I seem to attract hardware failures like rotten meat attracts flies. Maybe it is because I sometimes run slightly “bleeding edge” gear, or perhaps it is something environmental (* /em looks accusingly at seven cats shedding hair into computer intakes*) Whatever the cause is, I take steps to make sure I have reasonably current backups of my systems. Unfortunately, that rarely seems to save me from frustration…
I’m sitting here in front of my second computer, more commonly known as “Irene’s game computer.” It is going through the process of installing Windows Vista at the moment, for the third time in less than a week due to various hardware and driver issues.
I’ve had my Mac for a couple of days now, and I’m having fun with it. Since it’s a laptop, it is often more at hand then my main PC. That, coupled with a somewhat intriguing calendaring and address book application, has convinced me to migrate my email.
I mentioned in a previous post here that I picked up some additional hard drives. The 750 GB drive is running happily in an external eSATA-connected enclosure and is providing backup for my machine. The other two drives are sitting on a shelf, and will remain there indefinitely. There is a story behind their banishment from my computer. It isn’t that there is anything particularly wrong with the drives themselves: I’ve finally concluded that my Asus motherboard has crappy RAID/AHCI support.
I have spent the last couple of days repeatedly building and tearing down my machine. First I built a RAID 1 array. Bear in mind that the drives I’m using are good quality Seagate 7200.10 drives: they have full SATA2 support, including Native Command Queuing (NCQ). The drives they displaced were high-end WD Raptor 1500ADFD drives: arguably, the Raptors are better drives, but I had suspicions that WD drives might be behind my problems putting my system into standby mode in Vista. I was wrong.
I’ve spent another fun day banging my head against a brick wall. The light I’m starting to see is from the cracks in my skull…
I downloaded Battlefield 2142 via EA Link yesterday. Being a good little user, I also downloaded and installed the v1.20 patch before even trying the game. I figured that one of the main reasons for a patch on a game that was released late in 2006 would be to improve Vista compatibility, so why bother even trying the unpatched game.
ATI released their “production” Vista driver on January 29th. And it apparently has native OpenGL support, at least according to this extract from the release notes:
Microsoft has been working on their next generation operating system, codenamed “Longhorn”, for several years now. Its been delayed several times, had features stripped … and now has been given a poofey sounding name: Windows Vista. That name smacks of desperation, as in “dammit, this is so late we can’t use a year, and it has no really compelling features that suggest a good acronym, so we better come up with some buzz or spin that will get people to buy it without any practical reason…”