{January 25, 2015}   grub 2 and multiple hard drives

I recently set my home computer up to dual-boot, and it took far longer than it should have, so I thought I’d blog about one of the issues.

I’ve got two hard drives; windows is undisturbed on hda, and linux I installed on hdb. After jumping through some bizarre hoops to get the bios booting off hdb (wtf asus bios, why do you hate multiple hard drives), I discovered grub couldn’t boot windows. I could boot windows from hda just fine, so I knew the problem was with grub…

First problem: 90% of the information out there is still for grub 1, not grub 2. they’re almost completely different beasts, with different config locations (/boot/grub/menu.1st vs /etc/grub.d/), different config languages, and even different bloody partition numbering systems! Oh, and of the 10% that is for grub 2, 90% of that is for ubuntu, which has a few convenience scripts other distros lack.

I’ll condense what I learnt about that here:

  1. Most of the stuff in /etc/grub.d/ is fancy autodetection scripts that you don’t want to touch.
  2. What you do want to touch is /etc/grub.d/40_custom. leave the tail line intact, and treat the part below as your old menu.1st, but with the new config language (api reference and examples).
  3. Ubuntu’s update-grub is just grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

Once I had my head wrapped around grub 2 enough to get a test menuentry up, the next question was, what is actually wrong with the autodetected windows entry? The error windows threw had no shortage of google results, but a lot were from mangled windows bootloaders, or 32 vs 64-bit issues. Most of the rest talked about mbr vs gpt, or legacy bios vs uefi, or secure boot; I was almost convinced one of these was the issue, despite them all being in the context of windows 8 (I’ve got windows 7), but I kept testing other things while I thought about it, and happily stumbled on the solution:

It turns out that while installing opensuse, I had let grub swap the order of the hard drives, and it was passing on this swap to windows, confusing the heck out of it. I converted some grub 1 advice to grub 2 syntax (hint: map is now drivemap) and windows happily booted up from grub. :)

I’m worried by what I learnt about UEFI and Secure Boot, though. Between bricking bugs and vendor lock-in, it sounds like things could get ugly next time I want a new computer. :(

{October 5, 2014}   Pocket hacking

I saw an article about pockets today (or rather the lack thereof on womens’ clothing), and it prompted me to finally start the blog about pockets and pocket-like things that I’ve been putting off way too long. So long, in fact, that I’m not really sure where to start. This is going to be a long one – but don’t worry, there are plenty of images. :)

One of my hobbies the last couple of years has been working on pocket alternatives (utility belts, purse mods, etc). But I feel like the story starts much further back…

Pockets to Purses to Utility Belts

In grade school, I had pockets. And I loved pockets. I always carried at least a pencil and notepad, probably as far back as grade 2 (I remember writing poems in it at recess). By highschool, I was into cargo pants, and filled my pockets with all kinds of useful things.

In university, my style changed, and I didn’t want to wear cargo pants any more. But that meant less pockets – and the problem has been getting steadily worse ever since. These days, even jeans have undersized or fake pockets. Skirts and dresses almost never have any at all.

At first, I tried offloading some of the pocket stuff to my backpack. That had problems, though – especially for my wallet and phone. The backpack was harder for me to reach, and easier for thieves. One good development came from that, though – I started thinking about backpack organization (but I’ll leave that for another post).

I resisted buying a purse for a long time – I’m not quite sure why. Probably because I still felt uncomfortable with anything so stereotypically feminine. They looked incredibly impractical, too. But one day I saw one that was perfect for me – small enough to not hurt my shoulder, adjustable so I could stop it from swinging around while cycling, and comfortably androgynous without being ugly. It even had a detachable strap, so I could easily untangle it from jackets and backpacks.

That purse lasted several years, and was repaired quite a bit, until the zipper was truly unsalvageable. :) my essentials were in there, easily reached and secure, and everything else went in my backpack.

[side note: it turns out that purse is still available on the interwebs – but they only ship to the states. FFFFFUUUUUUUUUU]

Since then, I’ve never found a purse quite as good. Purses have some inherent disadvantages that annoy me, anyways. I have to remember to take my purse off before adding or removing a sweater or jacket. It swings around wildly at inconvenient times. It’s never as waterproof as it ought to be in such a rainy city (see also: hats). It can only hold a tiny weight without being a strain on my shoulder. And there’s always that little fear that I’ll accidentally leave it somewhere.

So, a few years ago, I started looking into utility belts. I’ve seen some really pretty ones in stores, but it’s infuriatingly hard to find one that even fits me, let alone suits my needs. They seem mostly built for much larger girls.

I do own a couple, though. The first one was a slim leather-and-brass thing I found in a discount bin at a stall at a festival. At the time, my phone just barely fit in one of the main pouches. It was useful for a while, but just couldn’t quite hold enough; I’m not sure my current phone would fit at all. The second utility belt was bigger, but a little too big; it was just a little awkward reaching the bottom of the pockets, and there wasn’t a good safe place for a phone to not get scratched. It was also kind of ugly.

With those, I discovered that utility belts had their own set of disadvantages, too. Pouches that were small and snug still had an amazing ability to interfere with seating, despite my small frame, and get caught on chair arms and such. Pouches that were bigger tended to flap around awkwardly, and interfered even more. If my pants actually had pockets, they were harder to reach (but at this point that hardly matters). Utility belts never have any waterproofing, so they have to hide under my jacket, making awkward lumps. Even if they did have waterproofing, taking the belt off to put my jacket on would probably be even more annoying than doing the same with a purse.

Still, I wanted to try my hand at solving these problems – or at least making a utility belt with appropriately sized pockets. Somewhere in my planning, I had the idea to start small and modular, with pouches that could attach to any belt (or combine to form giga-purse), so that I could experiment more easily. The first one: a simple phone holder.

Modular pockets: Iteration 1

I was very unsure about that phone holder, so I decided to make a rough prototype out of foam. On the one hand, I was right: even before finishing it I had plenty of ideas for improvements. On the other hand, it was a bit too fragile, and broke often enough to interfere with testing. Still, I patched it up and used it for a while, and learned a lot.

At about the same time, I was looking for a way to put my wallet on my belt. I had a nicely sized wallet that even looked nice; the challenge was making it attach so that I could easily detach it to fish out coins or keys, without making it easy to steal. I ended up using magnetic purse-clasps to attach it easily, with a chain to prevent theft and forgetfulness.

Between the phone case and the wallet, I discovered some pretty tricky issues. If the belt they were on wasn’t in belt loops, they would slide along the belt, and the belt itself would slide too. If they were on belt loops, getting them on and off meant taking the whole belt out and then rethreading it. And reaching them under my jacket was very inconvenient, especially with my long jacket. The wallet got knocked off fairly easily, and while the chain kept it safe, it was still annoying.

In the end, I went back to purses while I planned the next iteration, and found myself too busy for sewing soon after. I did make a purse organizer at one point (the wallet didn’t fit in any purse), but the fabric was weaker than expected and soon gave out, and the pouches were just deep enough to be awkward anyways.

It wasn’t until this summer, when I saw a woman wearing an awesome leg-holster-thingy, that I was inspired to try again.

Iteration 2

First off was a new phone holder, this time out of fabric, and including a pouch for things like lip balm and earplugs (yep, still got the fucking noise sensitivity). I stuck velcro on the back of it, then threw together a quick armband with elastic, velcro and a safety pin to test. It worked surprisingly well and became a handy little thing to use around the house, or at parties safe enough to leave my wallet unattended. The velcro keeps it from shifting too much when I’m pulling the phone out, and also is easy to detach (a bit too easy, though; I can’t wear it outside until I have some clip to hold it securely).

Oh, and I also added a Velcro patch to my Halloween purse, since it didn’t have a
separate space for my phone:

Molle Experiments

After discussing the pocket problem with some friends, one of them introduced me to the molle system. tl;dr: it’s how the military attaches modular pouches to vests, backpacks, etc. This seemed great – one of the problems I was trying to solve had already been researched; they just hadn’t made it look pretty.

Of course, it turned out to be not quite so simple. I tried making a simple molle strap with a velcro patch, so that I could attach the phone case to a belt. The first attempt undid itself at the slightest pull. :P It turns out that the way molle straps usually loop around a bit wasn’t just redundancy; you need at least one fold to keep it from popping open. Luckily I was able to get that minimal one fold by just moving half of the snap, and then I had a usable fastener.


That wasn’t the only problem, though. I was back to the old issue of loops over belts: they slide around the belt, and the pressure tends to make the belt bunch up. I’m hoping to solve that on the next iteration, by making a belt that’s two layers thick, sewn together to make small molle loops. I’ve also got a crazy idea involving those kitchen bag clips… probably won’t work. :)

Anyways, at the moment I’m working on a pouch to hold laundry things. It’ll be good practice and a test of the molle thing. Once that’s done, I’ll make a belt to hold it and my phone case with less slipping. If that works out, the next project could be something for outside the house. :)

Winter is Coming

It turns out there are seasonal issues with these things too, though. The phone-on-armband doesn’t work so well when the temperature is in that awkward range where my sweater is on and off every few minutes. It’s harder to get it on over a sweater, too. The utility belt is more useful in summer, when I can avoid the jacket issues I already mentioned. I kinda wonder if I should add molle loops to the jackets themselves, to make up for their sad little tiny pockets… But then I have to worry about weight distribution and whether it’ll make the jacket swing around…

Anyways, that’s a peek into what I’ve been working on when I’m not programming! :) I’ll try and remember to post again when I’ve done more experiments. Maybe next time I’ll try to summarize the problems and solutions I’ve found, too, since this post was more of a narrative. I still feel like I have more questions than answers right now.

{March 29, 2010}   an intel rant

oy. again I’m regretting buying a laptop full of intel hardware.

since I replaced the wifi card I’m not getting any kernel panics… and I gave up on compositing long ago… no, today it’s *sound* that’s let me down.

see, I have this lovely HD TV that my dad left. it’s got lots of different ports on it. no computer audio input… but it does have hdmi, and I noticed the PS3 was sending audio over that hdmi cable just fine.

so I plugged my laptop into the hdmi, and the video Just Worked – two separate screens, and plasma even sent one of my containments over to the tv screen. :) it’s the first time I’ve seen that on my own computer – I’m used to plugging in a projector and seeing a copy of my laptop screen.

anyways, I played around with this dual-monitor setup for a minute, then went to play the show I was planning to watch. and the sound came out my crappy, horrible, useless laptop speakers. I played with phonon, I played with kmix… nothing could get that sound to go to the tv.

a few days later I went and googled the issue. and tried some things. and googled some more. what I found is that the problem was solved for my laptop in 2008 – but only for nvidia and ati hardware. not for intel. I kept googling, but that appears to be the end of the story. two years later, nothing has changed. with intel hardware, when the laptop thinks it’s sending sound to hdmi, it’s just getting dropped into the bit bucket. :P

I even thought to try it in another distro… I got the new plasma-netbook reference thing, which is based on opensuse. with *that* I had no wifi or sound at *all*, and the multi-monitor support was all kinds of buggy (although compositing seemed to work fairly well). sigh. intel simply does not do audio over hdmi in linux.

goddamnit intel. it’s 2010. how hard can it be to do something all your competitors did two years ago?

update: some guy in #intel-gfx has it working on a different dell laptop in ubuntu and fedora. still doesn’t work on my laptop with a kubuntu livecd. guh. so i guess they’ve implemented it for some hardware but not all.

{July 23, 2009}   dell is *fast*

so there was a bit of confusion on monday (some twit told me fedex would arrive that day and take the laptop, when actually it was purolator sometime in the next two days giving me a box and asking me to call back for pickup), but tuesday morning I had a box to put my laptop in and tuesday afternoon it was on its way to toronto. I was told 7-10 business days, but thursday morning the laptop was back. :) they just replaced all the faulty stuff, yay :)

all was not perfect… the dvd drive wouldn’t play movies, and I’m still not sure whether it was testing it in vista (my very first time using it! god it’s annoying) or upgrading libdvdread, but it works again now. the sound issues are reduced but not totally gone – I have to pull my headphones out a bit or the sound gets this weird underwater effect. the good speakers seem to go in further, though, past that weird spot. good enough for me. :)

so, yay! I have a laptop again! :) I’m quite impressed at the speed. maybe it helped that I had a post-it on the keyboard saying “thank you” ;)

now I just have to decide whether to spend nearly $300 on another year of support, or take my chances and put the money towards getting a new laptop when this one eventually dies…

{July 19, 2009}   temporarily away

so, I finally got tired of all the little hardware problems with my laptop. I called dell. I jumped through their hoops. I backed everything up. and tomorrow they’re sending a box for me to put my laptop in.
it’ll be back, without the hardware issues (I hope), in 7-10 business days.

this means no laptop for two weeks. :/ sucky, but it was the least painful time of year to do this. and the warranty is only good for another month anyways.

I do have my n810 and my ancient desktop machine, and pete says I can borrow his laptop if I need to – but getting a proper working environment set up always takes time. and effort. and I hate doing it. so I’m going to have to cut one or two plugins from my gsoc project. perhaps I can get them done after gsoc, or perhaps someone else can write them – they’re really not that hard. :)

it’s funny… I love packing and unpacking *things*. moving is fun for me. but moving to a new *computer* is something I hate. I just want my computer to stay the same and stay working, and there’s always a ton of little details that don’t Just Work or are different or something…

{November 28, 2008}   the xps m1330

I’m not awake today, so blog title creativity has reached a new low… anyways, peter asked me to blog about my laptop again, so here it is.

I’ve been using it for over 3 months now, so I suppose it’s safe to say is does work. :) hibernation and suspend have been great; only two or three hibernation failures since I got it, and I hibernate at least once a day. :)

I think I’ve ranted about most of the problems already, really… the keyboard gets some keys stuck if I press them at the exact wrong time, which is apparently a driver issue, but I can live with it. the bad wifi drivers are a real pain (while I’ve kinda gotten used to using wired ethernet at home, I’m concerned about running into openwrt routers at conferences) but there was a a time when I didn’t get panics, and I have a vague feeling that a kernel update may have been what changed things, so I should look into that.
I still have no composite… I must look into exactly what version of xorg is supposed to fix that, and try it out, even if it’s not stable yet. I also have to figure out how to get a monitor/projector to work when plugged in… I’ve never tried that on anything but kubuntu with my old laptop, and I found out it doesn’t work at all by default in arch, so I have to start by finding out what words I should even be googling…

oh, and the builtin speakers are fairly useless – very very quiet – but I never expect much from laptop speakers anyways. either I have headphones (and this laptop has two outputs, so my buying a splitter was a bit of a waste in the end) or I have real speakers at home. it’s a shame that the builtin mic doesn’t work at *all*, though. I do have a good mic of my own, but getting it untangled takes time ;)

the screen is good, so long as it doesn’t have direct sunlight on it… although really, I’d be happy with faded colours if I could have a daylight-readable screen. :P

other than that… well… it mostly just works. :) I haven’t tested bluetooth or the fingerprint reader, although the interwebs suggest they’ll work. I haven’t got around to making the multimedia keys work, either. I really wish someone would write a simple gui program for mapping those keys so that you don’t have to read man pages to learn how to do it… I can never remember the process and I have better things to do with my time, but I don’t want to have to trust it to distro “magic” (especially given the apparent state of distros that do such magic).

somehow I haven’t gotten around to putting stickers on the laptop, though. either I’m too busy using it, or I subconsciously don’t think of it as “mine” yet ;)

oh, and I love having a 4-hour battery. I can actually *use* my laptop unplugged, compiling and playing music, without constantly glancing at the battery meter. :) the slotload dvd drive is nice too, although I hardly ever use it – why don’t all laptops have that? it makes so much more sense… no silly tray to pop out and get damaged.

so… it may not be a perfect laptop, but that seems almost entirely to be driver issues, and driver issues can (hopefully) be resolved in time. :) perhaps I’ll finally put some stickers on it tonight. I’ll have to pick up kde stickers again at campkde…

{September 24, 2008}   more rambling about my laptop

well, the not-so-perfect aspects of this laptop are beginning to show.

last week I configured xorg… my synaptics touchpad worked right away, but composite… didn’t. there’s a known issue with my graphics card on techbase, but the workaround suggested didn’t work for me… someone said that xorg 1.5 worked for him (although it broke other things on his system), so I think I’ll be patient and wait for a stable release of that before trying anything else.

more disturbing are the hardware quirks… one night I got two kernel panics out of the blue – capslock and numlock flashing, not even the mouse would move. thankfully it hasn’t happened again, but stuff like that is unsettling. also, a few times a day one of my keys randomly sticks. sometimes *not* the one I was actually pressing. shoddy hardware there, I guess :/ the only other time I’ve seen anything like that is when my wireless keyboard would get low on batteries.
oh, and suspend-to-disk failed to resume once… but it had been through loads of suspend cycles, both to ram and to disk, so I forgive it ;)

oh, and while the webcam worked automagically with zero effort (all I installed was skype!) the builtin mic doesn’t seem to be working. not a big deal – using a real mic is better anyways – but mildly disappointing.

on the bright side, I *finally* compiled kde yesterday, and today I got it running properly. I’ll still use packages for the applications, but obviously I can’t write code for plasma without compiling it myself ;) oh, and my compiled kdesupport gave me phonon-xine, which makes phonon Just Work again, yaay :)

now I just have to go report a few extremely annoying konq bugs involving unnecessary modal dialogs I can’t disable… er.. waiit, I was supposed to be studing math :P
…oh hey, i triggered the keyboard thing again. if I hit y and u at the same time, u stays down until I hit any key. it’s very hard to trigger intentionally, though.

{March 18, 2008}   olpc and eee impressions

so I’ve had my XO for… over a week now. haven’t had much time to play with it, though. tonight there was a vanlug meeting specifically about the olpc, so I showed up and learnt quite a bit.

when I first got the olpc, I intentionally avoided looking anything up online. I wanted to play around on my own for a while and see how hard it was to figure things out. some things I got right away, some I still don’t get. just this evening I found out that turning the brightness all the way down puts it into black&white mode. I appear to have a “break my desktop” key (top row, second from the right) that often just does nothing… not sure what that’s about, but it isn’t on hte keyboard shortcuts page. I’ve certainly gotten over the size of the olpc; it seems big and heavy now. I swear the darn thing has *grown* :P

at the meeting there were about six other XOs, and one Eee. my most important discovery was that everyone else there had upgraded their xo: I was running old software, and most of my issues had already been fixed. :) yay. there was one XO running xfce there; the rest were all using the annoying sugar interface. (yes, it is annoying. it’s innovative and interesting, but still damn annoying. I want my right-click back!)

I was concerned about the lack of suspend/hibernate, and no apparent lid switch (when the laptop was closed I could see the screen’s light coming out the cracks) – but those seem to be fixed in the latest software. wireless strength isn’t as good as my lovely asus m5n, but nothing is as good as that laptop when it comes to wireless. I love the screen flipping, but the arrow buttons beside the screen don’t rotate with the screen, so left is down and it hurts my brain… but I expect that’s fixable, so I’ll have to report it.

the keyboard is a little… quirky. if you press keys left to right it works as expected, but right to left you have to release one key before hitting the next (sorta – it’s hard to explain without a demo in tamtamjam) so I keep typing “tset” instead of “test”. I don’t have much of an issue with the size, though – I have small hands. :) I just wish the fn key was on the right, so that I could pgup more easily… oh, but this evening someone showed me that the game buttons are actually pgup, pgdn, home and end – so maybe that won’t be so annoying after all. :) I do wish the touchpad had tapping and scrolling, though. I hope that’s something software can change. as for battery life, it seems to be a couple of hours – certainly better than this old laptop (lasts less than 45 minutes these days).

the only real concern that remained in my mind after the meeting was the durability. this thing has been advertised as being able to survive a fair amount of abuse and weather, but I see little cracks between the pieces of plastic that make up the case, and some of them kinda move a bit if I press on them. I love the rubber keyboard ’cause I won’t get crumbs or dog hair in it, but that rubber seems to have a tiny gap where it meets the rest of the case, so I think that it wouldn’t fare much better than any other laptop if a glass of juice were dropped on it. I certainly wouldn’t want my XO being caught out in the rain, or taken to the beach where sand could get in the cracks. it does at least look like it could survive being dropped on the floor – unlike the eee. :)

as for the Eee, I did get to spend a while looking at it… it was smaller and lighter than the XO. someone had installed xfce on that too (I thought it was gnome when I first saw it) because he didn’t like the xandros kde-based interface (I saw a glimpse of this interface, and it did look kinda lame). the speakers weren’t bad, the general design reminded me of my lovely m5n (I like asus design) and the feel of the keyboard was much better, even if it was doomed to collect crumbs. the guy showing it off told me that the reliability of the eee wasn’t great, though. the spacebar on the keyboard wasn’t quite straight, little things like that… and of course it’s more fragile.

so, in general the eee beat the XO at being shiny, and it has more resources for less weight, but the XO wins in terms of cool hardware. flipping the screen around is still fun, and that handle is useful given how often I walk around with a laptop balanced on my hand (hey, at least I’m not the one balancing it on my chin ;) now I just have to find the time to install kde4 on this thing so that I can actually do useful stuff with it…

{September 6, 2007}   back in china

loads of things I haven’t blogged about, eh?
for starters, I am a very *very* lucky girl. I replaced the thermal grease on the laptop, put it through some tests, and did not see a single problem. it actually appears to be undamaged! (now watch as a power surge kills it just to prove me wrong)

I’m back in china again, and classes start on monday. didn’t spend any time in shanghai on the way back, and it turns out that was good – me and pete reached the school tuesday night, and in the morning when we went to get breakfast, we found out there was all this registration stuff to be done, and new student cards to get, and so on. we were going to have to write a placement test as well, which would have no actual effect on our placement, but after waiting in line for a while, we were told not to do it. ahh, bureaucracy :P

my hatred for bureaucracy grew on thursday. we had some sheet of paper in chinese telling us that we were supposed to do various things, one of which was going to zijingang campus (a half hour bus ride away) for.. something to do with registration. me and ivan were the only ones actually awake in hte morning, and ivan told me that we were supposed to be there at 8:30 – we left school at about 8:20.
we decided to take a cab to get there faster. ha. the cab driver didn’t know where the campus was – we pointed it out to him on the map, and then he didn’t know how to *get* there. he made some phone calls, drove a bit, stopped to ask random bystanders, did some more driving and stopping to ask people… eventually we got there, later than we would have if we took the bus, and 27 kuai poorer :P (he did reduce the price by 2 kuai to make up for his incompetence, though).
we managed to find the right building – luckily it wasn’t far away, ’cause that campus is huge – but then it turned out that we weren’t supposed to be there until 1:30. it was about 9:20 by this point. :P so we went alll the way back home (by bus this time).
we went out again after lunch, and had to fill out some papers for yet another new piece of ID, and then wait a couple hours to watch a lecture about registration… in fast chinese. neither of us could understand it, so after half an hour we gave up and headed out (and on the way out, found out from a teacher that all the info in the lecture was repeated in one of the books we were given – still in chinese of course, but at least we can use a dictionary with that).
happily, I got back just in time to go out for dinner at the fancy vegetarian restaurant, and that was delicious. man that was a long day. now it’s friday, and I’m just messing around on the computer.

I was expecting to have to adjust to china’s pollution all over again when I got back, but it’s been a lot easier this time. just got a bit of a cough – much milder than the first time I was exposed to this air. the temperature is much nicer too – it was a cloudy wet day when we arrived in shanghai, and the temperature was only 25 or so :) it was almost as if we hadn’t left vancouver. the weather’s back to being sunny now, but it’s still a lot cooler than when I left hangzhou. I can actually have the air conditioning off and not be dripping sweat! :)

I’m feeling a lot better now – far more energy, probably from eating so well in canada, an interest in actually reading some of my many books, and even a little enthusiasm for learning chinese again :) yay vacation! I seem to feel best in the morning, though. maybe because the air is actually at a temperature that could be called ‘cool’ then.

I’ve been a bit behind on news, but it looks like things have been going well in the open source world – OOXML lost the vote (by a margin small enough to concern me, though) and AMD has promised not only opensource drivers, but documentation too! :) I had resigned myself to getting an intel system next, but with this news maybe I can have AMD (I’ve always preferred their processors).

I never did blog about all the fun stuff in canada, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to it… anyways, I’ve decided that it’s time I get kde4 up to date, so I’m going to go play with that now. :)

{August 28, 2007}   oops.

well, I was having far too much fun to think about my blog… until today.
I started off the morning by crashing my bike, hurting myself and damaging the brand new front wheel (although I think it’s minor enough that once the brakes are adjusted it won’t really matter). then when I got home in the afternoon, I dumped half a glass of fruit juice into my laptop (oh, and all over my clothes, of course). the rest of the day (after taking apart and cleaning the laptop as best I could) I got by with nothing more than minor injuries, like pinching my finger in my cellphone, and slamming my leg into the bike pedal a dozen times :P
then in the evening I decided my poor laptop should be dry, so I put it back together, wiped off a few bits of juice I’d missed (the stuff got *everywhere*), and tried to turn it on.


it’s dead. :(

I spent months researching this laptop, I put it together myself, I had stickers all over it… and now it’s dead. :(
it was fairly old even when I bought it – I had trouble finding places that still had the parts – but it’s been incredibly reliable, and the most linux-friendly machine I’ve ever had. I don’t want it to be broken. wah. :(

and I’m going back to china on monday, and I *need* a laptop there ’cause it’s my only link to the outside world… and I am not fucking looking forward to trying to find a vaguely linux-friendly laptop in china, and making sure I’m being sold what I expect, and trying not to get too badly ripped off on the price…

I’ll try the laptop again in the morning, I suppose, just in case it wasn’t quite dry enough and I didn’t make things worse trying to turn it on too early.

I am a very lucky girl. it *did* turn on again in the morning. I can’t test whether it can function completely, though, ’cause I had to take the heatsink off while I was cleaning it, so now I need to replace the thermal paste before I can leave it on for more than a few seconds. :)
this update would’ve been up earlier, but a power outage got in the way, and then I was on my way to the beach :)
strange that wordpress didn’t save a draft for me – maybe it doesn’t do that for edits?

et cetera