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Hard and Fast

The click of death. Or not. A use for UFB?

By Antonios K, in , posted: 12-Jul-2010 20:29

Well, it happened. Not overnight... and without warning.

My 500GB main disk died. No click of death. No warning from SMART. Nothing.

The disk had been running a little poorly for the last few months - an unfortunate fight between ACPI and APM meant it's XP partition was never the same again.

But this morning - nothing. Not even a parting goodbye.

The darn thing won't register. I doubt it's even spinning up.

Now, it wasn't completely unexpected.... I have a new 1TB drive with Vista Ultimate on it (and please don't start on why not Win7... I did not have $400 spare) that I was progressively moving to, at a speed the wife would accept.

So now we're on Vista, I have a dead HD I'm wondering to do with, and a lot of stuff to migrate very quickly.

But it got me thinking about the cloud, for the first time in a long time (especially given it's my job to have my head in the clouds).

I've lost no email. My precious media of the children is on a seperate HD (which is about to be backed up AGAIN!). But I would love to be able to have a safe store for what is important to me and my family.

With my TelstraClear Cable Internet, I can restore my email and any PC pretty easily - although getting Vista and the apps patched up again came to about 3GB in a day - but for real content? forget it. WHo can offer me 1TB of storage? and what Internet service can I use to upload that amount of info?

A home server might be the answer... but that also has a hard disk that will eventually die. On the story goes.

I've been struggling to think about what use a fast fibre network could be. This is one of the uses.

But then economic reality steps in... my wife says she'd pay $30/month to back our data. That's real world consumer expectation, and she doesn't care what's involved in making it happen.

SO who will be first with a 100Mbps Internet service and unmetered 1TB in the sky. $30 a month up for grabs.....

Freitas in shock move

By Antonios K, in , posted: 21-May-2009 16:42

In a move that sent shockwaves through the IT reporting industry, Mauricio Freitas unveiled that he was in fact planning to expand his role in life and free himself from the shackles of Geekzone Blogging.

Highlighting a desire for wearing long trenchcoats and looking like a hitman, as well as the desire to ride a moped around a beautifal island wearing nothing but an open shirt, Mauricio outed himself accidentally as a Bollger for Greekzone at a marketing event in Wellington...


"I've always considered the Hellenic lifestyle one to adopt as soon as possible. The Greeks have contributed so much to the world, compared to Brazil (with only a proposition on body hair waxing!)"

In a timely fashion, Mr Freitas, under dubious conditions and egged on by a raucous P.Pilcher, won a Jabra headset just for turning up in his open shirt. Despite protests from the crowd, another travesty was enabled....

The Jabra headset was found to pair beautifally with his brand new Acer Windows Mobile device, apparently not available to distributors....

Is your XP running slow? (again....)

By Antonios K, in , posted: 12-May-2007 19:07

It appears that a recent patch/hotfix/improvement proves to be anything but.

My laptop has been grinding to a halt when I first start it up, with the process SVCHOST taking all resources. I've spent the last week trying to figure it out - dodgy drivers? nope.

I've applied the patch - seems to have done the trick.


Windows XP redux: the reinstall

By Antonios K, in , posted: 26-Apr-2007 19:45

I run a number of computers at home. An older machine with Vista Home Premium on it (more on my experiences in a later blog). A small form factor desktop as a Windows Home Server. A new machine with XP SP2 on it (main machine, which the family uses = "I'm happy with it, don't touch it" says the wife). And my beloved Toshiba Portege R100, the first truly RAZOR sized lappie, imho. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of getting this machine without the Toshiba DVDROM, which has a PC Card interface. I'm not paying that exhorbitant fee (it was $750 some 3 years ago), I can pick up a USB drive. And i did, a Philips Jackrabbit from Heathrow on my way out from the UK to move back to NZ.

A year later when I had to reinstall XP, I discovered the R100 couldn't start from a USB drive. It needed to start from a USB Floppy.


Microsoft thoughtfully supplies boot creators for Floppy. There's one for XP SP1, and one for XP SP2. Does anyone recall how long it takes to start from a floppy drive? here's a reminder. It's 15 LONG minutes every time. And I know this because yesterday I was forced to reinstall after the boot partition finally failed (spectacularly I might add).

So why do I say every time?

Well, floppy disks aren't popular these days. And I didn't have any, so I bought a pack of Imation from DSE. 3 turned out to be duds. But I only found this out at the end of 6 disk startup, when my machine would blue-screen.

4 restarts and a lot of anger later...

I had created an image using nLite, a tool that supposedly creates 'lite' XP installs. Except it didnt copy the first 2 critical files to my 'lite' image, so I was forced to resort to my SP2 install disk. I have four copies of XP (many trips to Microsoft store in Redmond over several years), but only one had SP2.

It was only halfway through install I remembered that the disc was slightly dodgy, and a copy of it was required to proceed (if you ever have a chance to visit the Microsoft shop, remember there is a reason why some of the software is only $20!). My disc's are legit. But I have to make a backup to proceed with the install.

2 hours and a lot of pent-up why-did-i-ever-get-into-technology moments, here I am waiting for the disc to be created.

I know I will complete. But these days I don't have much time to waste on stuff like this. And as I get older and grumpier, my tolerance is just evaporating like XP support from MS....

antoniosk's profile

Antonios K
New Zealand


Antonios has been actively employed in the IT & Technology sector since 1991, and has worked on many commercial projects and products in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. Working in product or actively managing programmes of work, he has always focused on building for the end customer, and not just promoting new technologies. Industry experience includes all telecommunications areas for business and private customers, private insurance, loyalty, media, energy and gambling. 

Since 2013, he has been involved with the development and launch of many popular smartphone applications in New Zealand, including

- TAB Mobile
- AMI & State Insurance digital experience
- Fly Buys
- Newshub for web and app
- Genesis Energy & Energy Online
- MyACC for Business

Genuinely passionate about technologies, internet and computing in general, he lives in the city he was born in - Wellington, New Zealand, the creative heart of hub of digital sector for the country.