay not, but buy Stellar Phoenix. It doesn't suck. It recovers files, without (so far) error. Quickly - uh, well, not actually quickly. But easily. Reliably.
Hooray for Stellar Phoenix! Hooray!
Now I just have to work out what I'm going to do with this 230GB of files I'm recovering...
Wednesday, October 29
Very much not yay.
I suddenly have 250GB less files to worry about. Came home this evening, thought about burning another DVD, decided to have a nap first. Had nap, came back to computer:
The disk in drive D is not formatted. Would you like to format it now?Given that drive D is a 250GB external hard disk, this is not a good sign.
Excuse me a moment.
fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
Sorry. I wonder if the disk is dead outright, or if the filesystem has been corrupted. I'll have to see what is available in the way of recovery tools.
Sigh. At least I got to back up the anime.
Update: The disk is not dead; the filesystem is corrupt. Probably recoverable. So, anyone know what the best, reasonably priced utility for recovering poodulated FAT32 filesystems is? I downloaded a copy of GetDataBack, which has let me know that the files are there. Is there something better I should be using? Does Partition Magic do this? (Because I have other uses for it, if it does.)
Update: The demo version of Stellar Phoenix has found 388,063 files totalling 377.859GB. This includes deleted files (which, given that the disk was full, are a lost cause - but that's okay, because all I want is the not-deleted files). I just told it to exclude the deleted files, and it's having a bit of a think. (Read: grinding the CPU into powder.) Every file I expected seems to be there, with no signs of corruption in the directory structures. The demo version won't let me at the files, but so far I'm tempted to buy this one.
Burnt 49 DVDs without a hiccup... Number 50 was a coaster.
I've ordered another hundred disks. Did I mention that I have a lot of files?
Tuesday, October 28
Another disk drive went South overnight. Acutally, given that this is the Southern Hemisphere, it may actually have gone North. Hard to tell without a magnetometer. Anyway, last night, working fine. This morning, as dead as Blogspot's archives on a bad day.
Fortunately, I spent much of the weekend running backups.
Unfortunately, I hadn't got around to that drive yet.
Of course, it's part of a RAID-5 array, so all I have to do is reboot, and it will fail the drive out, run a file system check...
Run a file system check...
Reboot. Go into interactive mode... I said, go into interactive mode...
Grr. Reboot. Go into interactive mode. Zap that filesystem out of the table so that it doesn't automount. And...
Reboot. Boot boot boot. Good. Mount the filesystem manually... Good.
Now, copy all the files across to... Um. Did I mention that I don't have any disk space left? Hmm, now that I've backed up all these files, I don't actually need to keep them on the disk. Not as such. So zzzzap! Bye bye 50GB of, well, stuff.
Copy copy. Now why is there an scp process running on the target machine, chewing up 99% of the CPU, and doing no I/O whatsoever? And why has my copy stalled? Kill the process. Kill the... Bugger. Reboot - the other box, this time.
Copy copy copy. And now I have no disk space again.
Sunday, October 26
Burning DVDs. Burn burn burnity burn. Number 18 is being toasted right now, containing episodes 1 to 25 of Groove Adventure Rave.
This, I have to say, is pretty cool. $2.40 for the blank DVD-R (Shintaro 4x) and it will hold a whole season of an anime series. (Or 9 episodes of Buffy.) I could have done this on my CD writer, but it would have required 7 times as many disks, so 7 times as much effort. Burning (counts on fingers) 126 CDs - probably more, in fact, because I'd only get one episode of Buffy to a CD - isn't all that attractive. In fact, I don't think I've burnt 126 CDs since I bought the writer. Writers. Um, there's four in the three main PCs, one for the notebook, one in the G4 Mac. I think the SGI has a CD writer too.
But DVDs are in the sweet spot, at least for now; they hold enough that it's not painful to do backups; both the drives and the disks are reasonably priced (and getting cheaper fast).
Sony (and others) are working to obsoletify the DVD as quickly as they can, and I salute them for their efforts. Who the heck wants to have to change disks in the middle of Fellowship of the Ring? And that's not even HD - which will naturally require higher bit rates.
But right now, DVDs it is, and I'm happy. Except that they are crappy little things with pathetic cover art. I'm sure some of you are old enough to remember LPs -y'know, vinyl - and how with 144 square inches to work with the artists could produce something that actually stood out. I have a whole bunch of laserdisks, too, and particularly the ones from Japan have some wonderful artwork.
Bring 'em back, I say. A 12" double-sided Blu-Ray disk would hold something like... carry the twelve... 300GB of data on a single layer. All of Buffy on one disk. Woot! And I'd actually be able to find the damn thing.
Friday, October 24
It looks like mu.nu was partially DoSed by a group of Golden-Yellow Poison Dart frogs.
I was going to post a warning, following information received from a covert source* that the poison from one Golden-Yellow Poison Dart frog could kill up to 1500 people, and that you should all send me large amounts of money to help me avert this menace by buying lots of computers because we all know that producing computers creates carbon dioxide, which is very bad for the plants of the Amazon Jungle** where the Golden-Yellow Poison Dart frog has its lair. So if you give me enough money, I can buy enough computers to wipe them out entirely! And even if I can only buy one computer, that might be enough to kill at least one frog, and save 1500 human lives.
You know it makes sense.
And the next thing I know, the gigabit line through wcg.net to Mu.Nu Global Headquarters goes down. No explanation, no warning, just the faint sound of ribbit from the conduit. Fortunately, gblx.net (who provide another of our gigabit lines) recently improved their frogproofing, so it was still possible to get at the goodies if you were coming from the right side of the net.
Anyway, I'm never one to back down in the face of danger, real or imagined, so here's the warning:
One Golden-Yellow Dart frog's poison can kill 1500 people.
This menace must be stopped before they kill again.
Please give generously to the World Anti-Wildlife Fund (WAWF) care of this blog.
* An ad for the Discovery Channel.
** Actually, carbon dioxide is good for plants, but we'll ignore that for the moment.
Thursday, October 23
That babble I posted over at Jen's about Picotechnology wasn't entirely babble. See, for example, this page on muonic atoms:
Or this one:
A muon m is a lepton with mass of 105MeV
It is possible to replace one of the electron in an atom by a negative muon.
[Scary-looking equations go here.]
Therefore muonic orbits much closer to nucleus
Since the muon (mu) mass is 206.77 times larger than the electron (me) mass,the atomic radius of muonic systems is approximately 200 times smaller than the H atom bohr radius.Since mu/mp~ 0.1,where mp is a proton mass, considerable isotope effects are expected to occur in muonic molecules.The lifetime of the muon is ~ 2 ns,which is much longer than current intense laser pulse durations,thus allowing in principle a possibility to manipulate muonic systems by superintense (I> 10 **20 W/cm2) lasers. Such high intensities are required since the ionization potentials are consequently 200 times larger than H and the muonic unit of laser intensity becomes 200**4 times larger than the atomic unit Io= 3.5 x 10 **16 W/cm2.The corresponding muonic time unit is 200 times shorter than the atomic one (24 attoseconds),ie 120 zeptoseconds. We derive scaling rules for the behavior of muonic atoms and molecules exposed to superintense laser fields using quasistatic models of tunnelling ionization and dissociaition akin to our previous work on H2+ in intense laser fields, ( Phys Rev Lett 84,3562(2000), Phys Rev A 63,,023409 (2001)). Ionization and dissociation rates for the muonic systems, ppu,ddu,ttu,will be presented for currently available superintense (I~10**22 W/cm2) 800 nm laser pulses in order to discuss manipulation scenarios such as laser induced recollision at such ultrahigh intensities where proton ponderomotive energies of 1 MeV can be now created.Zeptoseconds! Haha! Those wacky physicists!
But anyway: Smaller atoms! Coming soon to a store near you! But you have to act fast.
Update: This is why my lab exploded. Well, that and three hundred cases of Jolt Cola on a hot summer day...
Saturday, October 18
I had to reconfigure the corporate firewall yesterday to allow access to a web-based application.
"Why", I hear you ask, "did you need to reconfigure the firewall, if this application is, as you say, web based?"
Because the web-based application is being run over Citrix.
For the non-technical reader, this is like... Um, help me out here, my analogy-generator seems to be broken... Like you need to get from New York to L.A., so you buy your airline ticket and then drive to L.A. airport, where you then rent a car.
Or something. Anyway, it's really, really dumb.
Update: Here's another try at an analogy:
You want to go get some lunch at the drive-through, so you go out and buy a truck, and then you put your car on the back of the truck, and when you get to the drive-through you unload the car and buy your lunch, and then you load the car back onto the truck and drive back to wherever you were.
Whereupon you find that they left out the fries which are the best part of the meal dammit!
In other words, it's totally pointless and stupid and makes everything harder for all involved, wasting huge amounts of time and money in the process and delivering a product which is greatly inferior to what you would have had if you'd just done the obvious thing in the first place.
In a word: Dumb.
Friday, October 17
... on the Blogosphere. Again.* Of course, mu.nu still works, but now I've read everything there. Maybe I should go back and add some comments.
* Looks like another outage at Hosting Matters.
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