Someone or something somewhere in the universe is laughing at all the hoops we jump through.

My desktop computer randomly switches itself off; seeing the future I purchase a new laptop. After trials and tribulations I get a piece of software on the desktop ( Antics) deactivated on the old computer and activated on the new laptop.

The only other piece of software on the old computer not easily transferred is Sophocles, the script writing software.  This is good stuff: you are allowed three computers at any one time and unlimited re-installs. Problem? Sophocles done went dead. The website went offline and speculation abounded.  There are no answers as of writing and the main contenders are: death of the person who wrote the program, sale of software to a company who buried it, business go boobs up.

Whatever the truth I, and thousands of others, am left with a non supported piece of software, and no way to install (legally, there are cracks out there on the big bad net – but you can’t trust that sort of thing; would you let a burglar house sit for you? No? then why invite dodgy software onto your computer?) and activate new copies.

So a little light goes off in my brain. Didn’t you learn from the last time your hard drive went down? How you no longer keep things on the hard drive but have everything on an external USB drive? And not only that didn’t you Ghost the drive just like you did with your other desktop? And doesn’t that Ghost image reside on the USB drive? Didn’t you successfully create a Virtual PC with the image from the Windows 98 machine? Well … couldn’t you do the same with the XP Ghost image?

Yes! I yelled triumphantly. I could use Sophocles on a virtual machine. The MS Virtual Machine can run Windows XP on my Vista laptop, I know this because I have tried it.  All I have to do is is ghost back the image onto a partition and Bob is closely related to me.

Over the weekend the laptop was on for about thirty hours straight, restoring files and folders.  Nothing worked.

Today I put in the original Ghost disk, as it acts as an emergency boot disk, and do a full system restore.

Norton Ghost doesn’t like the backup, says that it’s not the proper format, not good enough for Norton Ghost. I try to reboot the Virtual Machine and it wont even do that, disk failure. Thankfully it’s only a virtual machine. I would have been jumping out the window if it had been a real hard disk that was ruined (and sprained my ankle or something; my window is only feet from the ground).

All that for nothing.

I’ll have to create another Virtual Machine and see if I can go about it through a different route. Or jump through different hoops, see if I get a cigar.