And it is alright

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Rail Master control panel. $349

Phew! Had the colonoscopy this morning and “all OK”. Only one polyp, which was removed, otherwise no problems. I am very relieved. I lost 3.5Kg in the pre-op diet regime and I feel another 5Kg lighter with all the relief from tension. So what did I do when I got home? I walked over the road and had a Hungry Jack’s Whopper and chips for lunch. Yeah, I know, but this was a comfort reward, and I had Diet Coke with it. That makes it OK. Back to the high fibre foods from now on. They really are beneficial.

It’s weird. You have no warning at all – one second you’re looking at the wall in the operating theatre, the next you’re waking up in the ward. There is no sensation at all of going to sleep and no sensation of time passing. Thank goodness we have the ways to do this.

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The photo above is a replica locomotive control panel, a physical embodiment of my train simulator control on the computer. I’m using software called Trainz which simulates, um, trains, on dozens of different routes in a score of countries, including Australia. You can either be in the driver’s seat looking forward, or outside the train watching it from some distance away. It has full sound effects and all the lineside scenery and stations and towns are as realistic as the computer allows.

With this new controller, arriving any day on my doorstep, I can actually push and pull the levers and push the buttons to make things happen. I don’t usually play games, but I do like this one.

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One problem is that my “old” computer, this one dating from 2009, is a bit slow for this simulator game and the scenery is very jerky. I’ve built up my new machine with a much better graphics card, so I’m hoping for a better result.

BUT! I’ve been building and fixing computers since the late 1980s and I have never had as much trouble as this one. It seems to be corrupting hard drives. I seem to have irretrievably lost my Images drive, with over 30,000 images on it. I knew there were a few bad sectors, but the whole thing is gone now. Attempts to revive it have failed.

It’s also lost my striped pair of Video drives. It showed them working for a day or so, but they won’t show now. I’ve had to disconnect them because if I lost them, I don’t have a backup – they were too big to back up.

OK, so I decide to start again and reinstall Windows for the third time. But I can’t get past the Setup stage, either from the actual Windows 7 DVD or from a Win7 Boot and Repair disk I have. It just spins its wheels in the Setup phase, never going any further. What the hell is going on?

Neither will the motherboard retain its BIOS settings. I have to go into the BIOS setup each time to make it boot from the DVD drive.  This is crazy. I’m beginning to wonder about crying “Faulty” on the motherboard (Gigabyte). So I’ll just plug on and see.

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