Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The day I listen to anyone connected with Saban lecturing me about children is the day I listen to some named Hanna or Barbera lecturing me about the nuances of backgrounds in animation.

— James Lileks

My laptop is back from the shimmering halls of Apple Repair, and the drive now works like a champ, based on a few tests. I inserted Gundam Seed disc 8 as my initial test and was suddenly seized by the icy hand of fear: That’s a good disc! What if the drive is still bad? I should test it with throwaway discs, not good ones!

Advice I should have listened to before sending the laptop away, because it came back without the disc that was stuck in the drive. It’s nowhere in the packing materials. And it’s important, too: it’s the play disc for Neverwinter Nights. This disc must be in the drive when I play NWN. I don’t know what to do, short of calling Apple. Even if I do call Apple, what can they do? “<click> Attention all repair personnel. Would you please check your desks for a Neverwinter Nights CD? Thank you.” Even so, I feel that I should call them. Perhaps tonight.

By then, the laptop should be restored, as I’m iteratively running my Super Restore script. I ran it first last night, one command at a time, fixing things. When that was done, I found some significant problems (skip the rest of this paragraph if you’re uninterested in geeky details). In particular, when you extract a backup, all the files are owned by whoever extracted them. I don’t know how to preserve ownership of files within backup files. This is a problem when files are extracted by an administrator user, originally owned by someone else, then a different user tries to execute or access them. My current solution is to change ownership of all applications, animation files, and web files to my primary user account, as that’s the user who usually uses everything.

In any event, I ran it again this morning, and when I left for work it was still restoring my 13 GB of music. It should certainly be left in a better state than it was before.

Yesterday was a fine day. After a quick meal, I looked at the lawn and noticed that it had grown enough to need a quick mow, and I’d just received a new plant in the mail—Zebra Grass, an ornamental, bushy grass that I plan to put in the front of the townhouse. So, I decided I’d spend some time gardening. I mowed the lawn and trimmed various tufts of grass that the lawnmower couldn’t reach. I then planted the Zebra Grass, re-filled the bird feeder, and washed my front walkway. And it wasn’t even 8:00 yet.

So I went inside and grappled with Super Restore, then printed off a short story of mine and mailed it to Realms of Fantasy. I’d like to re-edit another short story in time for writing group in a week, but I don’t know if I’ll have the time.

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