Meanwhile, back in the control room

Nanny hit a switch.

The news this morning, which has no doubt caused outpourings of joy and hap­pi­ness across what China thinks is the Internet (but is just a ship in a bottle), was that the IMDb has been unblocked. I don’t know why it was ever blocked in the first place, but it’s been off the menu for about the past two and a half years.

Since the IMDb is a useful source of reference, but not much else, this wouldn’t seem to be heralding a more mature approach to the Internet. I have been won­der­ing if Ang Lee’s success at the Oscars perhaps led to the site being unblocked as a weird sort of reward.

The weather. A perennial favourite.

The temperature has reached its high-water mark today after steadily increasing every day for about the past week. Tomorrow, it’s meant to fall by about half to a mere 14°. A couple of weeks ago, that was quite pleasant, but it won’t be fun this time round. The weather this year has been unseasonably warm since I’ve noted in recent years that it’s not until the week of the speaking exams in April that it really improves.

Cough, splutter.

It seems that the old laptop (an Acer 6920G) is dying in spite of the hours I spent reinstalling Windows 7 and patching it. Since then, it’s got even slower, and the e­vid­ence sug­gests that the HD is dying. The D:\ drive is there, but impossible to access, and the machine’s performance is dismal. I tried running Excel 2007 on it, but every key stroke was taking seconds to have an effect. The HD light is often on as well.

I managed to install a whole bunch of patches on the machine last night, but there’s another one (.NET Framework patch) which is going nowhere. In addition, Ex­plor­er is often slow and cranky.

The entire problem seems to be down to a file called classpnp.sys, which I identified as the source of the original issue, and which seems to be the source of continuing problems. It’s a problem which has affected others (for example), and which seems to be highly resistant to being repaired.

I need to uninstall Acrobat and Office 2007 on the old machine before it gets to the point where I can’t even boot up at all.

It seems to be such an ignominious end for a machine which was such a solid piece of kit.

The next day. I uninstalled Acrobat last night, which took over an hour in spite of claims to the contrary. Office took a smidge longer – somewhere around six to seven hours, I estimate. I’ve packed up the old machine since the amount of effort required to maintain it far exceeds the value of such an exercise.

[04.10.14. After I resurrected the nine-year-old grandfather of my current machine and managed to get it working properly, I turned my attention back to its im­med­i­ate predecessor, which was still operating chronically slowly because the D:\ drive was there, but not there. (It’s a bit like my pupils’ intellects – supposedly there, but then they write something in English, and there’s no sign of any intellect whatsoever.)

After some unsuccessful fiddling with the Windows tools to see whether I could access the missing drive, I tried reformatting it from the command prompt. The process worked, and the machine is now chugging along about as well as a six-year-old machine can.]

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