The one where saving money required spending money.

To my surprise, I walked into my office on Friday morning to see my PC sitting there. Needless to say, I was quite pleased. However, out of curiosity, I checked Canada Post’s site and plugged in the tracking number – yep, just as I thought. Still sitting in the sortation plant. Frakking lazy CPC – update your frakking site on the fly, you bastards. If Purolator can do it, so can you.

So, this weekend was spent test driving the PC – works very well for a refurb, but then again, refurbs are hit and miss, just like brand new PCs. I tested the machine by copying a DVD movie, uninstalling and installing software, and even troubleshooting the thing. As it turns out, when I went to create the HP Recovery CDs, the system reported that there was no recovery partition on the PC. After checking Disk Management, I confirmed that the partition was indeed there, but not recognized. So, I installed PartitionMagic, and sure enough, the partition was hidden. I unhid the partition, assigned it to drive letter D:, and tried again – success. Some moron at HP didn’t refurb the machine properly and forgot to unhide the partition. Everything else was smooth sailing after that. Except – I did the standard internal inspection and found out that the HDD was not SATA like I thought, but IDE. I checked HP’s online docs to confirm – yep. I misunderstood because the sysbd specs stated implicitly that there were four SATA connectors, but never stated what interface the HDD actually used. So… my bad. My plan was to use the SATA drive as the standalone OS drive, and piggyback my two 200 GB HDDs on the PATA interface, with my CD-RW drive on the secondary channel with the stock LightScribe DVD writer. However, lack of space and bays notwithstanding, I saw no way to do this now, since there wouldn’t be enough PATA connectors to put three HDDs and two optical drives on. I’d have to sacrifice the stock drive and use my old 200 GBs the same way as I always have. Or would I?

I had some leftover money after getting my car back – all explained in my latest Altima entry. The rub was that if I wanted to get the new PC up and running, I’d have to split the drives again and be out of space for my growing data partition. I didn’t want that. The included HDD was supposed to allow me to allocate slightly more space for my data partition in the old HDD. So, I checked NCIX for some cheap SATA HDDs… I thought to myself – if I bought a SATA 160 GB to replace the stock PATA 160 GB, I’d be spending $100, when it’s only $20 more for the 320 GB SATA 3Gb/s HDD. I didn’t want to increase drive space so drastically that my backup HDDs wouldn’t keep up, so if I bought a bigger drive, it would offset the other drives and with all that unused space, it’d be too tempting to create yet another partition. I wasn’t going to let that happen. I had to keep my space requirements under control – why the hell else would I buy so many DVD+R spindles?

So, this was the solution – replace my drives outright with SATA. It would solve the issue of non-existent drive bays, and I’d have much faster performance in the end. I ordered a 320 GB and a 200 GB. The 320 GB will be split into two partitions – a 100 GB OS partition and a 200 GB data partition. The 200 GB would be used as video space, just like my old secondary 200 GB, only better. The drives with cables cost me about $275. As a result, this new “cheap solution” PC cost me about $1015. If I went with a custom build, which would have had everything I wanted, including expandability, it would have only cost me $1300. All of a sudden, this idea to save money with a cheap PC cost me almost as much as the solution I really wanted. Talk about backfiring.

Oh well, on the bright side, at least I saved $285. I also ended up with enough money to pay down some of my MasterCard, which may allow me to get those extra fixes done at Canadian Tire, or even that security/keyless entry system I wanted for my car.

At the end of the month, I’m supposed to be headed to Winnipeg to drop Esmond off. I won’t have enough money to pay for pretty much anything while I’m down there. I just hope that I can do enough deliveries and computer repairs to make some side money for it. It’ll be close, but I think I’ll be able to make it.

Okay, enough with the tech/financial talk. Let’s get down to Japan business. I watched all of ATTENTION PLEASE recently. It’s got to be one of best dorama I’ve seen. Ueto Aya did a great job of turning her tomboy rock-star character into a full-fledged cabin attendant. Humorous and touching at times, this has to be the coup de grace of career-based dorama. I remember flying on JAL to and from Japan when I was young, and the cabin attendant was so friendly and ladylike that I even remembered her name to this day – Shiori-san. ああ、懐かしい。。。

Well, if anybody remembers or knows Shiori-san, a JAL cabin attendant from the summer of 1987, please let her know that she made my first flight on JAL a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Haven’t gotten around to watching Makai Senki DISGAEA, but that’s because my computer went down. I haven’t even gotten around to going through my latest preorders, but once again, due to obvious reasons. For now, the old Mitake is still chugging along there – the new Mitake won’t be able to start work until the new HDDs come in. I have a little video project in the works for the new Mitake. Stay tuned.


Additional Resources

The one with all the Lesson Reviews.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this blog ever since I started using Hummingbird last fall. So, I decided to try an idea of mine called Lesson Reviews. Essentially, it’s more of a “what I learned from X anime” than a review, but the thing is, there will be good and […]

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