20090816

Failing on all Fronts

I'm not sure is there's a cosmological explanation for this, but i think this could be summed up as the Week of Fail. At first i thought it was a particularly bad Mercury retrograde, but i looked it up and found that that doesn't start for another month (September 6th). And it doesn't seem to be just me.

Anyway, my own personal week of fail really started last Wednesday (the 5th of August). I had created the image for the new laptops for the incoming students, and was genuinely happy with it. After sysprepping it and cloning it to my first new machine, i got a message:

"The system registry contains invalid file paths. Installation cannot proceed. This system image was applied without guaranteeing that drive-letter assignments would match across computers."

I Googled it and forumed it and queried it and came up with several interesting answers, but none of them helped. One, however (doing a sort of shady registry-hack work-around), resulted in the message changing to:

"Windows could not update the computer's boot configuration. Installation cannot proceed."

I fought with the image throughout the weekend. Monday i continued, after some minor fail involving leaving my paper notes about the installation, as well as my tablet with the rest my notes, at home. Tuesday the hopelessness gradullay began to set in. I tried every possible permutation with zero success. I worked on it Tuesday until 2:00am, then after a short nap, someone drunk-wrong-number-dialed me at 4:45am and I was up and working on it again.

Wednesday i still hadn't heard back from Lenovo about possible solutions to the problem, but fortunately i had a meeting with Web Development to take my mind off it for a little while. During the meeting, my lovely new x200 tablet completely bricked. Or rather, i should say, the $400 solid state HDD for my beautiful new tablet suddenly went paperweight on me. Unreadable by any technology we have in our office, and that generally means it can't be recovered without an expensive visit to OnTrak... and they don't support SSD. My last backup, of course, was just before i started making notes about the T400 install.

Thursday the 13th is the day i needed to roll out the first four laptops. Having completely given up at this point, i came in early on Thursday and set up four completely new images from scratch by hand, finishing them just in the nick of time. At that point, i had worked right around 68 hours for the week (since my lab setup was on my dining room table, and i just went home and kept working), so i gave up, went home, collapsed, and slept for 16 hours.

(Um, by the way, in case Steve or any of the Law School PTBs are reading this, don't worry. I won't go overtime or cause any HR problems about "volunteering time" - i didn't show up on Friday and i'll take appropriately shortened days next week to make up for it. Meh.)

By the way, Lenovo did get back to me on Friday, saying something along the lines of, "You guys are using Windows XP, and you can't use sysprep for Vista on XP." Obviously, we have once again been mistaken for the Carlson School of Management. Bitter, bitter, bitter. We've been on Vista for nearly three years.

But the fail doesn't stop there. Peat's ride home from Kawashaway blew up and he had to find another. Then ride #2 fell madly in love and decided to stay another week.

Jenn had her own adventures in Chicago just trying to get home to Minneapolis. I quote the txt directly:

Just landed in Mpls. The levels of FAIL involved are stupefying. Never EVER attempt to do the new thing with boarding pass images on your phone even if you are there 2 hours early.

DO NOT EVER. EVER. SRSLY.
There was a lot more fail there than just the iPhone boarding pass, too. But that's another story. Nick had a fair bit of technology fail as well. Then there was last night's latest episode of Jenn getting really drunk, throwing things, acting like a four-year-old, and storming off, ruining a perfectly nice Cracker show that she'd taken me to for my birthday. I've decided, though, that i'm just too old to put up with that kind of shit anymore, from anyone, least of all someone who's in her 30s and ought to have grown out of that by now. Next time anyone wants to spend $15 on me, just mail it. Yeah, sorry, still stinging a little from that one.

In fact, friend fail doesn't stop there, and doesn't stop at Jenn. Quite a few people rubbing me the wrong way lately, and starting to get a little sore.

I'm still waiting to see how the predictive linguistics play out next week, but i'm already starting to think it might be high time to start planning the move back to the mountains. I was thinking it should probably wait until next spring, but i wonder if fall might be better. I ordered a cream separator and an electric butter churn online and had them sent to my parents' for safe-keeping. Still open to any advice anyone has about how to go about investing in silver.

In good news, though, yesterday i went to Coastal Seafoods with Peat's mom and her friend Pat, and we bought many strange and divers things, including some sashimi ahi that I'm going to make up for Peat when he gets home from work. They also gave us two uni for free, so we have to figure out what to do with them.

Anyway, i'm off to make some tamago and make the most of what's left of my weekend. I hope you all enjoy yours!