Brent Dax (brentdax) wrote,
Brent Dax

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Heard from my hosting provider. They have a backup from Monday, but it'll cost $20 to restore, which I'm more than willing to pay--but they also say they'll need every filename. Of course, since this is Filespace, I don't know all the filenames. *sighs* I've asked if "everything under public_html/filespace" is enough for them to restore it; if not, I probably won't bother.

I also found a log generated by Frontpage, with a large number of lines like Failed to delete folder "filespace/sangochan". No mention of the files, but the implication is clear--it was indeed my fuck-up.

Now that that's over with, I can talk about Friday and yesterday. On Friday I left the house around four. Conversation with my sister just before I left (paraphrased):

Grandma: *pointing to sister's gym bag* Is this green and black one yours?
Me: No. That's why it says "Giants Gymnastics" on it. This one's mine. *holds up black bag* Although I'm getting a new one soon.
Sister: Is the new one green and black too?
Me: No, it's just black, with a Megatokyo logo.
Sister: Anime freak.
Me: The correct word is "otaku". *walks out door before she can reply*

We left and got to my grandparents' house twenty minutes later.

Grandma is perhaps sixty-six or sixty-seven; she's originally from New York, but moved out to California fairly early in her life. She's nice, but rather passive-agressive--she's often almost subservient, but she nags a lot and puts you into double binds. It's really annoying. Her "claim to fame" is that when she was a kid, a relative of hers worked for DC, so she actually colored a few Superman comics.

Grandpa is seventy, and was born in CA. He's extremely overweight, which is a bit odd considering that he was Navy once. (I believe he was on a carrier in the Mediterranean during the Korean War, but I'm not sure.) He can barely hear anymore, and has an annoying habit of making obscene jokes (which is really gross coming from him). His motto is "anything worth doing is worth overdoing", which has led him to all sorts of bad side effects, not the least of which being damage to his kidneys from vitamin overdoses. (He was once told to go on a pasta diet for his heart; he ended up eating two pounds of spaghetti at each meal.) He records practically everything on TV with his eight VCRs and single ReplayTV, and even has backup batteries for them.

He does, however, like Star Trek, and as with everything else, he records it. So every summer, we get together to watch an entire season of Star Trek.

Of course, with twenty-six episodes, this usually takes a while, so we often split it into two or three weekends. We had five episodes left, so we decided we'd watch them Friday night and Saturday morning, and I'd be back by noon.

So I went over to their house to watch Star Trek. Of course, we couldn't just watch Star Trek, because these are grandparents. First Grandpa had to try to convince me that bridge is a good game and that I should play it and that it'll keep me from getting Alzheimer's and.... *sighs* Screw it. They'll have a cure for Alzheimer's by the time I'm old enough to have it.

After about forty minutes of that (and an annoying, perverted blonde joke) the three of us went to dinner. Grandpa tried to explain the electrical grid to Grandma, who doesn't understand technology much at all. Grandpa kinda got lost in the complexities of electric generators, so I took over, simply explaining that any spinning motion can be converted into electricity. I tried to simplify where possible, while Grandpa insisted on pointing out that e.g. there are several stepdown transformers between high-tension lines and your house, not just one. That was rather annoying.

After dinner, he went to do...something, don't remember what...and I went with Grandma to drop off some stuff at my aunt Teri's house.

Teri is a businesswoman. She owns a company that arranges fertility treatments (egg and sperm donors, surrogacies, etc)--basically they match up patients, donors or surrogates, and doctors. She uses her website to communicate with patients and allow them to pick their donor or surrogate, something which is apparently unusual in her industry, and keeps patient data in a custom-built FoxPro application, which my dad is currently maintaining. (He didn't write it--Teri's ex-husband did, but...well, they're not together anymore.)

Teri is currently dating Steve. They're living together, and Steve is one of Teri's employees. He's nominally a computer guy, but he's actually a Mac user, and not a particularly proficient one at that. More on why he's important later.

Teri also has two kids, Michael and Tiffany. Michael turns thirteen tomorrow; he's extremely hyperactive. Tiffany is fourteen; she's adopted, and although I adore her...well, her early childhood shows sometimes. She was born to druggies, and lived on the streets for a month or two when she was still young. Suffice it to say, she did not get sufficient huggles.

While I was over there, Teri asked me to come to her office on Saturday to do some computer work. I agreed--it sounded like a few hours of easy work, and I can get a lot of money.

We went home after that. Grandpa and I watched three episodes, and I tried to ignore the occasional comment along the lines of "T'Pol is pretty well put together", and then we went to sleep.

Woke up the next morning and watched two more Treks. The one about T'Pol's pon farr was a lot better than I thought--the previews had me cringing. Then I went to Aunt Teri's house.

I waited around for a while, while Michael, Tiffany, and one of Michael's friends ran around screaming. Literally. For, like, two hours. If I hadn't had my CD player and ear-glomping headphones with me, I'd have pulled Enforcers out of nowhere and gone on a rampage.

Heh. o/` Dictate a memo to myself / Try to find out if I'm the only one in complete health... o/` Mixed playlist, still.

We finally left for the office, and got there about three. My main goal was to build a computer for Steve's new office. The computer I was working on had a broken Windows 2000 installation; I tried to use the Repair function on it, but it didn't work, so I wiped the hard drive and started over.

Windows 2000 installed. Network card drivers installed. Service Pack...I think they're up to four...installed. Everything on Windows Update installed. HighEdit (mini-word processor used in their application) installed and patched to actually work on Windows 2000.

I put in an extra 256MB of memory and then an old Rage 128 Pro-based All-In-Wonder card. Said card didn't work--I needed to upgrade DirectX, and neither 8 nor 9 would install correctly. I finally gave up and chucked the original vanilla Rage 128 card back in, along with a CD-RW.

[edit]None of these components were l33t enough to require n3kk1d sk1llz, thank God.[/edit]

During this time, Teri and Steve were emptying what used to be a junk room and turning it into an office. By the time I had the system ready--maybe five hours after I started--they were ready to receive it. I hooked it all up and did the final network and printer configuration.

I gave Steve power user privilages instead of administrator. I don't trust him not to fuck something up.

After that, I looked at a couple other problems in the office. One system wasn't working with its user's larger-than-normal monitor. If you used the "bad" monitor, it gave a BSOD; if you used any other monitor, it was absolutely fine. I have no idea how this is possible--I swapped out the graphics card, and it didn't fix the problem. It's probably one of the weirdest hardware bugs I've ever seen.

Teri's system wasn't able to access the network. I was able to determine that the break was somewhere between whatever her desk's mini-hub connected to and the office's central switch, but tracking it down more than that would have required knowledge of their network's layout that I just don't have, so I wasn't able to fix that either.

I also helped to wrestle some of the office furniture into place.

So I was done by nine-thirty. I had spent six and a half hours; my rate is $30/hr, so I got $180. Which is nice, considering that most of the time was spent watching progress bars. :^) Now I just have to decide what to do with it...

They drove me home, and I spent the rest of the night online, mostly trying to figure out what atom bomb had dropped on Filespace.

Daystar Exposures Friday: 2 (driving to grandparents'; dinner)
Daystar Exposures Saturday: 2 (driving to Aunt Teri's; driving to her office)

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