Saturday, April 17, 2004

System upgrading continues.

I finally got around to upgrading my Dell 600m Centrino laptops Wi-Fi mini-pci card. I really like how the industry has adopted the mini-pci standard to allow for easy upgrades. In this case, I went from the Intel 2100 802.11b to the Dell 1300 802.11b/g. Upgrade went very smoothly. Now all that is left is to install the new Dell 2300 router and another Dell 2300 as a bridge for my upstairs network.

Speaking of upgrades, the latest Microsoft April 2004 security updates caused a big mess on my recently installed Dell 400sc (server setup as a workstation). I believe I read in some posts on the windowsupdate newsgroup that some of these updates affected the kernel. Anyway, I installed the updates and after rebooting new XP Home system was taking forever to boot and then displayed the message that I had no pagefile.sys. Well I thrashed about for hours uninstalling and trying to fix things with no luck. Finally, I was looking around and discovered that I had not disabled System Restore. Normally, I have disabled this service in the interest of performance, etc. But, by a lucky chance I had left it running. Well, I rolled back the system to a checkpoint a few days before and now everything is back to normal. I am normally not interested in hand holding features like system restore but I have to admit this time it saved my bacon. For the time being, I will leave it on. I have, though, turned off automatic updates due the recent April security update fiasco. Maybe I'll come back to the updates in a few months when the dust has settled. Microsoft continues to do a poor job of managing this process and it really hurts their customers. XP SP2 is being touted as the end all solution. We shall see.

Finally had to get the lawnmower running yesterday to cut the lawn. I knew I had a challenge because I had lent my mower to my neighbor late last fall and he returned it in atrocious condition with the primer bulb missing. Luckily, I still had an extra primer bulb. I resolved to install it correctly this time so it wouldn't come off. That went well, but of course because I didn't run the gas tank to empty before storing the whole thing was gummed up so it wouldn't start. After many primes and taking off the carburetor filter, etc., I finally got it started. I want to change the cutting blade with one I had sharpened a few seasons ago. I'll do this soon.

With the warmer weather, I will have to start thinking about resuming my house maintenance. I need to immediately address my upper window trim rot with replacement non-wood trim. I've done this on the ground level with good results but working at the second story level will be challenging. I'll first get the supplies at Home Depot. Maybe next week.

[Listening to: Stone Ridge - Tomasz Stanko - From the Green Hill (08:00)]

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