2015 — 15 February: Sunday

This is what's known in the trade as a placeholder.1 Coming to you from my Linux laptop PC. I've been a bit busier than I like to be, trying various ways to persuade my un-cooperative little Win8.1 system to recover its wits. No success so far.

I'm now serving formal notice of my intention to relocate my digital life to Linux. Again. Grrr.

Now that I've...

... stopped spitting blood, and grabbed a quick, late, evening meal, I can gather my thoughts somewhat. Today, for example, I learned that Win8.1 has something it laughingly calls "self-healing NTFS". As far as I can see, this is a disk file system cunningly designed to stop me running any kind of 'chkdsk'-related repairs. I also found out that when a Crucial SSD stops working, it does a remarkably thorough job of getting itself tied into a knot.

Examining the data locked away on it via a USB SATA cradle on a Windows system that Brian still uses for his ham radio stuff failed to reveal any obvious reason for its lack of transigence. And running chkdsk against it turned up nothing untoward. But any and all attempts to re-boot BlackBeast with it in place back here in Technology Towers brought their own set of novel experiences. Mostly centred around what I shall dub a Win8.1 Pale Blue Screen of Potential Death. This charmlessly displays messages teasingly suggesting that this brain dead piece of sh1t was going to while away a few minutes trying something laughingly described as "attempting to diagnose and repair the problem".

These attempts were singularly unsuccessful. But, of course, I always had the choice of refreshing the PC (if only it had been willing to accept my original DVD installation disk) or restoring from a System Image (if only it had any means of navigating to one).

My first thoughts...

... were largely unprintable.

I did consider just hopping out to get a new disk and OS, but then I thought (a) that costs money, and (b) what's actually keeping me on Windows when all's said and done? When it boils right down to it, there are precisely two applications I run regularly that are Windows-only with no direct Linux equivalent. One is DVD Profiler2 (in which I've invested a lot of time) and the other is the lovely Copernic desktop search tool.

Everything else: email, web-browsing, server file editing, image manipulation, scanning, NAS access, MP3 and video playback — it's all covered one way or another. Nor do I foresee any problems driving the 4K screen as I run it at 100% scaling. The Creative sound card drivers for Linux may be iffy, but the Intel HD Audio cooked into the motherboard ought to be OK.

The major drawback will be the learning curve and the entirely, erm, non-Windows way of doing things.



1  Guess whose System SSD fell over today?
2  I gather it can be persuaded to run, after a fashion, under WINE if you first ensure you have the Lucida font installed on your system.