February 2009

This reason this blog exists is so I can leave comments on other blogs around the world.

I do most of my work on this dark corner of the web:



Having recently bought Norton Ghost and discovering that it can convert Ghost backups to Microsoft Virtual PC drives I decided it would be good if I could Ghost the drive of my old computer, convert it to a Virtual PC hard drive and run it on my laptop. I already do that with the Win 98 computer (which is starting to show its’ age by randomly rebooting on the rare occasions I do switch it on).

The old computer is upstairs out of the way and of course hasn’t even been switched on in a few months at least. So I dig out Ghost, unplug the 500 GB USB hard drive and trot upstairs to install Ghost and let it chug away at backing up the drive.

Of course it doesn’t go like that. The computer boots up and gets halfway through the process before hanging. I restart it and get a blue screen of death (which I stupidly didn’t note down) and afterwards all it did was constantly reboot after offering me the start up option screens. Of course, I went through all of them one by one, from Safe Mode to Last Known Good Configuration but none of them worked.

It gets better.

The last time this happened – or something similar to it – I just got the Windows XP disk and did a repair. I keep all software like that in a separate bag, all together. Unfortunately as my copy of XP Home was an OEM version it did not come in a case but in a paper wallet, the disadvantages of which I found out as I hauled it from the bag to discover the disc was broken in two.

I’ve got a bunch of Operating Systems in that bag, all packed in together, and the one they chose to kill is the one I need. From Dos 6 floppy disks right up to Vista for the laptops. I still have the serial number – I stuck the sticker onto the computer itself – so if I can get another disk I should be able to make a repair of the system. If only to Ghost it and put it on my laptop; after which I think I might stick one of the other Operating Systems I have on it. Even though it’s a fair few years old the computer is still pretty high spec, even by today’s standards.  If it was more reliable as a machine I would use it more often.

There was a big spike in visits to this web on the fourth and fifth and I’m pretty sure it was because of Lightwave Core, the announcement for which was on the fourth.

Around 9pm on the fourth I sat at my laptop, wasting bandwidth, waiting on the announcement. It didn’t come. The online web channel through which it was being broadcast seemingly froze over here in Europe. According to the NewTek forums (which I also couldn’t access around that time due to gazillions of others trying to access them at the same time) and the posts made there quite a lot of people, like me, missed the broadcast for technical reasons – i.e it went tits up. And a lot were upset by this.

I posted on another forum that it was a waste of time and a few days later I still have that opinion. The actual announcement itself  –  that Newtek are releasing a new, programmed from the ground up version of Lightwave and we get the privilege of paying for betas – didn’t strike me as all that worthwhile either.

To be fair NewTek have clarified things on the forum but I still don’t think it was worth the hype. Some said that it was like the subscription service offered by Autodesk for 3DS Max but NewTek have clarified that it is optional and not compulsory.

I’m still deciding if it’s worth going for Core or not. I got Lightwave at Version 8 and have upgraded to 9, mainly for the features it offers. And that’s the reason I upgrade software: because of what the upgrade offers. I’m not too happy about upgrading because it’s part of the cycle. I’ll see what further information comes out over the next few weeks and make a decision then.

Over the past week or so NewTek has been running a viral campaign for a new product (or an upgrade to Lightwave.)

I got an email about Lightwave first and checked the link. This showed only a clock counting down to the fourth of February, but over time they started adding clues. On the NewTek forums there’s a really long thread speculating on what the release will be.

As I write this there are only a few hours remaining, and the last clue was a link to a live youtube like video channel.

I guess I’ll find out soon if the campaign was worth it or just hype.

It’s weird that it’s been blowing blizzards on and off all day. The snow fall has been heavy and fierce flurries at times but (late afternoon) there hasn’t been that much lying. Only about three or four inches. This morning the radio had said that parts of England had, at that time, already had up to ten inches of snow. Where I am there are hills that protect us from the worst of the winds, rains and snow, so we don’t get it as bad as other parts of Scotland but it looks like we’re getting it bad today.

As usual Britain goes kafump, what the hell’s that white stuff and why isn’t anything working?