Okay, so I melted a floppy drive. Could happen to anyone. Who hasn’t done it? I mean, there they are, solid plastic, sitting in your computer case. Obviously at some point it’s going to melt. It’s just going to.

So this is what happened, This is why I hate technology and am going to forthwidth go live in a bunker. No. A monestary. Get me to a monestary, because if this is what it means to be free, I don’t need it.

(Today’s obscure reference brought to you by Winamp)

(Tails of technological woe start in three paragraphs time, feel free to skip to them)

I had a computer called reef. It was a good computer, the heart of it was the Celeron 333 my parents bought me for my 18th birthday. It’s a grandfather’s axe thing, I’ve replaced the Mobo, memory, hard-drive, graphics card, case, keyboard, mouse, floppy-drive and network port, but it’s still the Celeron my parents bought me.

The Mobo is a little dead, in fact, as at some point 2002 the PS/2 ports on it died, and since it lacks decent USB support (Or anything else) it means I can only access it remotely, which isn’t any problem as it’s a server. It’s main functions were replaced mid last year by Atoll, a 2ghz Athlon doing exactly the same things at 5x the speed, so here I have a spare box doing nothing that I can’t use as a desktop.

I also have a new broadband connection arriving on Tuesday, and the router I used to use with it is an ADSL router, and this is cable. New solution time. I decided to turn reef into an IPCop box (I’ve used IPCop before, I’m used to how it works, and I understand it in a way that I don’t for – for example – Cisco routers) which would stand between our network and the rest of the world. So far, so hoopy. Pol has also lent me a Wireless Router, and I can therefore switch to Wireless and get rid of the unsightly cables that have littered every other house I’ve lived in.

Because I can’t plug a keyboard into reef (prospective firewall, welcome back, woe fans) I decide to put the componants into Maelstrom (my desktop box) install IPCop onto the HDD like that, and then transfer it all to reef and then go. I get as far as turning reef into a reef/maelstrom hybrid and halfway though formatting the old HDD before I realise that maelstrom has a 6 gig + 20 gig HDD, and reef has a 20 gig HDD which it doesn’t need. I therefore put Maelstrom back together, rescue important things from the six gig HDD (onto the secondary HDD) and install IPCop onto that. It’s about this time that I realise I’m going to need another NIC, so I put Maelstrom back together to get online and buy that.

‘cept I’ve just reformatted my Windows drive, so I’m going to have to reinstall Windows (No broadband + No install CDs + Winmodem == No Linux). It’s about this time that I plug the power for the floppy drive one pin to the right of where it should be. I wonder where the smell of TCP is coming from. I start the install process, with my Unattended Install Floppy in the drive (This floppy, as you may remember, makes Windows install itself without any input from me). Setup doesn’t read it. The smell is getting stronger. I note that the BIOS doesn’t see the Floppy drive on reboot. It’s really starting to smell quite bad now. I turn off the computer and check the connections, realising that the floppy-drive power cable is really quite hot now. A short tug and I have a twisted mass of plastic, two pins of the power connector, and a really fucked floppy drive.

Did I mention the floppy drive has my WinXP Serial number on it? It does.

Did I mention that this number’s only other place of existance is in the home directory of the server that I now cannot access because my computer is buggered?

It is.

So, girlfriend’s laptop, serial number, reinstall Windows.

“Drive F: (Secondary hard-drive) isn’t formatted. Would you like to format the drive you put all the important files on three paragraphs ago?”

No.

“It looks like you’re having a bad day. Would you like some help?”

Fuck off.

I ordered some new parts from Dabs. They arrived next day. Yay Dabs.

I fiddled with the cables. I could see my old Hard-Drive. Yay cables.

I installed IPCop with the new NIC. It worked. yay IPCop.

It didn’t boot. Boo IPCop.

I tried to reinstall IPCop, but it wouldn’t boot. Boo IPCop.

I tried to reboot windows, but it wouldn’t boot. Boo Windows.

I tried to boot with a handy Gentoo Live CD, but it wouldn’t boot. Oh bother.

Apparently the secondary hard-drive was still not working. I discovered this by a process of elimination about an hour later.

I installed IPCop. It worked. It booted. I put reef back together. It booted. I put maelstrom back together with the new floppy drive I bought from Dabs. It booted, but performance was crap. I reinstalled Windows. It booted. It worked. I watched Bubblegum Crisis 2040 for several hours. Yay Anime.

Right, part two. Wireless networking.

On one side of my bedroom, I set up the wireless router and plugged it into my hub.

On the other side of my bedroom, I set up maelstrom with the new PCI Wireless NIC I’d bought from Dabs. After a little mucking around and leaning on the reset switch of the router until it forgot it’s old password, I configured the router to work.

(Not work the way I want it to. All I want it to do is act as a hub and forward packets to the router. I don’t want it to filter them – that’s why I want IPCop – or be a DHCP server – that’s why I have another server. All I want it to do is allow access to anyone with the password, which is – in case you’re in Letchworth – Swordf1sh)

It was now accepting packets (Though not doing anything with them. No point until the ipcop box is online) but could the Wireless Card see it?

Could it hell.

Was it that the Router wasn’t configured right?

Was it that the card wasn’t working/configured properly?

How the hell could I tell the difference?

Upon all these questions I gave up and went to bed. It was late, and I was tired.

Next morning they were both able to see each other.

No idea why.

Two hours later I couldn’t see WLAN (The router’s Wireless Network) at all, but was apparently connected to ‘default’. Yay open wireless networks. In this case, someone running XP with default config (I was even able to access the net with it for about 10 minutes. Then it broke. No idea why).

Then Maelstrom stopped being able to see the secondary hard-drive again.

Now it can’t see the wireless card.

I hate computers.

So I went to watch anime instead.

Then I ran out of episodes.

I hate everything. I’m going to bed.