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Frankendrive

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I had to deal with my laptop’s bum DVD-burner ever since getting this computer a few years ago. While it worked no problem, the biggest pain was that it could only burn certain kinds of DVDs. To be specific, they had to be +R discs that were 8x or less. Yes, 16x discs would not work, even though I thought they could as long as you burned at 8x. But yeah, it was a pain. Since +R is an American disc standard, something I just found out last year, those kinds of discs are much harder to find here in Japan. It had been getting more and more difficult for me to find discs that I could actually use, and when I did they almost always came in packs of 10 or less (no spindles), and were more expensive than if I had been able to use a cheaper package of -R discs. And as many of you know, I like to burn a lot.

But that’s all history now, since I finally got around to buying a new DVD drive for my laptop. I bought it online through Newegg when I was back in St. Louis on Dec 29, but apparently New Years caused even more of a delay problem for Newegg and FedEx, since the 3-day shipping that I had chosen ended up not arriving until Jan 10. And of course I was already back in Japan by then. But, I had my parents send it to me, I received it over the weekend, and I installed it last night. Easy installation, but since I couldn’t replace the faceplate, the drive is now recessed in my computer case. Whatever though.

Philips SPD8005BM/17

The thing worked all right, but it was really slow. Burning took forever, and reading a disc was even worse. Trying to watch a video file ended up with really choppy playback of both video and audio. I figured out through online forums (Google is great for this) that I had the problem of the drive being set to slave rather than master, and that was causing the IDE settings to make the computer communicate with the drive really slowly. Or something like that. There was also the major problem of this drive model having zero support from Philips for some reason. But yeah, there are really smart people out there who have figured out most problems you will ever encounter with computers or technology. Someone posted step-by-step instructions on how to get the drive working properly. It was a bit complicated and I almost made a mistake, but I e-mailed one of the guys and they were really helpful. In summary, I had to change the firmware to another brand of burner, use some shady software to set it to master, then flash the firmware back to Philips. Now my drive is super fast, can burn any kind of disc, and is even quieter than my old one. Mission complete.

梁 the Digest

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I know everyone’s dying to hear what I’ve been up to, so here goes. My mind doesn’t really work in sequential order, so I’ll just go my category and/or topic.

Computer 復活
I got my computer back, but I had to buy a new HD and a new video card. I got that all set up, and after about a day or two of reinstalling Windows (3 times), going through the Registry, copying files, etc, I’m back up and running. The new HD’s name is Musashi, so that’s what the computer is now called. Kojiro is still alive (I guess it still works), and it’s in there as a secondary hard drive. I’d never installed a hard drive and/or done the whole setting slave/master kinda thing, but it was easy as hell. I felt accomplished. I have just about every program, etc that I need back on my computer, and even finally installed Firefox. The only thing I can think of that I lost in this whole ordeal (uh, aside from repair and new parts cost) was my AIM Away Messages. That, I can deal with.

就職活動Start
I’ve kind of started looking for jobs. This is pretty tough when I have no clue at all what exactly I want to do after I graduate in May. I’ve used the business school’s UCSO system to get some interviews and stuff like that, but I honestly don’t know if I even want to do sales or marketing. Advertising, I could handle. I’m wanting to work in TV more and more, but who knows if that’s easy to get into. A job in Japan would be nice also, but I don’t know if I want to live there for more than a few years. I might just end up doing JET or some other kind of program to go to Japan.
I had my first interview on Thursday morning…it was with Cook Urological. They’re looking for a Product Manager in Tokyo that will pretty much cover all of Japan. Only thing is, the job’s pretty demanding Nihongo-wise, and I’d have to live in Japan for a long time. Also, I don’t know if I want to sell stuff that people shove into their penises. In other news, I interview with General Mills on Monday for a sales-type of position, and I’m going to Boston at the end of the month for the Japanese job fair. Hopefully there will be some companies looking for Americans with only medium-level Japanese.

IUSTV stuff
Been pretty busy lately, although with exactly what, I don’t know. The office in Read isn’t going to be done until the end of the month, which is a huge pain in the butt. Oh well. 仕方ない。 Aside from the delay in new office space, pretty much everything is going great. All the teams are working, doing stuff, and being good. A few roadbumps have been handled, and I think by next week everyone will be doing something. Now that I don’t have to worry about micro-managing everything (each Exec can manage their team pretty well, and I just keep up with them), I can go on to doing more administrative stuff. Although I am really really considering Producing a new show myself. We’ll see if I have time. That’s what I came here for in the first place, right? To make TV. I’ve been thinking of trying to create the best show ever, maybe by the time I die I can do that.

忙しい Week だった
I think it’s been because I just passed the 1/3 mark of the semester, but I had at least 1 test a week for the past 2 or 3 weeks. On top of that, I’ve been somewhat busy (I don’t know exactly with what), doing assignments and other kinds of stuff. For this entire past week, pretty much, my schedule has looked like this:
12 noon: wake up in a rush, finish some work that I didn’t do
2PM-6PM: classes of some kind
6PM-11PM: go to IUSTV for meetings or goofing off
11PM-6AM: go home, either work on stuff or watch TV/use computer
6AM-12 noon: wake up in a daze and rush, repeat
One of my biggest problems, I’ve realized, is going to IUSTV. There are times when I actually have meetings to either lead or listen in on, but sometimes I’m there for no reason and end up staying the entire night. I need to cut back on this…

Everything has seemed so busy over the past few weeks, and I don’t know when it’s gonna ease up. I’m going to try and make things better for myself this week, otherwise I’m going to die from exhaustion. I’m tired of waking up and having to rush or panic to do something. I need to get myself re-organized this weekend, particularly for job interviews, the Boston trip, and partially for the Halloween Party/A-Team Reunion. Life is good, just busy. Maybe that’s good. I’m starting to see why Kieran wanted to go to Scotland for a year to relax after graduating. JET might not be difficult or perfect, but maybe I should do it just to take things easy in Japan for a year or two…

Computer update

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I finally got my desktop back today from Geek Squad, after calling them at least twice a day every day since Monday. So things were bad, but not horrible. Turns out that my video card went dead, and also my hard drive is in process of dying. Luckily, I think I’m going to be able to get all my data off of it. I’ll find that out sometime soon. I went ahead and bought a new video card and a new 160GB hard drive, which is twice the size of the old one. They said my hard drive was bad, but they hooked it up as a slave on their test computer at Best Buy and they could read it no problem. I brought the system back home tonight after Yogi’s and the office and gave it a bit of a clean job with Q-tips and everything. Man there was a disgusting amount of dust in all kinds of nooks and corners of the unit. Anyways, I put in the new video card no problem. The hard drive set up was a little more complicated, but overall pretty easy. I have my new hard drive set as the master, and the old one is in there as a slave. I got everything hooked up and at least things are showing up on the monitors. I am going to install Windows on my new hard drive, then hopefully I will be able to transfer everything over from the old one. The old one will probably stay around until it explodes or completely dies, I can use it just as a temporary drive or to store stuff before I burn it off. Since the computer has a new video card and a new (bigger) hard drive, I think I will call the system something new. I’m thinking Musashi? Then Kojiro will exist as the slave hard drive, and will probably die sometime soon. Musashi and Kojiro…. hmmmm….

Thank goodness I’ll be able to keep all my old stuff, hopefully. I think sometime soon I’m going to do a major backup as well, haha. This whole situation really scared me. Maybe it’s good that my video card died so I could find out my hard drive was in bad shape. If not, I might have lost it all…

Get well soon Kojiro

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So my desktop is busted. Somehow, it won’t load up right or even give me a post. Sooooo I tried playing with it myself, couldn’t get any results. Went ahead and took it to Best Buy’s squad of geeks. $40 just to find out what’s wrong with it, and it will probably take like 4 days. Great. I have a feeling it’s something wrong with the power supply or the motherboard. As long as I don’t end up with a wiped hard drive, I’ll be happy. Let’s hope my computer gets fixed soon and doesn’t cost me too much…

I’m a victim of circumstance

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I got that title from Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I just wanted to write some stuff about my fun little experience with spyware and viruses galore.

I was looking around on the web for torrents and stuff (not like I would try to get illegal copies of software or movies or anything), and of course I hit one of those shady sites that opens a bunch of pop up windows and tries running all sorts of weird scripts. Well, one of them was pretty potent apparently, and my computer got all screwed up. It did all the standard tricks with Internet Explorer (yeah, yeah, maybe now I’ll finally switch to Firefox): changed my home and search pages, added about a million favorites, opened up dozens of popups whenever I opened the browser, etc. Windows also wasn’t safe, as it kept restarting explorer and wouldn’t let me open My Computer, Search, or even folders.

After trying to frantically use Ad-Aware, that didn’t really do much. I tried Spybot Search & Destroy, and that didn’t work too well either. I tried XoftSpy and Spyware Begone, which both seemed to find the problems, except you have to register and pay like $40 to have the problems actually removed. Thanks a lot assholes. I was actually so desperate this morning that I had my wallet out and was considering actually paying for one. But then, luckily, my cheapness prevailed and I did a few more searches. Turns out, Microsoft now has it’s own Spyware blocker, and I have to say this thing saved my life (well, my computer’s).

Yeah, so it’s still in Beta, but it really is awesome. Integrates into the shell nicely, does all sorts of stuff, and most importantly got rid of pretty much all the crap that was messing up my system. I was so happy. Oh, and here are the links, since I think everyone should give this a shot, especially if you have spyware messing up and clogging up your machine (PC).
Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta)

Trend Micro Free online virus Scan – caught all the worms and stuff

Tired and pissed off

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Computers just aren’t my thing today. My laptop’s hard drive or motherboard is going screwy, but at least I have the warranty on that still. That’s not too much of a concern.

My desktop, however, got some serious spyware or a worm or something, and I’ve been up for the last 3 hours trying to fix it. I would have been asleep by 2ish, but now it’s past 5AM. I’m trying to clean my computer but nothing’s working yet.

I seriously and genuinely hope that everyone out there who creates spyware, adware, viruses, and other crap like that will just catch on fire and burn. No one should have to put up with this. I’m pissed, I guess I’ll sleep for a few hours before class.

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