Taking the plunge into SP2 but not holding my breath

I’ve finally upgraded my PC to WinXP SP2. I actually upgraded three PCs beforehand this week, so naturally, all the upgrades went without incident except MY OWN.

The problem: my once snappy computer took ages to bootup. It would sit for a minute on the “Welcome” screen, and then show my wallpaper in frozen silence for another minute before loading the desktop.

BootVis only gave me more questions. It actually recorded no CPU activity during the Welcome screen. My PC was just sitting there, twiddling its thumbs.

It wasn’t turns off UDMA in the IDE channels, instantly turning hard drives super-slow.

In dire instances, the BIOS will underclock the CPU and slow everything down. However, the BIOS looked okay.

I scandisked and defragged. I turned off Windows Firewall. I turned off a lot of Services I wasn’t using. I tried every Windows optimization guide on the Internet I could find. Still no joy. I went to bed unfulfilled.

Today, I tackled the problem with renewed vigour. I wasn’t going to stand for a 2min+ wait for a crummy machine!

It wasn’t until I saw this post that a lightbulb appeared. Posted on Categories life5 Comments on Taking the plunge into SP2 but not holding my breath

Bill is wise. Bill is kind. Bill is benevolent.

“People forget that he is medically, biologically, a genius,” Microsoft codemonkey Michael enthuses in Douglas Coupland’s fictional Microserfs. “Not one um or ah from his mouth all lunch; no wasted brain energy. Truly an inspiration for us all.”

It is only fitting then, according to Microsoft Watch, Microsoft today released a FAQ on the man, the myth, the legend…Bill Gates.

In a three-page Word document, Gates amically chats about how luck had a major role in his success and the future of artificial intelligence, and urges young readers to not drop out of college like he did.

Softening the fabric of reality

Shock horror: reality shows are faked?

Yes, producers hand-pick the contestants, add scripting cues, and create conflict and intrigue with contrived situations and shrewd editing. Several folks from the show business adds their insider info to the Metafilter discussion linked above. Did you know: the bird’s eye shots of the challenges in Survivor are re-enacted by extras?

On the bookshelf: What if what you believe is what makes reality? Neil Gaiman’s American Gods hypothesizes just that: an America filled with gods, folk heroes and conspiracies made flesh living ordinary lives. But it is as much a study of the clash of ancient and modern mythologies as it is an exploration of small town Americana, complete with pilgrimages to San Fran, Vegas, and all the roadside attractions and dingy backwaters in between. That and a chronicle filled with Gaiman’s trademark violence and debauchery.

Silverlotus, an avid fan of ancient religions, probably enjoys this novel on a far greater level than I, but even I can appreciate the irony of having Anubis running a funeral parlour in Wisconsin.

Celluloid sacrilege

The cardinal rule to “licenses”, i.e. movies based on videogame/book franchises must be this: the movie must be incredibly terrible while bearing only a remote resemblance to the plot elements of the best-selling product it is defiling.

So we suffered from such celluloid sacrilege such as Wing Commander and two Tomb Raiders. Street Fighter: The Movie gets a special mention for a) introducing the stupendous invisible “Stealth Boat”, which in the movie is immediately detected and b) paradoxially having a game based on it. Like a speaker and mic caught in feedback, Street Fighter: The Movie Game magnified the movie’s crappiness to previously unknown heights.

Hollywood complains that it’s because games have no substance, all the while pummelling us with 5,000 comedy clones a year featuring a hard-boiled white cop and his wisecracking black sidekick.

You know why Lord of the Rings was so widely acclaimed? Yes, good acting and special effects were heavy contributors. But the main reason was it is the only creative property in all of geekdom that has remained faithful to the source material.

It looks like the Doom movie will offend the fickle fan and consumer. From DarkHorizons:

Screenwriter Dave Callahan claims “everyone was keen to keep the game’s atmosphere”, though there are some “minor” changes done to the film’s concept: The monsters have nothing to do with hell, the plot is not taking place on Mars and “space marines” are not well “space marines” as their outfits are more like SWAT team members.

Reminds me of an interview where someone asked Valve Software why there hasn’t been a movie based on Half-Life. The reason? All the scripts they saw just weren’t satisfactory for them. I wish others had this sort of integrity.