Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DIY/Solved! Move Windows AND Programs to New Computer for FREE

I'm ugrading my work computer. This is like a 50% power boost so it's worth some time. I put more time in it than I had to; this is a single-day affair if you're being slow and doing regular work in between telling the computer what to do. It went wrong in various ways, but finally I was able to transfer Windows XP from one computer to a totally different machine, with all my programs and files intact. When I finally found the proper method, it was super easy! NO extra software is required if you have two legit Windows licenses and a Windows installation CD.

First I used the Seagate-branded Acronis disk copying software to clone my hard drive in case something stupid happened (and it did, repeatedly, because I didn't do things in quite the right order the first go-round). Then I set the original disk aside and booted the clone hard drive, told XP to upgrade itself to the version of itself on the XP installation CD, then shut down the computer. Instead of letting it reboot and "complete" the update on my old box, I moved the hard drive to the new machine and let it continue with the "upgrade".

I had seen the MichaelStevensTech page with similar instructions but it was presented in an intimidating manner. Then I found this page at Development Stuff that covered it in more-accessible language.

Paul's Computer Service
saved my bacon when it all seemed to work but hung at a black XP logo splash screen saying "please wait". It wanted a newer version of Internet Explorer than was on my XP installation CD. Boot into safe mode, install IE, install chipset drivers, reboot, activate, download a couple hundred megabytes of updates and we're done!

It works like a champ now. Thanks everybody!

Travails along the way:

First, I tried the dead-easiest way: (clone the HDD and) slap the hard drive into the new PC. Believe it or not, this HAS worked for me in the past when the PCs were close-enough to the same configuration. This looked initially encouraging, but it ended up in an endless reboot cycle, only getting as far as the splash screen before restarting. Trying the whole thing again with a Repair Installation of XP also looked promising, but also ended in an endless reboot loop. In safe mode it would get as far as a 7B stop error (STOP! I can't read the hard drives, hoss!). I tried this a couple times and killed the boot sector on the disk somehow. I changed the BIOS SATA setting to Legacy (ATA also worked) and got past the 7B stop to an Error Loading Operating System error. That was because it couldn't boot from the disk with a broken boot sector. The data was all there, but this required a full low-level format (fixmbr, fixboot, fdisk/mbr didn't work). I installed a fresh copy of Windows on the new drive to be sure it would boot and re-cloned the drive. THEN I did it the right way.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Austin Teachers 2013 Pay Raise

It must be nice to have a job in a labor pool with such low demand and high supply that there are 50 applicants for every job opening, and they still talk about pay rises in a down economy. Excuse me for noticing that the pay increase going to teachers who have sweet, sweet union contracts come straight out of the pay checks of NON government employees.

Austin is stupid.

Why The Ryan Budget Balanced: Dynamic Modeling

The Congressional Budget Office, by law, must only consider static calculations when marking up budget proposals. By this logic, a tax decrease means revenues fall (in contrast to twice in recent history when revenues ROSE huge when taxes FELL huge). Static calculations also say that when taxes are increased revenues to the government will increase. Funny then, how in Spain when they raised taxes and expected 4.3% increases, revenue just fell by 3.5%.

Really, the international left should do something about this pesky reality mucking up the numbers.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Obama Campaign Wants You To Dislike Mormons.

Well, they did until Buzzfeed asked about it, and then the helpful suggestion was yanked off the Dashboard . . . but the Internet never forgets.
Gee, if only someone could have guessed that those on Obama's side would try to make you dislike mormonism because Mitt is one. Oh wait, I did. Except I thought the actual campaign people would be decent enough to leave it alone and let the Press exploit the issue. No, that would be the actual campaign workers, encouraged to highlight the differences between LDS and Christianity. Well I guess somebody had to be first, and the campaign beat the press to it.

They will, of course, leave Catholics alone because both Ryan and Biden are them. Discussing Obama's reigion is old news, so why bother? Right? I mean didn't we run a 10-second spot once talking about it?

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Not Dead, Still Busy

The last many nights have been split between sleep, family, and getting the next batch of stuff ready for sale on eBay.

Can anybody loan me a few extra man-hours? Preferably for the really high-skilled labor-intensive stuff so I can just kick it with the family.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sustainable Depends Upon Comprehension of Sustainance.

Tokelau is getting a solar-and-palm oil energy generation scheme, funded by a few million dollars from New Zealand. It will be rotten and dead and forgotten within a decade and Tokelau will be back on diesel, and the "environmentally-conscious" people who stole the $6M from the good people of NZ will have forgotten all about it (unless they send a full-time bureaucracy to maintain this madness).

But, until it all turns solid rust-brown and the coconuts are stolen to feed the children, look how very sustainable it all is!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Art Imitating Preventing Life

So today at work, as usual, there was a crash, followed by snarky commentary:

Stuff: (crash)
RR: Safety first!
NP: Safety third!
VFD: Safety somewhere in the consideration, but let's not get carried away.

This sort of amusement happens more-or-less constantly at our company, so this one slipped into my personal /dev/null. Then to my surprise, I read a story from Skegness (in England, as you know) that illustrates the principle that we can, indeed, get carried away with safety considerations.

Skegness has a jolly fisherman for a mascot. There's an antique statue and everything. The statue has its arms out to the sides, all gay & skippin' around & whatnot. Well there are plans being laid for another statue. This replacement was to have its arms tight in by the body. This, of course, prevents children swinging on the outstretched arms, slipping off, getting hurt, and bringing lawsuits. The decision to be safer than reasonable so outraged the citizens that the plan to sissify the statue is being reconsidered.

Because [deleted] the kids. And safety. They'll figure it out after a couple of falls anyway.

England used to be the power of the western world, and truly manly beards were in evidence everywhere. They barely decided not to have Awesome be part of their name but settled on Great instead. Now look. Look and point and laugh, and be sure to never, ever vote Democrat.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Election 2012 is Over. Romney Won.

By choosing Ryan as his veep, Romney has declared his future Presidency will be fundamentally serious. Ryan is a man people will vote for, who didn't care enough to get out and vote for Romney. I know many, many people who voted for McCain because Palin was the second name on the ticket. But Palin is no Ryan. Ryan is not schtick like Palin was**, and it just may be that Romney isn't an intentional fall-guy like McCain turned out to be.

There are reports of tremendously higher enthusiasm for the Romney/Ryan ticket than for the Obama/whoever ticket. This, plus that, means to me that Romney wins*. As they say in Las Vegas, "It just got interesting."

But I still can't vote for a mormon**, so you all can go on ahead and enjoy your presidential win without me. Your enjoyment will certainly by tinged with doubts and fears, however, because the national press corps will suddenly take an interest in reporting whatever negative thing they can spin off of the next President.
*Unless the voting machines are either rigged or hacked, neither of which I put past either side or any of the international powers currently capable of doing it. Will somebody tell me again why e-voting machines don't all automatically spit out verifiable, man-countable PAPER "one voter cast such-and-such" ballot receipts?

**I also find it a pretty hard pill to swallow, voting for a Catholic. This used to be a Very Big Deal in America but they have managed by now to work themselves into the mainstream consciousness as "Christian." I think it may just go by without much notice that BOTH these guys belong to what (as Katie Couric would say) "some people say" are CULTS. Note please also that, even in these early days, I am happy to point out Ryan's record: mostly-good with a hint of totally caving in to the popular-but-wrong side of the fence on hugely-important issues. You know, rather a lot like Romney himself. You were warned.

P.S. If the Republicans continue to let the leftist national press write the narrative and the Tea Partiers go back to sleep as happened in 1994, then election 2016 is also over: no matter how well the economy does, the press will spin the upcoming austerity so hard you will hurt yourself picking up a newspaper, and it will ALL be the fault of President R/R's evil entitlement benefit cutting and rich folks tax break giving. Win goes to the not-romney/not-ryan candidate. Note to the Republicans: stop being stupid with your spin and start putting it to work FOR you!

FIVE Beetles

Nextdoorneighbordude took his kids swimming a while back. Next morning, his son had a sore ear. Swimmers ear, they thought, no worries. A bit of witch hazel and rinse it out and . . . there's an antenna in the kid's ear. The emergency room people said a) that'll be $500 to remove your free bug, and b) don't feel bad it's the FIFTH one this week. The drought drove this one kind of beetle to seek wet places where they could find it, to include the sleeping childrens' ears full of water apparently. Eww.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Eh, Guys, What Are You Doing There?

Egypt is moving troops to the Egypt/Israel border, with tanks, to Rafah which is across from the "Palestinian Controlled" area at the southwest of Israel. Yahoo! sucks as a news agency, so the 10-photo series I found has no story with it, and I gotta go to work. I have no time for searching, but I don't much care for it. Maybe they are fighting off "militants," sure. And maybe some of us remember 1967.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Because We Can TELL You Are Cheating Us

Well isn't that neat. The Travis County Commissioner's Court just voted itself and a few other elected County officials a pay rise. Judge Biscoe said it would be "unreasonable" for us to expect him and a couple dozen other elected County officials to not get a cost-of-living adjustment type pay rise, in light of the bad economy. The one (of five) Commissioner who voted against the raise, said it was the economy that made the raise a bad idea.

Look Judge, I know your part-time $110k/year job is a real pain in the [deleted] but spare us, okay? You voted yourself a pay rise, and then voted to increase our taxes all in the same week. You know what? You sir are an [deleted]. If you were a value-add to the tax base, then maybe it would be justified. My boss is a value-add to the company and he hasn't given HIMself a pay rise in the last 8 years or so. You know what you are? You're a leech. You think it's all well and good to give yourself more money due to the hard times we're all in, but you are neglecting to think of the source of the funds. That "more" for you is our "less." Every family in the County now has LESS money in these hard times because YOU and your BFFs have a little MORE. You see how that works? It's almost a zero-sum game . . .

Hold on there.

Something just occurred to me. This is one of the reasons why leftists hate profit and well-paid executive positions. They can't see past the end of their noses. They wish all things to stream from government. Government employees can't increase their pay without literally taking from someone else's wallet. Therefore, making more money than you "need" is wickedness. The other side of the story is, wealth can be created. They don't get the true concept of wealth (or value, or wages, or capital risk) so they don't get why it is okay with the Greedy Republicans for rich people to be rich.


I was going to go off on a rant about how we don't want an increase in the gasoline tax in Texas because the politicians keep diverting the gas tax we already pay. Some idiot in government was on the radio sounding mystified as to why the stupid voters keep hatin' on a gas tax increase. You know why we hate it? Because we can see all the waste and crap our money gets spent on, instead of roads and bridges it is supposed to go to. Jerks. What a bunch of jerks are running the show these days. Don't MAKE me run for office, people!

Well, unless I run for the Commissioner's Court. I hear that's a pretty good paycheck for a part-time gig.

I Might, But . . .

#1 thinks I would be a great President. My Darling Wife is more concerned with the campaign. Remember please that we have a half-decent kind of guy (Cain) already run off with allegations of misconduct toward women and a straight arrow (Romney) already declared a tax non-paying, felonious, murdering, clean-water-hating kind of guy.

While discussing the murderous nature of Romney, Cain was mentioned. My Darling Wife said "i thought you said those allegations were false." and I noted how none of them were either proved OR followed up on by the alleged "victims" after Cain dropped out of the race. He says he quit to spare his wife. I called on mine to imagine how she would feel, if the things they said Cain did, were said about me. She agreed it would be pretty rough.

If I ran for anything, the campaign against me would be guaranteed to be NASTY. My politics are unassailable, and my logic is irrefutable. My past is largely unspectacular for badness or for goodness. The only things left to throw at me would be ad hominem attacks and lies. I'd probably just have to tell my Darling Wife to not watch TV or listen to the radio. She wouldn't listen and would get all stressed out, but at least I would have warned her.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mitt Robmoney is a MOIDERAH!!

This election season is going to be pretty ugly, I'm afraid. Three months out, and we have an ad that all but points the finger of blame at Romney for the death of a woman he may never have known was alive in the first place.

Follow the bouncing ball:
  • Mitt Romney worked at Bain Capital
  • Bain Capital closed the plant where sumdood in the ad worked
  • Sumdood lost health insurance, and his family lost the family coverage
  • Sumdood's wife got sick
  • She died
Except that:
  • Romney wasn't running the company any longer when the plant was closed down
  • The guy's wife came up sick THREE YEARS after the closure
  • Somehow he can't get a job with insurance, and neither can she, in three years?
  • P.S. nobody owes this guy a job, and the company couldn't be saved or Bain would have saved it like they did all the profitable companies Bain DID save.


They think you're stupid. My daughter asked who we were voting for, this last election. I told her Ted Cruz. She said oh, no - she saw something on TV that he was a stealer! I told her it was the guy running against Cruz that said it, and we're voting for Cruz. The ads you will see later this year are designed to appeal to either your hatred of all things not-Obama, or your sheer uneducated idiocy. Let's just hope Romney can keep his PACs off the same tactic.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


My Darling Wife and #1 spent three hours at the hair salon. #1 got a long-overdue haircut and styling. They came home and #1 was told to take a bath and wash her lower bits. THREE times she was told "Do not get your hair wet."

So of course, my Darling Wife will be another hour drying and straightening #1's hair.

Edit 40 minutes later: #1 says in a cautionary tone: Mama, you're going too sloow. I turned around and said I'd have burned her on purpose for that. A short conversation later and #1 decided to shut right up about the speed of redoing her hair.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Iron Law of Bureaucracy

This actually came up in casual conversation today. In case you missed it, there exists the Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

DIY/Solved! How to Cut/Cleave Optical Fibers Without A Cleaving Tool

We have a bunch of very nice little Fujikura optical fiber splicers in house. It is my job this week to see that they are working-enough to sell. For the last two days I have been trying to get decent cleaves on optical fibers without a cleaver. Finally I have hit on a workable solution.

Trust me, this is BY FAR the best result I have found, and I tried at least a couple dozen different ways. NOTHING I have found is this easy and gives this-good a result, short of having a proper cleaving tool.

Note: this will get you close. A proper cleave angle is 0ยบ with no chips or cracks. This got me single-digits or low double-digits cleave angles with only a few tries per fiber, which is close enough to tell if these arc fusion splicers work. It also was enough to make a joined fiber with a reasonable noise/transmission loss figure, according to the machine. If you have to join fibers that mean anything to your company for transmitting data, your company is stupid to do anything less than buy a cleaver. I'll be done with this job before a cleaver would arrive in the mail though, so here I go DIY'ing it.

YMMV. Some practice is required. This is NOT as good as having a proper precision cleaving tool! Everything else I tried either shatters the fiber or has better-than-even odds of a nasty break instead of a neat cleaving.

The bulk of the solution: a bulk pack of scraper razor blades.

Turn them edge-side up. Lay the fiber perpendicular to the blades and smartly lower your cutting razor so that it strikes between the supporting blades.

This is NOT going to get past any self-respecting Q.C. checker!

But if you just HAVE TO get the job done without a cleaver, the signal should at least be able to pass, which is light-years better than a broken fiber*.

*sorry, I wasn't trying to be punny!