Monthly Archives: December 2005

Now for some better news: YAY!

We went to three computer stores today looking for local solutions… The first had SATA capable computers, but it was all via the motherboard so they didn't stock PCI cards or enclosures. The second carried no SATA at all. The third, a little dive in a strip mall, managed to find an old 4-drive SATA RAID card covered in dust at the bottom of a box, although they didn't carry power cables for the drives…

But, with that adaptor, a power cable scavenged from a derelict computer here, and a precariously dangling drive, I've managed to bring all of my files online. Right now I'm waiting for the copy to begin from one of the mirrors to my RAID NAS device for archiving (I don't even begin to want to think about how long it's going to take to get from “Preparing to Copy” to “Copying” there are so many files). So anyway, problem solved I think!

Not so fast now…

So no luck on transplanting the drives from my old laptop to my new one. As I mentioned, the old computer had a pair of 2.5″ 80gig S-ATA drives in a RAID mirror… Problem is, my new laptop has a pair of 2.5″ 100gig IDE drives, so the transplant is a no go.

Luckily Rachel, Jon, and Phil are all in the US and Canada right now and will be back soon, so at the end of the week I should be back up and runing if someone can pick up a 2.5″ external enclosure for a Serial-ATA notebook drive (ie. like this I think). For their reference, here are a couple photos of the drives so there's no confusion on the specific type of enclosure needed.

To be clear, that picture shows two drives stacked on top of each other (I haven't completely dismantled the machine or the dual-drive rails). The enclosure will only have to fit one of them of course, and there are two connectors (two drives) visible in the pictures.

This does mean that the end-of-year posting will be pushed back a few days because the data I need to confirm the winners are on those drives.

Lil' Gitmo

Our nextdoor neighbour (at the original house in Fidepaz) just built a crazy fence around their empty lot… I'm thinking they're setting up their own little free speech zone.

Further Manta Montage progress?

Today in search of someone to fix the transmission problems on my Manta Montage (which is built around a Chevy 350 V8 mated to a mid-80s Porsche 5-speed transmission) I went out with my mechanic to the wrecking yard district about four kilometers outside La Paz… As you would expect, it's legions of old cars scattered in haphazard piles amidst immense ancient cacti on the desert hills, and in the middle of this graveyard are open air mechanics shops performing Frankensteinian miracles in building pristine auto componets from all the death.

I'll try and take a picture next time I head back (which will be Wednesday).

Perhaps inspired by that, I think I may attempt surgery on my laptop today… Unless I'm missing something, I should be able to transplant on of the mirrored drives into my new laptop and get back up and running with minimal effort. Other than that I'll be working on the year-end shirts today, although unfortunately until I pull the data off the downed computer I won't have exact numbers as to who's on those top-contributor lists.

I'm feeling lonely* already because Rachel is out of town (getting one of her sleeves finally completed among other things) for a few days (thankfully she's back by New Year's, which is the fifth anniversary of when we met), and the only “person” here in the house is a tiny yet giant pain in the ass that insists on sleeping in my lap all day long. To be clear I'm talking about Rachel's chihuahua, Tater.

But it's OK, he's a charming little fellow. Photo c/o Jon.

* No offense intended to Saira, Michael, Rafael, and my other friends here in La Paz!

Christmas in Space

Please don't sue me Channel 4, especially because of these two links to download the excellent British reality show Space Cadets in which a number of people are tricked into thinking that they've travelled into orbit. Other than the fact that British production values suck if you're used to fast-moving American TV, the show was hilarious. Here's a relevant clip of one of the actors (three actors are with the group of twelve people) passing the time during “space training in Russia” with a song:


If I was a person with more time on my hands, I'd edit the twenty episodes (fifteen hours of raw TV) down to three hours. My short version might not fly in the UK, but you can bet that US viewers would love it… Not that I have more time on my hands to do such things unfortunately.