Monday, October 16, 2006

Stage 25: The Ol' Switcheroo

I arose Saturday rather hungover thanks to my pals Lynn, Louise, Colette and Sarah (yeah, I hang with tha ladiez, yo) with full intention on getting Ward's PC in shape to replace my PC, with my PC in shape to replace the MAME PC. The Ol' Switcheroo was in full effect.

But a problem quickly arose: Ward's Motherboard was PCIe and my old one was AGP. What this meant was that none of the three (count 'em: three) AGP video cards I had laying around would work on this bastard. Should have seen that coming.

Compounding this problem: My old motherboard won't support Serial ATA harddrives, which naturally the new 200GB drive was. Ward's machine supports both Serial ATA and IDE harddrives like my old harddrive, but without a PCIe video card I couldn't even begin my plan to clone my old harddrive onto the new one. Argh!

The solution came two unexpected sources: The provincial government of Nova Scotia's recent decision to rid the provice of their absurdly antiquated Sunday shopping restrictions and the unexpected arrival of my lovely and talented girlfriend Holly at my place with a set of wheels borrowed from her employer.

After a few calls to local computer shops reveal that not all nerd-infested businesses were eager to jump on the Sunday shopping bandwagon just yet, Holly suggested I try Futureshop and they were indeed open. A quick jaunt to Bayers Lake and 40 mins later, I was back in my house with a brand new ATI Radeon X1300 PRO PCIe video card. It was a little pricier than I wanted, but it should fill the gap in my regular PC needs until I finally make the switch to Dual Core or something a year or two down the road.

So I began the furious disassembling and reassembling of my old PC and Ward's PC on my living room table, much to the delight of my roomate Colin. There was a comical amount of the following procedure:
1) Put one of the computers on living room table and remove case
2) Fiddle around inside with screwdriver and headlamp on head
3) Reattach case and reinstall on desk
4) Turn on PC and discover something is wrong
5) Scratch head, groan, and then return to Step 1
I finally bumbled through some of my obvious mistakes ("Hrm, this thing marked 'POWER FOR MOTHERBOARD' might be important ...") and got both machines back to basic running states.

Using a neat program called Acronis Migrate Easy, I was able to take my old HDD and clone it onto the new HDD with little difficulty. This immediately made my legitimate copy of Windows very suspicious and I was soon innundated with demands that I verify my ownership of the disc. Looks like someone will be doing some pirating in the not so distant future. Yahar.

But I soon hit another wall - Ward, likely in a hurry to dump me out of his car with a defective PC and peel away with the money, neglected to give me the drivers disc for his motherboard, which meant I was unable to get the Ethernet Card (aka, the Internet) or the Sound Card working properly.

So I focused the remainder of my day once again prepping my files for the final MAME experience. I managed to rename and sort all the Intellivision files and got through about 250 of the 750 Sega Genesis games before my eyes began to fail me.

Ward has promised to deliver the CD unto me tonight, so hopefully I can get even further in this process soon. As I had oft said, I am keen on wrapping up the software/hardware end of things so I can focus on making my cabinet look the role. I guess we'll see how the week goes.


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