Yesterday afternoon, I got a phonecall, which in itself is somewhat uncommon. lady_panda's home computer had suffered a horrible fate and would only display a cryptic error message. So I met her at her work this afternoon, and after a pitstop at Datakjeden to buy an USB flash drive, went to her apartment to have a look at it.
Wow, that thing looked old. As I soon found out, it was a P2 333MHz. Same as Secunda, only the case looked quite a bit older. In the early stages of loading windows, it tells us that (some important system file) is missing or corrupt, and some stuff about running a repair install or whatnot. I had brought my windows XP CD with me in case that was the real problem, but as I suspected, it was bad ram. Booted the memtest CD and the errors poured in. Powered down, opened it up, removed a random stick (label didn't say anything about size, just PC100), ran memtest again, and passed after almost an hour.
Running WinXP on a 333MHz computer with just 160MB ram is not for the impatient. Gods, that thing is slow. And the horrible wireless ball mouse.. ugh! That thing would not go where I wanted at all. If I had known, I'd have brought my secondary mouse. Thankfully I am well trained in keyboard usage.
Oh yeah, and I also removed various spyware and installed Mozilla Firefox. Then we just had fun going through my photos on flickr, had some good food, and watched TV some. There's this one "reality" show she's told me about, Heia Tufte, where a bunch of nerds and geeks get together and make their own football (soccer) team.. I only just realized when I saw the article in the newspaper the other day that I know one of the guys in it. It was great.. hoping it'll be released on DVD when it's over so I can watch all the episodes I've missed.
Took the last tram into town, and of course the last train up here had already left Jernbanetorget before I was on my way there.. But I got on the last departure to Sognsvann and walked home from Blindern.
So I had a great day.. got to flex my geek muscles a bit, strengthened my confidence in my abilities some. Have had to deal with the identical error once before, and that's when aetherspoon taught me it was a symptom of bad ram. If not for that time.. I might have been lost, and there'd be no way to get online to communicate with him for assistance.