One of those arhhhhhh f#?k moments

Fired up the X1000 today. it was time to get some of the software updated and I thought it would be enjoyable. Instead, I ended up with one of those sinking stomach feeling moments and cursing myself for the last 20 minutes.

I had decided to use Ignition (native spread sheet programme on the Amiga) to catalogue a few items. I remembered there was a Libre Office plug in for it which allows saving/loading .ods files and I thought it would be a good chance to install and try it out, along with the dropbox/google storage application available for AmigaOS4 (Yay, sharing files easily). One of the requirements for the Libre Office plugin is zip/unzip so I proceeded to extract the binary only for them, opposed to the whole archive from their respective archives and then install the plugin.

The installer was not happy and claimed zip was not available so I fired up a shell and had a look. Yup, I had extracted the zip/unzip binaries but it placed it within its own directory within the C: assign, so with my mind elsewhere I copied the binary to C: and proceeded to delete the directory it had left behind.

Next thing I realise is that my shell is scrolling off the screen with the below messages ad-nauseam:

unzip Deleted
zip Deleted
unzip-5.52-bin Deleted
zip-2.31-bin Deleted
MountDiskImage Deleted
fc-scan Deleted
fc-validate Deleted
LhA Deleted

What I was seeing took a minute to sink in but by then it was to late, I realised the entire contents of my C directory was gone.

The first thing I did was copy and paste the output of deleted files to a text editor before doing anything else, sat back and was like well…. f#?k. To those who don’t know AmigaOS, C: is a logical assign as in it acts like a partition but is actually a directory on the Sys: partition. C: itself holds a number of critical and important AmigaOS commands so losing the contents of this directory was not a nice experience.

The next thing I did was look for my AmigaOS4.1 FE install CD. I thought I could potentially copy the C: files from it or worst case, re-install over the top of the existing partition. During this find and seek exercise, I remembered I have an older backup of my Sys: partition and decided to see what undelete options were available bfore going to extremes. Hello .recycled directory!

I am running SFS as the file system on my Sys: partition, it has a .recycled directory. It apparently remembers the last ~360 deleted files and sure enough, there they were. So I grabbed my copy of the deleted output, did a bit of find/replace on the text file to use the backed up C: directory and copied everything back from .recycled into Sys:c/ and so far so good (Currently typing this up on said Amiga X1000).

Mental note it’s not “delete #? zip-2.31-bin/all” it should be “delete zip-2.31-bin/#? all”.  Wow, that was truely a brain fart moment.

yeah ummmm… stuff

The server I am running on is pretty old and crappy. DNS and other things are periodically falling over atm so I have registered a new server and I am in the process of migrating everything to it at the moment. It’s a better spec’ed server and cheaper to boot. So until that is done, expect this site to fall over from time to time.

Holden, What a Bunch of Bastards

UPDATE: (29/12/2014 – 11:26) After asking to speak to the manager at the dealership to try and find out why we still can’t get our car, they actually called us back as promised (hold me up while I faint). Apparently the car is also suffering from an electrical problem and can’t start. Going off past experience, we now don’t expect to get our car back any time soon so we are still without. This has also screwed us with getting a new car as we were hoping to take advantage of the end of year sales and had even gotten a quote on a vehicle we were interested in.

For the most part, this is directed at Heartland Holden since they have been complete bastards from the get go but by the time of this entry being typed up, some of the excrement has now been smeared onto Holden Australia as well. I also must warn you that this might go on for a bit as it is turning into somewhat of an on going saga for us at present with no end in sight.

After my motorcycle accident, my girlfriend and myself realised we were going to require a car. We had been informed by the doctors that my recovery prognosis was not looking all that great and as it turns out, they considered it a miracle that I kept my leg at all, further re-enforcing the extent of damage I had suffered (as if massive loss of blood and going into cardiac arrest was not enough). At the three week mark of my internment in hospital, my girlfriend had gone over a number of different car brochures with myself and after discussions had approached Heartland Holden about the purchase of a brand new base model Holden Cruze SRi hatch.

My girlfriend, whilst putting the order in enquired about the time it would take until pick up of the car was available and naively mentioned that she needed the car within the next few weeks so it would be ready for when I got out of the hospital. This was most likely a mistake since Heartland Holden jumped onto this tid-bit and informed her that the car would not be ready for about 3-4 weeks but they had the more upmarket model, a Holden Cruze SRi-V in stock which would be ready for pick up within one to one and a half weeks. Since we were worried about time and the idea of a little bit of luxury for a little extra money after the crap we had already been through was appealing so we agreed.

Most people will already have guessed that this was a flat out lie and that the dealership had taken advantage of my girlfriends mental state due to the stress she had been going through and the situation at large to take us for the proverbial ride.

Anyway, one and a half weeks had passed, nothing from the dealership. No call, no emails, no SMS’es. There was a complete lack of communication from them so my girlfriend rang them and was given a weak excuse about delivery problems and that it would take another 5 days. Another 5 days pass, AGAIN nothing from Heartland Holden AGAIN we had to chase them up and AGAIN the same pathetic excuse. To speed up the narrative, this went on for so long were heartland would not contact us with updates even after constantly requesting them that after I had been in hospital for about two and a half months we still DIDN’T have the car as promised. That’s right, the car promised to arrive in less than two weeks had not arrive in over a month and a half! In stock my arse, they had to build it from scratch is the more likely reason.

At this stage, I could not walk and was stuck in a wheel chair so this was not a good position for us. On top of that, my girlfriend was totally stressed out and felt she had let me down. She had at numerous times explained our situation to the dealership in the hopes it would help only to receive silence from them and arrogant and aggressive responses from the dealership when she had to contact them for an update. Her father ended up helping out by calling up and demanding a courtesy car from the dealer ship.

After about two months, we finally get the car. It seemed nice. It was a nice ride and we put the whole crappy car buying experience behind us. What a mistake.

Within less than 3 months the first problem struck. We had booked the car in for its first service and then a few days before it was due to go in, coming home it was experiencing problems with changing gears. We were lucky, as we entered our street, it couldn’t change gears at all but thankfully we managed to nurse it to the front of our house. It turns out that the gearbox had failed. Heartland Holden claim it was a defective part.

Three weeks later after a handful of phone calls from us to Heartland Holden who again exhibited to us their continued excellence in crap customer service, the car was still not fixed and was waiting for the part to come from overseas. So much for trying to do the right thing and support Australian business since a large amount of the parts turned out to be manufactured overseas and not locally. Again, my girlfriends father rang the dealership to help us get another courtesy car which was needed since I needed to consistently visit a number of specialist due to the accident.

Roughly two to three months later (yes months) and constant calls from us to the dealership we finally get the car back. Again, stupidly thinking the worst was behind us we move on.

Move forward another 12 months and ~13000 kilometres on the odometer, after a visit to her parents, my girlfriend was coming home on the motorway late at night, only to have the car suddenly lose all power, forcing her to cross two lanes of traffic to get to the side of the road. This was not a pleasant experience. This all occurred about three weeks before Christmas.

After a couple of calls to Heartland Holden, again putting their excellent lack of customer service on display, we were informed that the entire clutch assembly needs to be replaced. To top this piece of excellent news was the fact that it was not covered by what we have discovered to be Holdens totally useless warranty since it is classified as wear and tear and to make things even better will cost us $4000 to fix! After a few calls where we trying to get to the bottom of the problem at hand and where we received no calls but got to enjoy the always consistent aggressive and belligerent attitude from Heartland Holden we have learnt to expect when calling them, we put in a complaint to Holden Australia.

At the same time, we had also requested from Heartland Holden a list of what they believe needs to be replaced and told they will send it through when they have the time. The attitude I received with this request was totally dismissive so I pressed them for an actual time frame and was promised by close of business that day. The time of the call I had made to them was before lunch so I can’t see who it would be hard to fulfil but to date, no, we have not received said list.

Since the dealership claims the damage was caused by us riding the clutch, I have spoken to a few mechanics and two points seem to pop up; The Holden Cruze has a reputation where their clutches tend to go way to easily and to have burnt the clutch out from riding it within less than 15000 kilometres would basically require you riding the clutch 100% of the time you were driving.

Due to the fact that we can’t rely on the car and yes, I am still disabled and still attending specialist appointments due to my accident, we have decided that once we get the car sorted out and once we have it back to get rid of it. To this end, we have started to look into a potential replacement and I can guarantee we will never get another Holden again after the experiences we have had with this one.

Holden Australia got back to us just before Christmas and surprise surprise took the side of the dealership. They also informed us that the car is ready for pick up. Well today, we thought that due to past experience before getting the father in-law over to give us a lift to pick the car up it would be best to confirm it really is ready. No, it’s not. In fact, heartland Holden still can’t tell us when it will be available. Seriously, WTF! To improve our disposition towards Heartland Holden even more, we were going over our finance agreement and discovered they had put Balloon Insurance in even though, when they asked my girlfriend if we wanted it she gave them an unequivocally no. Unfortunately, due to her state of mind at the time, she didn’t notice they had slipped it in anyway. Way to take advantage of someone Heartland Holden.

This whole schmozzle has definitely had an impact on us and has also dredged up bad emotions linked to my accident. Anyway, as I mentioned, from the beginning, we have had nothing but constant lies,  extremely poor and totally pathetic customer service and aggressive/belligerent treatment from Heartland Holden. I could not in any conscience recommend them to anyone and at this point in time, even though they (Holden Australia) were a lot nicer on the phone, recommend Holden as a car choice either. We bought a new car for reliability and in the worse case to be covered by warranty, and to date, we had neither of these things.

And the Verdict is Guilty

Just a quick update on what is turning into an annoying and ongoing saga called my current life (then again, whose isn’t?).

I was contacted by the police today (26/12/2013) in regards to my life changing accident which occurred about 8 months ago now. They have informed me that the man who totally screwed me over by trying to drive through the space I was inhabiting at the time with his Nissan patrol fronted by a bull bar has admitted in a court of law that he was guilty of the crimes in question.

I don’t think I mentioned it previously but the police had determined the incident to be bad enough that they had laid charges against the driver in question.

While this doesn’t magically fix the physical and emotional damage done to myself or my family, it does cross off one more thing I have to get through to move on through the whole sordid affair and will also allow us to move on with getting the situation sorted out with his insurance company.

Home for a few weeks, it’s time to try and catch up with life

The hospital decided to send me home for a few weeks. The rational for this is due to the fact they can not perform the next operation, knee reconstruction, until my skin graft has healed over correctly. Due to this, I will be sitting in the hospital for a number of weeks, taking up a bed and also risking infection by some kind of virus or bug so I have been sent home.

On the surface this sounds great until you realise I don’t have use of my right leg so require crutches or a wheel chair to currently get about which makes every day tasks a pain in the arse. I also require daily visits from a nurse to redress my skin graft, the main reason for this is due to the fact that I still have some leg bone and a tendon exposed after the initial skin graft so it needs to stay dressed in bandages. I also require constant blood tests since I am on blood thinners and will be for at least 6 months. So lots of fun.

Anyway, I am home and have to say, there are a lot of pluses with that, eg. MUCH better food, let me tell you, hospital food is the most disgusting food I have ever had the misfortune of being subjected to.

With the depressing stuff dealt with, onto a closer caricature to living.

Hospitalised! :(

Well, I was looking forward to playing with my new AmigaOne  X1000, play with puppet a bit a few other bits and pieces and try to enjoy life a bit. Unfortunately I only got to play with the AmigaOne X1000 once before the excrement hit the rotating device on the ceiling.

On the 30th of April at ~9:15am on my way to work I was involved in a motor vehicle accident where some jerk who I am guessing had the need for a penis extension expressed via the vehicle he drove (Nissan Patrol, they are big) decided to to turn right into a the street I was riding past. I was on my trusty little Honda CB400 motorcycle which I have for the last three years and loved to bits, when this jerk in his Nissan Patrol with a bull bar carried out the deed with no indicator and no checking what was in front of him. Needless to say, motorcycle 0, Nissan Patrol with bull bar 1. I should mention that my bike was a total write off. I would also like to ask why in hell does anyone require a bull bar in Sydney? There is a distinct lack of wildlife or livestock in and around Sydney which would necessitate the need for one.

I suffered some pretty bad injuries the worst of which was to my right leg which basically burst open, the least was to my right arm which got broken. I can tell you it is not nice seeing leg bones sticking outside of your leg that should be inside of you or having your own personal fountain of blood spurting all over yourself while waiting for an Ambulance to turn up and suffering from rubber neckers at the same time.  During my tenure I have had doctors who operated on me tell me they were surprised I lived. I also managed to just keep my right lower leg and foot which I was told was a miracle. So you know, while in emergency just before they operated I was told they were going to amputate. It was definitely a surreal moment which the pain killers I was on only heightened. I can’t really do much with my foot but it is still there as a floppy extension of my leg at the moment.

During the operation I was told I required a large amount of blood transfusions, try 5 litres, which basically means they had to replace all the blood in my body. I was also informed that as they started to get ready to operate on me, I simply lost to much blood and well, basically stopped, nuff said. Surgery took 10 hours.  I also received 22 units of blood in my first week I was in ICU (intensive Care Unit) of which I was resident of for about 9 days.

Since then I have been sent to the Trauma Ward, then the HDU (High Dependency Unit) and back to the Trauma Ward. I have had the pleasure of blood clots on my lungs and in my legs and reaching 40 degrees centigrade amongst other fun things. I have had so many devices and tubes connected to me that I required a minimum of two staff to move me out of bed, thankfully this has now been reduced to one drip line.

During the first two days after the accident, I was so out of it I thought I was having a nightmare which I would wake up from, get up, get ready and go to work. On about the third day, I woke up and realised that what I was experiencing was no dream.

So far I have had about a dozen operations with more still to come and I am now coming up to 8 weeks in hospital and when finished here will be shuffled off to another hospital which specialises in rehabilitation.

So far I would like to thank the Ambulance officer who rode with me in the back of ambulance on my way to Emergency at the hospital and then came back to visit me 2 weeks later to see how I was going, this guy was seriously amazing by sizing up the situation and taking control of it straight away which was relief since the first Ambulance to the accident made the comment that they had no idea what to do and sounded freaked out. Also to the skill of the doctors who saved my life as well as my leg and foot. The nurses who in the most have been great and understanding. My other half for organising all the paper work and keeping my family involved, I know it was traumatic for her, she has not ridden her bike since the accident and my family, friends and work colleges for their support as well.

I remember when I first started riding a number of years ago and being asked by a work college at the time who also road, ‘How many people tried to kill you on your way to work today?’. It may sound funny, the problem is, it is closer to the truth than people realise. I have on a number of occasions needed to take emergency action to avoid being taken out by a moronic driver, hell I have even had one or two occasions when I have had drivers intentionally try and take me out. Unfortunately, the odds were against me this time and I was unable to get out of the way. If you are a car driver, don’t be a tool, please use the indicator so people know what the hell you are about to do and look properly, just because you can’t see anything out the corner of your eye, does not mean someone is not there!

That’s enough of my nonsensical rambling and excuse the poor grammar and spelling.

(Update: Not sure why I originally put August in rather than April, at least they both start with A)

AmigaOne X1000 in the House pt2.1

Well, the AmigaOne X1000 is still with FedEx customs and has been since last Thursday. The estimated delivery date has been changed from ’23/04/2013′ to ‘N/A’ and its status appears to be both ‘Clearance in progress’ and ‘Shipment exception – Package part of incomplete shipment’ which is a bit disconcerting.

I guess I will have to see what its status is tomorrow morning before I head into work.

UPDATE: (26/04/2013)

I ended up calling FedEx when I got into work in the morning. Looks as though the number they were calling to contact me was getting fast busies. I ended up paying the import fee on the phone and so they went to ship it to me on Wednesday but since I was at work, I couldn’t accept it. I ended up getting the AmigaOne X1000 today but I haven’t had a chance to do anything with it due to real life getting in the way but I do have all weekend to play with the new machine.

I would also like to mention that when I checked my EMail, I found EMails sent to me by AmigaKit warning me of the situation and encouraging me to call FedEx to get it sorted. Good to know there are still shops out there that look after their customers.

What a Crappy Google+ Feature!

I went to post my previous post on Google+ via my Amiga using a browser called MUI OWB  which is based on the Webkit engine only to be told by Google+ that it is not supported. I clicked on the learn more link and got told to download a few different browsers and also noticed the plus link at the top so clicked on that only to be returned to the same ‘your browser is not supported’ page. No where could I see how to get to the plus part of the page to post the link.

I decided to try a port of Firefox which has been done on the Amiga but is still in beta, called Timberwolf and it let me into the part of Google+ to be able to post the link.

I have no problems with Google telling me my browser is not supported BUT I think it is crappy as hell that they then stop you from doing anything on the site just because your browser is not a Google state sponsored browser. Pretty crappy effort Google.

Stupid Hardware Problems

I finally got off my lazy butt and bought a replacement hard drive for my main computer that had a disk failure. Why lazy? Well, the drive failed a good 6-7 months ago.

Let me start from the beginning.

I recently moved, well relatively speaking it was recent, in March this year. Just before doing this I had yet more problems with already problematic hardware and had one of four drives fail in my main computers RAID10 set. No problem, that is one of the reasons I am running RAID10 (I picked up an old 3ware 4 drive SATA RAID controller cheap and thought why not). The plan was to replace the drive after the move.

This would have been fine if it wasn’t for the fact that the RAID controller proceeded to die at about the same time that the house move started in earnest. Within a week of moving to my new place of residence, I went to do a temporary Windows/Linux dual boot install on a spare disk I had only to also discover the motherboard had also died! ARGH!

First thing first, I bought a new motherboard but since I could not get one with the same chipset and also needing a compatible RAID controller, I just went ahead with the temporary setup. The new motherboard and CPU is nice, being an AM3+ Gigabyte motherboard (sorry, I can’t remember the model number) with an AMD FX 6 core 3.3Ghz CPU.

With getting my main work horse sort of back up and running again, I was then able to track down a compatible controller which I could plug my existing RAID set into in the form of a 9650SE-8LPML RAID controller with Battery Backup unit, again much nicer than my old 9650SE-4 controller which was missing the BBU and it was cheaper as well. Yay EBay.

The new controller was purchased 3 months ago. Yesterday I finally got the before mentioned disk. The pain has now begun.

This morning I connected the old RAID set to the new controller and found it to be in a degraded state (it lost a disk) and needing to verify what was still there. So I had to wait a few hours for the verify to finish. When it finished, I shut the machine down, replaced the dead disk and powered the system back up. At which point I proceeded to choose the RAID set and the new disk and told it to rebuild. Nope, apparently I did something wrong. The controllers BIOS was telling me I needed to choose the RAID and a spare disk and then select rebuild but that’s what I did!

I stuffed around with it a bit more, same results, then it dawned that the spare disk was automatically in a state of JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks). Hrmmm, maybe it classifies that as a disk in use. I told the controller to remove the disk and low and behold, when I select it and the RAID set requiring the new disk and select rebuild it finally does!

At the moment, I am typing this up on my little AmigaOS4.1 machine while I get to which the RAID rebuild on my main machine. Which is about as much fun as watching paint dry. Once that is complete, I get to enjoy making both Linux and Windows play nice with the new motherboard chipset. I am hoping it will not be to painful. They both boot and it appears I really only need to fix the USB3 and ethernet drivers on both OS installs but until that is all working, I am not going to hold my breath. The amount of times I have seen something that appears to be easy on the surface and then have it turn into an extremely painful exercise in the IT world is amazing.