462 up, 481 drawn.
So Colette had an interesting hiccup this weekend (something to do with the Apache server, though I have no idea what; all I know is that it made a log file 9GB long It looks like it decided to keep reporting some error over and over and over again…) so I rebooted her for the first time in about a month (about 24 days online!) and decided to install XP SP2. For the first time ever, all my computers are running “up-to-date”.
Honestly I never had a problem with SP1 and since the Dell OEM cD I usually do installations with only came with SP1 I didn’t bother to update for the majority of the past two or so years. Plus, SP2 used to crash my 500m in standby so naturally I’d try to steer clear. There are other reasons which are shadier, so I don’t think I’ll mention ’em.
Like a good friend of mine is considering switching to Mac for the duration of his college whatever-it-is-you-do-at-college for the increased “stability” and “security” of the Mac platform over Wintel (specifically XP). Now I don’t really like the Apple company for a variety of reasons, but I will tell you that you should probably buy their stock because it will probably go up as Vista seems to be pushing John Does away from the Wintel platform. I don’t really like the direction M$ is going either; I think they should stick with their core competency. Software dammit. They need to get off Google’s ass and show those Leopard and Penguin people a real OS.
They say the introduction of Vista parallels that of XP and I will agree to an extent. I myself ran with 1998 (and not even SE) up through the prototypical days of the NWars site (2004ish?) before 98 really didn’t want to work with my (new at that time!) 500m. I mean, XP was indeed bloated compared to 98. The reactionary in me didn’t let me switch until I had to. It’s hard to tell if the general resistance to Vista is comparable or greater than the general resistance to XP, but whatever.
But I’ve had a good experience with XP these past 4 years. By the time of the 500m, something like two years after the release of XP, it was already pretty good. I didn’t really mind switching (we’ll see if that’s the case with Vista in 2009!). Besides my SP2 standby BSoD (arguably caused by crappy Intel 855GM drivers) it was pretty stable too. I mean, I’ve had a BSoDs since then, but the vast majority have been due to overclocking/undervolting tinkering rather than anything to do with the OS itself.
And security? I’ve been adamant that viruses can be prevented solely by means of smart browsing and so far the theory hasn’t failed me. I’ve never touched a piece of antiviral software (save for the good old HiJackThis) in all my years of running XP and I’ve gotten maybe 1 or 2 infections that warranted a reformat. Call it luck, but I think there’s a degree of truth behind the theory if it’s been generally holding water for the better part of four years.
XP SP3 was released to manufacturers last a few days ago. Various flavors will be available to the public in a matter of days as well. I was using a beta on the 500m before I switched over to the TC4200 and there wasn’t anything terribly special about it. It was hard to verify the existence of the mythical 10% increase in performance when your computer is only used for word processing and internet. I’d also upraded the 500m to a 5400rpm drive in the middle of last year so any previous experience with the machine isn’t terribly comparable.
I recently noticed that some of my XP installations didn’t like to boot with a flash drive plugged in. This used to happen to me all the time when I first moved up to XP, but somewhere along the way it stopped happening or I stopped noticing. The issue arose again when I switched to a phone that could be charge by USB and act as a USB flash drive thanks to the installed MicroSD card (which is hella slow I might add). Maybe it’s just because of my extensive use of standby these recent years.
The inconvenience of shuffling large amounts of data between Colette and either of my two laptops via network, internet or 1GB USB stick finally became great enough such that I invested in a USB HDD enclosure. I used the Hitachi drive which I pulled from the TC4200 (though I might switch back; the Fujitsu drive makes a lot of noise, and the battery increase isn’t significant) and a cheap (but nice looking) Coolermaster enclosure. The drive will usually run with a single USB jack which is real nice. Previously any large file transfers I did were with an old 12GB IBM desktop drive using an IDE/USB adapter and (yet another) power supply.
This led me to move a lot of unused and yet-to-be-archived stuff off my D830 and Colette, leading to my now having nearly 60GB free on the former machine. That’s pretty slick. It also finally prompted me to rearrange my anime music collection which has been on my to-do list for a very long time. I finally standardized it such that one playlist will work on any computer with the same music file structure (assuming the actual music structure components are there) which is nice.
Ok I actually wasn’t going to write anything this time, but look what happened.