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29 March 2008 @ 06:20 pm
OK. So a year or so ago we got a new used computer. Everything was fine, everything worked, but it came with Win2K and it had a small hard drive. I didn't really care, at that; I kept Win2K and bought a new hard drive from "Intelligent Computing", one of those hard drives that are theoretically 500GB but actually 465 or something. I also got an antivirus program called BitDefender as recommended to me by that same company (great program BTW). But then strange things started happening: the computer would freeze for no reason, would refuse to boot, etc.

So I bought WinXP, installed it on the large new hard drive, transferred my data, and thought no more about it.

But then it started happening again. The whole filesystem would corrupt for no reason, and every third time or so I booted the PC I'd have to repair the filesystem. Which gets tiring. Then it slowed to a crawl performance-wise as well.

So I lugged it off to "Intelligent Computing". They seemed like they knew what to do, the only other guy I could reach sounded asleep while on the phone, with a baby squalling in the background. And he just wanted to sell me a new computer, which I can't afford. But "Intelligent Computing" looked like professionals.

I gave them the computer and said, "It's either something with the power supply (it sounds like a tractor), or it's the hard drive." A while later they call me and say, "No, it's the motherboard. You're looking at a new CPU, new RAM, probably a new hard drive since yours are both IDE, a new..." I said, "Look dude, I don't have enough money for a pie/Pepsi combo at the campus shop and you want me to buy a new computer?!" He says, smugly, "Yes, you should." I say, angrily, "The hell I will, find me an old model motherboard." I back up my data and tell him he's licensed to format.

He does so. R700 later, I get the computer back, formatted hard drive, new motherboard. It works, OK great.

Then it acts up again. Same symptoms exactly. I take it back. Another techie this time. I tell him the case history. "Did this motherboard burn up too?" He looks at it, says "No." "It can't be the power supply trashing my motherboards then. So what is it? It's either a bad hard drive, or it's a virus that's still working when Windows shuts down, so the filesystem breaks." I probably sound like an idiot; at least, his attitude tells me that. He promises to see what he can do.

The company moves premises, taking my computer along. When I see it again it's got a few extra scratches.

"It was a virus," says the techie airily. "I got it with AVG." He tells me about AVG-Free and asks me what antivirus I have. "BitDefender," I say. He sneers and says condescendingly, "Who told you to get that?" "You did," I tell him. He shuts up and gives me the computer.

I get home, find and read the antivirus program's log file. "No viruses found." Suspicious. I format the hard drives, install XP on the small hard drive and put my data on the large hard drive.

A while ago the same symptoms reappear. I back up my data, format the large hard drive, move my data back. It works for a while, but the symptoms reappear. This time I get rid of a few larger files, transfer everything to the small hard drive, and completely disconnect the large new hard drive.

End of problem.

Like I said from the start, it's the hard drive, but I guess with "Intelligent Computing", the customer is always stupid.

They're not seeing me again, that's for sure.
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
02 February 2008 @ 09:40 am
And here we are again, 1st Semester. But 2nd year this time.

... wow, if I just think back on what I was like this time last year ... incredible ...
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
12 December 2007 @ 05:49 pm
I am angry.



My cousin just failed his driver's license test. And why, pray tell? Because he didn't look in his side-view mirrors while slacking off to come to a halt.

As if that weren't bad enough, in order to take a driver's test in this country you need to a) schedule an appointment for a learner's license, which takes many phone calls, b) go to a testing centre to confirm the booking, c) pay for it, d) take the test, e) schedule an appointment for a driver's license, which again takes many phone calls, f) go to a testing centre to confirm the booking, g) pay for it, h) take the test, i) pay for your license if you passed, j) wait five months for your license card. Oh, and within a year and a half of receiving your learner's license, it expires, and you have to do everything all over again from point a) if you didn't pass within that period. And when I say "go to a testing centre", this doesn't just mean "go", but "go and wait in line for about six hours, if not more".


Now on to gun licenses. You need to motivate why you need a gun in order to receive a license. But "self-defense" is not a permitted motive. You must prove, with newspaper clippings and government statistics, that the crime levels in your area are sufficiently high, according to the Powers That Be, to motivate the acquisition of a firearm.

If my application is refused, I am going to buy a gun on the black market.

Oh yes, and your license comes up for review every five years, and the process is repeated. So the govt. can confiscate your firearms any time they please because they can arbitrarily decide to deny your license application.

Heed my words, Americans: do it not. Frustrated South African Student, Chapter 1, verse 1, "If anyone among you should wish to take your firearm from you or require overly complex processes to acquire one, shoot him in the head and rest assured you have rid the world of a social maggot."

Current Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
Current Music: "The Star-Spangled Banner"
21 November 2007 @ 02:03 pm
Yes! At last!

It's called Projekt 42 because I was going to call it "Projekt : something-or-other", but nothing seemed to fit. Then the Ultimate Answer came to mind ... thank you, Douglas Adams :)

So, well, now it's called Projekt 42 (Zwei-und-vierzig). And here it is!

Possibly the world's only German-South African anthro sci-fi pencilled webcomic with movie and historical references, by a "fundy" Christian of German/French/Irish extraction who is a student of geoinformational science and who knows all the words to "Chanson Pour les Petits Enfants" and watches Star Wars at least once a week! Or something.

It's just a plain ugly default page at present, as soon as I can get into Site Admin I'll do something about that. But there are technical difficulties to overcome. Oh well...
Current Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Yesterday (Beatles)
05 November 2007 @ 09:21 am
(Cool steel drum intro)


I don't know
I don't know
I don't know where I'm a-gonna go
When the volcano blow!

Ground, she's movin' under me
Tidal waves out on the sea
Sulphur smoke up in the sky
Pretty soon we learn to fly


My girl quickly say to me
Mon, you better watch your feet
Lava come down soft and hot
You better lava me now or lava me not


No time to count what I'm worth
(Cuz) I just left the planet Earth
Where I go I hope there's rum
Not to worry mon, soon come


But I don't wanna land in New York City,
I don't wanna land in Mexico
Don't wanna land on no Three Mile Island
Don't wanna see my skin a-glow
Don't wanna land a' Comanche Sky Park
Or in Nashville, Tennessee
Don't wanna land a' no San Juan Airport
Or the Yukon Territory
Don't wanna land no San Diego
Don't wanna land in no Buzzard's Bay
Don't wanna land on no Ayatullah
I got nothin' more to say


Just a one more!


(Very abrupt end, four guitar strums and that's it. And then I think he starts singing about being stuck on a sandbar or something. Takes all kinds.)


From memory. So I hope it's right. So ja, heck with it, now I've posted something again, at last. For what it's worth.
Current Location: Meyerspark, Pretoria
Current Music: Volcano (Jimmy Buffett)
24 October 2007 @ 09:13 am
This was apparently in the Sowetan (a newspaper) on September 11th. Maimane (a fellow student at TUKS) posted it on the student bulletin board.


A certain rich businessman had a beautiful daughter, who fell in Love with a guy who was a cleaner.When the girl's father came to know about their love, he did not Like it at all, and so began to protest about it.Now it happened that the two lovers decided to leave their homes For a happy future. The girl's father started searching for the two lovers but could not find them.At last, he accepted their love and asked them to come back home in A local newspaper. Her father said "If you both come back I will Allow you to marry the guy you love, I accept that you loved each other Truly."So in this way, their love won and they returned home.The couple went to town to shop for the wedding dress. He was Dressed in white shirt that day. While he was crossing the road to the Other Side to get some drinks for his wife, a car came and hit him and he died On the spot. The girl lost her senses. It was only after sometime that she recovered from her shocked. The funeral and cremation was the very Next day because he had died horribly.Two nights later, the girl's mother had a dream in which she saw an Old lady. The old lady asked her mother to wash the blood stains of the Guy from her daughter's dress as soon as possible. But her mother Ignored the dream.The next night her father had the same dream, he also ignored it.Then when the girl had the same dream the next night, she woke up in Fear and told her mother about the dream. Her mother asked her to wash The Clothes which have blood stains immediately.She washed the stains but some remained. Next night she again had The same dream she again washed the stains but some still remained.Next night she again had the same dream and this time the oldlady Gave her a last warning to wash the blood stain, or else something Terrible will happen. This time the girl tried her best to wash the Stains,And the clothes nearly tore, but some stains still remained.She was very tired.In the late evening the same day while she was alone at home,Someone knocked the door. When she opened the door she saw the same old Lady of her dream standing at her door. She got very scared and fainted.The old lady woke her up... and gave her a blue box, which Shocked the girl. She asked "What is this...?"The old lady replied... *"OMO Washing powder with Powerfoam plus*... it will remove all stubborn stains!!!"


So tragic...
Current Location: Meyerspark, Pretoria
24 October 2007 @ 08:41 am
Right here. Please note that the Tripartite Alliance consists of a) these disgusting Commies, b) COSATU (the workers' union), and c) the ANC (the guys in charge of the country). Note also the rhetoric here.

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

"To Pretoria! The Commies are coming!"

Current Location: Meyerspark, Pretoria
20 October 2007 @ 09:02 pm
17 October 2007 @ 04:32 pm
Shut up, already!
Current Location: Home
15 October 2007 @ 05:43 pm
Thanks to a firestorm of rave reviews from my imaginary worshippers, here is part 2:


__Freelancer Part 2__

- Trent walks to where he parked his ship. He sees Lonnigan snooping about.

Trent: Lonnigan? Is that you? I thought you were in Medical, having your pocket picked.

Lonnigan: You think you’re safe, but you’re not!

Trent: Why should I think I’m safe? I don’t think I’m safe. I never said I thought I was safe. Mind your own business!

Lonnigan: What do you think happened on Freeport 7, huh?

Trent: Not the foggiest, mate. But I know you owe me money, so why don’t you just...

Lonnigan: D-oh... easy come, easy go.

Trent: No. No, no, no, no.

Lonnigan: Yes, yes, yes.

Trent: No, no, no.

Lonnigan: Yes, yes, yes.

Trent: No, no, no. We had a deal.

Lonnigan (in an intense voice): A deal that died with the station.

Trent: What's with that strange voice? Are you trying to hypnotize me or something?

Lonnigan: (Continues in normal voice) That all seems so long ago now. (He plays air accordion behind his head.) Doesn’t matter anyway. They want us all dead.

Trent: Who wants us all dead?

Lonnigan: Those guys over there!

- Sinister Guys appear out of nowhere, and shoot Lonnigan.

Trent: This deal's getting worse all the time.

- Sinister Guys walk up to Trent.

Trent (to Sinister Guys): Ya know, that guy owed me money! What do you think you're doing? How did you just materialize at the critical moment like that? What’s going on? What are today's lottery numbers? Who are you?

Sinister Guy: I wouldn't care even if that guy owed you a _star system_. We won't tell you what we're doing, it's a secret. We can materialise like that because we're made of polygons. What is going on does not concern you. Today's lottery numbers are 2-5-14-8-5-1-12-4-19. We’re waffles ... I mean, we’re the police.

Trent: Let’s see some ID.

Sinister Guy (knocks Trent out): ...boring conversation, anyway.

- A while later. Juni throws a bucket of ice water over Trent’s head.

Trent: Hey!

King: You look terrible.

Trent: You’re no oil painting, yourself.

Juni: What happened?

Trent: Two Sinister Guys. They jumped me. Oh... my chest... (clutches at chest)

King: That’s not very convincing. What you mean to say is, you have a massive hangover from one Liberty Ale too many.

Trent: What are you talking about? _One_ Liberty Ale is one Liberty Ale too many. Give me a Sidewinder Fang any day. By the way, where's Lonnigan?

Juni: Lonnigan? Who's Lonnigan?

Trent: They must have taken him.

Juni: Trent, pull yourself together. Remember Ashcroft, and the mission!

Trent: Yeah...

King: You'll be fine. (Hits Trent unconscious.) Oops.

Juni: Good work. Quick, before he wakes up, get him in his fighter and launch. We don't need any more delays.

- Camera angle shifts. A Mean-Looking Dude surveys the scene while Trent (who is still unconscious) and King launch. The Mean-Looking Dude takes a miniature purple waffle iron out of his pocket and looks at it for a while. JPEG artifacts are visibly floating about in the air near the waffle iron. Then he lights a cigarette, and takes a deep pull.

Mean-Looking Dude: Yuck, ewww, _sick_! What brand is _this_?! (Throws whole cigarette away, and leaves in disgust.)

Cop (sees cigarette): Hey, you! Mean-Looking Dude! No littering!

Mean-Looking Dude: Uh, oh. (Runs away, with cop following.)

- In space above Planet Manhattan. Trent and King leave the docking ring.

Trent (wakes up): Where am I? What's going on? Aaaarrgghh! I'm in _space_!

King (changes the subject): So what was going on down there? Who's Lonnigan?

Trent: I met him on Freeport 7. We'd just signed a deal when the station was attacked. He was injured, and has been in Medical ever since, with a corrupt surgeon stealing all his loose change. I've been waiting for him to be released to get my money back.

King: And? What did he say?

Trent: Nothing about the money. He said that some Sinister Guys were after him. I thought he'd lost it, ...

King: Lost what? The money? The Sinister Guys? His mind?

Trent: The latter... but then these two Sinister Guys appeared - literally - and shot him. Looks like he wasn't just paranoid. Ahh, I'm never getting paid. Goodbye, million credits.

King: Hold on, we're almost at the trade lane.

- They go through two trade lanes and reach a jump gate. A battleship is waiting for them.

Battleship: This is jump gate control on Battleship Unity. Please identify yourselfs.

King: Don't you mean 'yourselves'?

Battleship: Yes.

King: This is patrol Gamma Six on special LSF assignment.

Battleship: Oh, yes. Your name's on the list. Go on in.

- The jump gate opens, and King and Trent dock with it.

Battleship: Hey, wait! You didn't sign on the dotted...

- King and Trent jump out of the system.

Battleship (to itself): ...line.

- In the Colorado System.

Trent: Now what?

King: Now we wait for Ashcroft.

- A little while later.

Trent: There he is!

King: Unidentified ship: you are in violation of...

Unidentified Ship: I didn't do it, I didn't do it!

King: Oh, yeah?(Launches missles at Unidentified Ship. They hit and explode.) Take that! And that! And that! And...

Unidentified Ship: All right! All right, already! Are you crazy?

King: Shaun Ascroft, you are under arrest!

Unidentified Ship: I'm not Ashcroft, you jarhead! I'm really gonna have your butt!

King: What?

Unidentified Ship: I said: 'I'm not Ashcroft, you jarhead! I'm really gonna have your butt!'

King: Oh, didn't hear you the first time. Thanks.

Juni (over the comm): Oopsie. Bad information, sorry. Ashcroft isn't here, he's at Pueblo Station.

Unidentified Ship: The name is Cosmo...

King: I didn't ask for your opinion. You will speak when spoken to.

Unidentified Ship: You haven't heard the last of this...

King: I'm sorry to have to end this eminently stimulating conversation, but...

- King and Trent enter the trade lane to Pueblo Station. They travel for a while, and then leave the trade lane at Pueblo. It is surrounded by a few pirates.

King: Deer god.

Trent: Oh, so you're Native American?

King: Comanche. Anyway, let's kill the pirates.

- They shoot around at nothing in particular. The pirates kill themselves in shock and horror.

Pueblo: There's more pirates off in the David Copper Field. We've tagged one of them. Are you picking up a signal?

King: Strong and clear. Thank you, Pueblo. They will pay for this. (Trent and King fly off.)

Pueblo (to itself): 'Strong and clear?' Who says _that_? Everyone knows it’s 'loud and clear!'

- King and Trent fly to Ashcroft.

King (to Trent): OK, you know what to do.

Trent: Shoot everything that moves?

King: Right on.

- So this is what they do. Ashcroft tries to get away but is eventually captured.

King: Let's go back to Manhattan. Juni's waiting.

Juni (over the comm): Did you get Ashcroft?

King: Yes.

Juni: You didn't bake him with garlic and chives, a drizzle of lemon juice and carrots julienne, did you? I remember last time...

King: Negative. He's in Trent's cargo hold. He desoirves woirse.

Juni: He what?

King: He desoirves woirse.

Juni: I don't know about that. Trent's cargo hold isn't a very nice place to be. He's got all _kinds_ of stuff in there... not all of them hygienic.

Trent: Hey!

King: Granted, but you know what I mean.

Juni: He'll get what he deserves, but not until he's told us everything we want to know.

King: Great! I've always wanted to know how you beat Level 4 of Episode 75 of 'N'...

Juni: Uh... gotta go now, see ya. (Closes comm frequency.)

- Trent and King are near the jump gate to Manhattan.

King: Go ahead and dock, Trent. Juni's waiting.

- They dock, and jump to Manhattan.

- In the Manhattan system.

Battleship: This is jump gate control on Battleship Unity. Please identify yourselfs.

King: I told you, you have to say 'yourselves'...

Battleship: That is not a valid response. Please listen carefully as the instructions are repeated. This is jump gate control on Battleship Unity. Please identify yourselfs. If you are an independent merchant, please press or say '1'. If you are a Bounty Hunter, please press or say '2'. If you are an LSF patrol, please press or say '3'. ...

King: Three.

Battleship: That is not a valid response. Please listen carefully as the instructions are repeated. This is jump gate control on Battleship Unity. Please identify yourselfs...

King: Three.

Battleship: That is not a valid response. Please listen carefully as the instructions are repeated. This is jump gate control on Battleship Unity...

King: Aaaaaaarrgghh!

Battleship: That is not a valid response. Please listen carefully...

- King and Trent, screaming with terror and frustration, dock with the trade lane to Fort Bush and fly away as quickly as possible.

Battleship (to itself): ...who says government jobs don't have perks?!

- Near Fort Bush. King and Trent exit the trade lane from the Colorado jump gate.

King: Okay, now all we need to do is to deliver Ashcroft to the Battleship Missouri. One more trade lane...

Trent: Shut up, idiot, you'll jinx it!

- Pirates suddenly appear and start shooting.

Trent: Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.

- The pirates, predictably, explode all by themselves.

Trent: OK, let's get to the Missouri.

King: Yeah. Juni's waiting.

- They enter the last trade lane. After a while, they arrive at the Missouri.

King: Go ahead and land, Trent. Juni's waiting.

Trent: Will you stop saying that?!

King: What? Juni's waiting?

Trent: Yes.

King: But she is waiting. It's the truth. Juni's waiting.

- Trent begins to dock with the Battleship Missouri.

King: Juni's waiting. (click) Juni's waiting. (click) Juni's waiting. (click) Juni's waiting...

Trent: I have a baaaad feeling about this...

- Trent gets out of his ship aboard the Missouri. Its interior resembles a French provencal restaurant. Trent goes to the head waiter.

Trent: Sorry, am I in the right place? I'm supposed to deliver a prisoner called Ashcroft.

Head Waiter: And 'oo would you be delivering zis prisoner to, Monsieur?

Trent: LSF Commander Jun'ko Zane.

Head Waiter: Ah, yes. _Juni's waiting_ on Table 7 tonight.

- Trent begins to laugh hysterically. Juni arrives.

Juni (to Head Waiter): Call all the waiters, will you?

Head Waiter: What is zis waiters, Madamoiselle?

Juni: You know, waiters? Male waitrons?

Head Waiter: Ah yes, ze male waitrons. You want 'elp wiz ze prisoner Ashcroft, correct?

Juni (nods): Yes.

Head Waiter: Zen I call ze Chef. 'Ee 'as a most excellent recipe for baked prisoner, wiz garlic and chives, a drizzle of lemon juice and a julienne of carrots...

Juni: Actually... I wanted to question him first.

Head Waiter (shrugs): 'Ave it your way, madamoiselle Zane. (Walks off muttering.)

Trent: Ahem.

Juni: Ahem?

Trent: Money.

Juni: Oh yes. I'm transferring the payment to you neural net, as well as those bonuses I promised you. (Listens) Oh, sorry. I have to go.

Trent: Where are you going?

Juni: Someone at Table 7 wants a napkin. _Again_.

Trent: I thought you were a waitress. Don't you do something else besides carry napkins?

Juni: I take orders too, Trent. (She leaves.)

Trent (leaning back against the wall): And so ends another quirky mission...

Current Location: Home