Mrs. H.'s machine was exhibiting annoying behaviour (saying the ethernet was connecting/disconnecting ever few seconds). I tried another NIC, another cable and different ports on the Linksys router. Same symptoms.
So, I got myself another router since the Linksys one has been giving me and SD (who both connect over 802.11g) grief and assuming that the network problem lay there. It doesn't. However, the network does work properly in Safe Mode (should've checked that before buying the router).
So, I decide to re-install XP on Mrs. H.'s machine. I find the Dell XP disk and run the install from inside Windows. After the reboot, I try to trash the C: partition. Can't do that as "temporary files required for setup" are there. No, there isn't an option to put them elsewhere. So, I try the "repair" option just to see if that'll fix it. Quite the opposite. The XP install doesn't seem to check the CD first and certain drivers failed to copy. So, the machine has gone from "a bit fucked" to "completely fucked".
No, the Dell XP CD doesn't boot. What you're supposed to do if your HD goes tits, I'm not sure.
Anyway, I suppose I can clear enough space to install a second XP on the D: drive, but it'll probably have to be from a hooky MSDN disk so activation etc. is going to be a pain.
I also noticed afterwards that the NIC (Intel) is the same chipset as the one built into the Dell MB so it might jsut be the drivers being fucked. However, something manufacturers of operating systems and network equipment should take into account is DON'T MAKE THE FUCKING DRIVER REPAIR DEPEND UPON AND INTERNET CONNECTION WHEN THE DODGY KIT IS REQUIRED TO CONNECT TO THE FUCKING INTERNET.
I have suggested putting Lunix on that machine as it cannot possibly be harder to install. However, Mrs. H. uses Office rather a lot for her teaching stuff. Does anyone know if it runs under Wine? Office 2000 that is. It's tempting to go Lunix as MS and Dell seem to be deliberately putting you in the position that when something goes wrong, you have to buy a whole new copy of XP.
Not so bastard computers
I did pick up a 250GB SATA drive for £60. I was disappointed that it didn't work straight off, but I eventually located a driver (suspiciously marked "Beta") that worked. This should be sufficient space for my porn needs for at least 6 months.
[Edit something in here when I think of something interesting. Possibly about in-laws and their lack of experience of non-package holidays where the locals refuse to speak English.]
I updated some of my details on a couple of job sites on Wednesday night. Thursday, I got called by four different agencies. Now I have to update the CV properly. LCC is OK, but if I don't move back into a definite "architect" job soon, I could get trapped as an humble designer. Coding would be better than that. Also, there's money.
Talking of money, I think there may be some friction coming up in the household. As far as I'm concerned, I've been quite careful with spending since coming back from holiday (HDD was half of my payment for some overtime I did a few weeks back). I am not convinced that Mrs. H. has been the same. Still, it's fillet steak for dinner tonight ...
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