Linux – I Wish I’d Switched Years Ago

Tuesday evening I rage quit Windows when it decided that I wasn’t using my computer and it was time to install an update. Forced updates are bad enough but disrupting my work? With all the other things I dislike about Windows 10, that just one too much.

It took me less than an hour to set up Linux and get it doing what I want. As I used no Windows based programs anyway, I’m still working in the same environment. The hardest thing so far was getting it to let me lock into my network and even that only took minutes.

And to top things off: A few years ago, I spent hours trying to get Windows to display a clock on the taskbar on both screens only to find out that it’s impossible.  Linux let me do it with just a quick Google search.

So, that’s it for me. No more buying prebuilt computers just for the OS.

Leaving Windows

After I got that trojan and all traces malware off my machine, things went fine for a few days. Then the bluescreens increased dramatically. It took me a few days to narrow it down to a failing hard drive, which by the way, was the thing I suspected before finding that trojan… So, I basically spent almost two months fixing the wrong thing.

I figured it’d be easy enough to pop in a new drive and reinstall Windows. But, of course, this laptop came preinstalled and I never wasted a thought on backing up my system. After all, all my important files are backed up online. Big mistake. Turns out the motherboard will only accept an Asus specific version of Windows 8, which I’d have to buy from them. Since I was already playing with the idea of switching to Linux, that wasn’t happening. I just didn’t want to switch cold.

After a lot of back and forth and trying to force 8 on this machine, I caved and made a Windows 10 install iso. Of course, that worked and the stupid thing even activated itself somehow. Despite my not entering a product key…

Thing is, I went for a new HDD rather than a new laptop to avoid Windows 10 and it’s so much worse than I’d feared. I don’t like the way it looks or the way it handles. I’m running Linux Mint Mate in a virtual box now to get myself used to it while I finish up a few things I don’t want to try and port over just yet.

I’ve known for a while that this would be my last Windows machine. I just didn’t expect it to be so soon.

I guess this is goodbye.

Sidetracked by Malware

On Thursday evening, with a mere 300 words left to write to hit my NaNo-target, Chrome crashed and wouldn’t restart. When it finally did, it was locked into starting with some stupid search engine homepage and no way of switching back to start with previous session. I got that fixed and spent about an hour setting my tabs up again (no further writing done that day).

Friday, the exact same thing happens. And now I’m pissed. I don’t mind these hijackers as long as all they do is insert some popups and try to make me use their search engine but touching my sessions is unacceptable. I keep about two dozen or so pages, mostly forums or stories, open at all time, many of which have no easy way to go anywhere other than first or last page. So, now we’re at war.

Turns out, the hijacker I thought I’d removed about four years ago, has been real busy. I got about 12k hits with some stupid software that wouldn’t remove them unless I bought a subscription first. Yay! Queue days of chasing down folders and registry keys. Finally came up clean Sunday night. Whether I actually am remains to be seen.

 

After a Week of Struggling my Laptop Decided to Live

About ten days ago, I came home from a quick grocery run to find the threaded BSOD gracing my screen. Rebooted and everything seemed fine. Until an hour later my laptop decided to crash again. I ran repairs and updated drivers in between hourly crashes.

Around Friday, it crashed while booting due to unmountable boot volume. And though, I loathe the thing, I’ve never been so glad, I kept my old desktop. At least, that allowed my to look up possible solutions (I’m a smartphone hater). Got it running again after about five hours.  Now featuring infernally long boot times.

After some looking around and for a bit, amidst several more crashes (now about once every twelve hours) I narrowed down to bad sectors on my C: drive. And as most of these occurred sometime after running Baldur’s Gate 2 Enhanced Edition but never without or during, I figured the two were related. Then in a last ditch effort, because I won’t have

Then in a last ditch effort, because I won’t have time or opportunity to get a new drive until next week at the earliest, I moved the Documents folder to D: on Monday. It’s the only thing Baldur’s Gate accesses directly and might try to modify during or after shutdown.

Whether I was right or not, my boot times are back to normal and I haven’t had a crash since.

NaNoWriMo Day Four

Got almost 3k today. Broke my usual pattern though and skipped ahead to the final scenes. I just know that it’ll be completely useless when I get to that point, but today was one of those just-can’t-get-into-it days. Useless words are still better than no words.

The original version of this story featured a scene with two characters going completely off course to find some cinnamon. Wrote it with struck-out text, too because I never meant to keep it. Later on, it became the short story Cinnamon in John & Other Stories and it shattered that writer’s block.

NaNoWriMo Day Two

Got a far saner ~2k today. but the scenes leading up to the inciting incident ran a lot longer than I expected, so I’ve still got that ro look forwar to tomorrow.

On another note, I started Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker. I’d downloaded the provided draft version some time ago, but when I started reading, I felt as if I’d pirated it. So, I used the remainder of the coupon I had for the ebook. Either I’m weird or I’ve got too much money.

Procrastination Thy Name is Civilisation V

After a random Civ V video popped up in my Youtube feed,  I figured a quick game couldn’t hurt. Only, I suck at strategy games and got it into my head to finally beat king difficulty, so one quick game became almost two weeks of “quick” games. Then I decided to see how well the Ai worked in a team.

Then I decided to see how well the AI worked in a team. Ended up with Caesar to my right, Washington above, Isabella to my left, and two other civs that didn’t make to the end of the game. Washington and Caesar were on my team, which turned out to be both a blessing and a curse as Washington started bullying city-states by turn ten and Ceasar waged war after war on the other two AIs. As a result, I spent most of the game  at war with Isabella, but at least, Washington sent troops every time.

At some point Isabella captured a city, I’d founded on accident and which was tanking my happiness. Washington returned it to me a few turns later. So, I gave it to him, almost cutting myself off completely from Isabella.Hey, that was his war after all.

Around this time, someone built the UN– an unachievable victory condition, because all the City states belonged to either Isabella or Washington and two AIs were gone. So, good job whoever tried to go for that. When the time for voting came, the victory screen popped up. I’d forgotten to disable time-based victory.

All in all, it was a fun game with a somewhat unsatisfying end, but I beat king and now I’m back to working.