December 16th, 2001


"I think I'll stop working!"

. . . is what my computer said earlier today.

See, I'm going to explain a bit about SCSI here. First I'm going to tell you a little story, then I'm going to tell you something that most people would consider facts, but which are actually just as true as the thing before. But before all that, I'm actually going to tell you some facts.

SCSI stands for Small Computer System Interface. It's a way of plugging things into a computer. Like, say, hard drives. Or scanners. Or CD-ROM drives. But in this case, hard drives. It's more expensive but significantly faster, which is why I'm using it in this computer.

Now I'll tell you a story.

It's said that one day there was an apprentice system administrator, and he had been invited to help the guru set up a new system that involved SCSI. So he went to the guru and asked what he should bring in the line of tools. The guru thought for a minute and said, "Well, I've got a reasonably sharp knife on me. You bring the goat - I'll give you an address for a place that doesn't ask question. I'll pick up the black candles, and we shouldn't have any trouble finding the screwdriver or the incense. Oh, how many obscure gods do you know?"

SCSI is considered one of the most cantankerous things in the universe, you see. The 'net is rife with stories about the solution being "Oh, just turn your computer about twenty degrees to the left." And such things. SCSI fails randomly and works randomly, and "compatibility" is one of those words that is spoken in hushed revenant tones.

Now, SCSI requires that all SCSI chains be terminated on both ends. This gets quite weird, especially since neither end technically has to be the SCSI card, although that's sort of a normal way of doing it. Most items are capable of self-termination in one way or another. Some autodetect, some don't. However, some autodetect badly, and some don't do it at all.

Well, it turned out that my hard drive, which I thought autodetected, does, in fact, not. In fact, it's not capable of terminating at all. And it decided to work for a week and a half before stopping. Of course, it decided to do so on a Saturday, which I suppose could be worse (it could have died Friday night) but is still pretty annoying.

So I am now running WinXP off a second install on a secondary hard drive. My entire primary hard drive is totally inaccessible (until I get the terminator) which is annoying beyond all reason.

On the other hand, at least it *works* again.

I think I have other things to say. But most of them are annoyed and angry and stuff everyone who reads this has heard many times before. Plus I'm not entirely sure. So I'll stop here, I think.
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    that would assume my sound card worked