2016 — 14 August: Sunday

I hadn't even got around to admitting the shameful truth1 when an overnight email from Dr Frankenstein's Linux Lab with the poetic Subject line "Why I hate windows, let me count the ways" revealed the brain transplants he's been conducting on the Great Cthulhu as he fits a second 1TB or so of SSD having concluded that a mere 512GB isn't enough to hold both Windows 10 and all his games programs.

As he says: "This would not be a problem under linux — just install another SSD and use some symbolic links or mount point(s)... Trivial on linux ... on windows, not so much." Windows take great umbrage at the thought of its acolytes daring to attempt to relocate "System" directories and provides no utilities to assist. The Program Files root directory is always in use, and always locked down.

I've just found, and ordered...

... a little gizmo into which I can temporarily fit any size of PCI M2 SSD to make it "look" like a standard SATA SSD drive. This will let me plug the M2 SSD into my external SATA-to-USB3 cradle from where I can more easily (or do I mean "safely"?) work on these fancy little drives (if necessary) to repartition them. Or "d d" their broken boot sectors in extremis. I also spotted, but have not yet bought, some cards that you can fit these drives on that then plug into spare PCI slots on your motherboard. Now there's a full-speed thought.

The two M2 SSDs I have are currently each in PCs with only a single slot for such drives. Of course, I also have to do a minor piece of disassembly on each system as the M2 SSD's slot is well buried in each case. That's the easiest part of the process.


... Big Bro got last Monday's "Heathrow in photos" book on "his" Saturday, after a transit time of less than a week. Not too bad. And he likes the book. I shall celebrate with another cuppa on this pleasantly sunny, but not yet over-warm, morning.

I'm "suffering" from...

... an extremely minor (in other words, typical) First World complaint: mouse pointer size (gl)itch. Mint 18 allows for the possibility of changing the pointer size...

Compare and contrast

... but (unlike the impeccable behaviour of Mint 17, on the left here), the actual control has been "improved" by, erm, disabling it. On MATE, but not on Cinnamon (which is how I discovered it in the first place, of course).

In the days...

... of my hi-fi magazine articles, the Group Editor once confided that he had no trouble coming up with topics for me because the average reader only stayed "on board" for about 11 months. Having just read Larry Elliott's Grauniad piece on UK consumer spending it occurs to me that one of these articles can be written once each for pre- and post-recession times and then endlessly recycled. The timescale is a just a bit more extended than with hi-fi.

As has been the timescale for today's lunch, a couple of vital components of which are even now rising slowly above freezing on my kitchen windowsill. It's 14:42 and I'm starving hungry.


Yum, that's better. I'd been improving the Shining Hour with some musings on the illusion of PC progress. And my choice of Wes Montgomery music is just "Perfick" for some lazy Sunday afternoon digestive processes.

Mouse pointer...

... re-sizing magically springs into life if, having customised a desktop theme, you then do a "Save as...". Go figure, as they say. It works on Mint 18 on both Skylark and the i5 NUC.

Ever have...

... one of those days when, no sooner have you nailed one problem, another rears up?

For a change of pace, and to help drown out the toddlers bouncing excitedly and noisily on next door's garden trampoline — which is distracting me slightly from Book #3 of "Preacher" — I wanted to move along from "This Mortal Coil" to a nice blast of choral music from Lassus. Look under "Classical", subfolder "Lassus", and all I find is the set of five BBC downloads from an ancient "Composer of the Week" set. Nothing wrong with that, as far as it goes. Except that it doesn't go quite far enough. After all, I have eleven CDs (and several more cassette tapes) of this ineffable composer's music.

No matter. Hence Asunder is now chewing its way through the 1981 recording that came out on Hyperion in 1983 of "Requiem for four voices" by Pro Cantione Antiqua in what, I suspect, could be the first of many a CD rip. Not to mention (if the dust on the CD case is any sign) my first listen for many a year. Junior has only been nagging me to get on and rip all my classical CDs for, oh, round about seven years or so.


1  Yesterday's re-installation of Linux Mint MATE on to the i5 NUC was not the first but the second as I once again managed to fall afoul of UEFI v Legacy BIOS and had a minor sparring match with GPartEd that initially left the whole of the 250GB SATA SSD given over to the system instead of leaving me with a 50% "gap" for another distro in due course. The second attempt fixed matters. Still, the complete install process only takes about five minutes.