Author Archives: JH

Windows for Dummies

I have been running a Mac for the last 7 years and last week, I fixed up a Windows PC for the first time. I learnt a couple of things you should NOT do.

1) Don’t EVER try fixing up a PC if you don’t have a DVD-ROM drive. 

In this day and age, I had thought that optical drives were optional. After all, my Macbook Air came without one and I get most of my stuff from downloads.

WRONG. Oh my goodness, how big a pain is this. First of all, some motherboards these days come with this newfangled BIOS mode called UEFI that’s completely not like the BIOS I know. You can’t just command it to boot from USB or an external hard drive because it won’t. Or maybe it’s just Windows doing its thing. I wouldn’t know because I can’t get it to work.

I’ve tried reformatting my USB/external drive, swapping out the directories of boot manager files, force-detecting my drives as “optical” instead of USB/Hard Drive… nothing works. NOTHING.

I gave up in the end and thought ok, I’ll burn the friggin’ ISO into a DVD and then use an old DVD drive. The motherboard I have runs on SATA plugs and my drive is an old one with IDE connections. I bought a SATA adapter but apparently the ones on the market here don’t work presumably cos they run on the old SATA format while my motherboard’s on the new format. NOTHING WORKS.

What did I do in the end? Hook up my hard drive on an old PC with an optical drive and install Windows. Does it work? Yea kind of, except it now detects phantom peripherals that I can’t uninstall and every now and then tells me that Windows Update has failed.

2) Don’t EVER try to customize anything. EVER.

Some installation program needs to alter a registry file via some command line scripts. Didn’t work because I lack the proper permissions. Please could I contact an admin although I’m the ONLY person who’s registered and is using the same PC. I try correcting the permissions in Explorer but can’t because they’re all greyed out. I try setting my hard drive as ‘Active’ which is apparently the wrongest thing you can do.

Windows has grown so bloody smart it now decides what to partition your hard drive into and which can be active and also that you shouldn’t have permissions to the drive. Who does? I don’t know!

Anyway, changing permissions caused Windows to fail to boot which brings me back to the useless BIOS screen again. Repeat all the actions in Problem 1.

3) Don’t EVER try to install anything if you don’t have an internet connection.

A computer in every household my ass. If you don’t have a reliable connection to the internet, Windows will insist that your software is illegal and remind you of that with pop-ups every few minutes. If you don’t own an internet connection, you’re OBVIOUSLY too poor to own Windows, peasant.

4) Use your mouse scroll button like how you’re expected to use it! Conformity is very important to Windows users!

My scroll button is in reverse. Let me invert it, I thought naively. After looking up the Control Panel, Google tells me exactly what it takes. Simple stuff.

5) Shutting down in a hurry? You can’t because Windows decides when it wants to shut down.

Automatic updates that run by default on shutdown. I don’t even want to elaborate.

Maturity Explained.

We went to Prince Edward Island. It’s so sloooow and sleepy and pretty awesome if you’re into canoeing and mountain biking and oh yeah, Anne of Green Gables.

Anne of Green Gables

 

Art Appreciation at the MOMA

Like every other pretentious tourist, I really like visiting museums when I travel. If my art teachers back in school knew the number of art museums and galleries I’ve been to the last few years, they’d probably roll in their graves. That is, assuming they’re dead which they’re probably not but hey, I didn’t invent the saying.

Through all of it, I’ve learnt that people really like taking photos. No one really cares if a painting’s good or bad. If it bears a familiar name, say Van Gogh or Picasso or Left-Handed Lab Monkey #3847, there’ll be a crowd admiring the work through their iPhone screens.

test

“Picasso should have totally used the Retro filter.”

Of course you can get a picture of the exact same painting in higher rez by Googling for “Picasso painting MOMA” but it’s not the same because there’s no frame in those stock pictures! The frame! WILL ANYONE THINK OF THE FRAME???

Les_Demoiselles_d'Avignon

Hehehe, they’re nekkid.

I can’t say I can ever fully comprehend modern art but I know for sure that this Andy Warhol piece is performance art.

Yea

People fascinated with a celebrated work by an artist fascinated by people fascinated by celebrities.

Some of the other paintings are useful too as backgrounds for passport photos.

Uh

Eyebrows! We need to see your eyebrows!

Yea, I like art museums. They’re very educational. I’ve also learnt that day that some of the best artists can’t draw dicks.

horse

Not hung like a horse

Bali Unicycling

Downhill Unicycling

 

A bunch of us took off to Bali one weekend and NEVER SAW A BEACH. I’ve never been to Bali before and if I never heard more about Bali, I’d really have thought that all there was there was sand, lava and a whole lot of pain.

One of the unicyclists happen to be familiar with the region and in particular, the volcanoes in the region so we got to do what we didn’t get to do in Maninjau (also in Indonesia) the year before – ride down a frickin’ volcano. It’s actually a lot of fun… in retrospect… and we’ve come to the realisation that most of the photos of our unicycling trips kind of look like this -

baktur

We’re really just scaling the peaks in our riding gear.

Anyway, ride report. Mt Bakur is NOT rideable. Well, it kind of is if you’re great at riding in sand and have inexhaustible energy. Riding downhill is insanely fun and should be a legitimate sport on its own. It feels like snowboarding with the board clenched between your thighs and sounds more kinky than it really is.

The town rides was fun. There’s a lot of unsealed roads in the area which makes for great fun even if you can’t move the next morning. Unicycling’s always a great icebreaker and at every pitstop, we’d be chatting with the locals who aren’t used to seeing a motley crew all missing a wheel.

Unlike the Maninjau trip, I’m happy that I didn’t come down with some mystery illness although some others did and I have to admit that I was exceptionally wary of food and I took time to build up my intake amounts. The last year at Maninjau, I came down with severe diarrhoea and a 40 degree fever for a week on my return, most probably due to food poisoning and dehydration. At some point, I couldn’t get out of bed because the world would white out.

One day, I’ll come back to Bali and maybe FINALLY be relaxing on a hammock at some sandy beach, perhaps with an overpriced beer and a whole flock of tourists around taking selfies.

 

 

 

One Very Wet Ride

Very Wet Unicycle Ride

This is 30 minutes into the sudden storm.