Category Archives: Uncategorized

Slightly Unlucky: How My Computer Was Rendered Unbootable After Trying To Install Linux

Programming would be much more convenient if I could get a linux distribution to work. Unfortunately, what I managed to do instead was render my system unbootable, possibly even without it being my fault. This is my story.

Once upon a time, a young Zaka installed Ubuntu on his old laptop using wubi, an installer that actually runs under Windows! It worked without any major hitches and the Zaka was pleased.

Fast forward six or so years to the ugly future that is 2017, and things were very different. Wubi didn’t even work since he was using UEFI, and the unofficial fork that did work looked sketchy, so he tried to install it using a USB stick (okay, an SD card with an adapter to USB. It should work right, they’re both flash memory man… dad has a zillion sd cards and like zero pen drives).

The process was vaguely annoying but not too bad; download ISO, format the drive with rufus, try to install, get mysterious freezing crash! Okay, fuck that let’s try the acpi=off option for grub. Wew, setup actually starts. It’s sort of a pity how I couldn’t see any partitions and clicking any of the options on that screen caused a crash! Whew.

Okay fuck that, time to try this unofficial Wubi fork that supports UEFI and has unclear instructions clearly written by a very enthusiastic ESL. It seems to work, but I don’t use the MOK Manager the first time the option is given and then I never can for the rest of the time and eventually the boot seems to just skip over the grub thing and honestly fuck this shit.

Never say never! I download a Debian net install iso and do the now familiar bootable usb steps using rufus. It’s too bad my wireless firmware isn’t supported, because debian meow meow open source woof woof. Okay, I download the “with non-free firmware” iso instead, try again… it still doesn’t have the firmware I need, but I can do a minimal install at least. Wow. Ok so I actually have a working grub -> windows bootloader flow dual boot now, lemme try to manually install the firmware… oh yeah and I have to set it to not boot silently for some reason in grub to even get it to start, because for some reason not showing acpi errors (here we cum again!) makes the thing not boot. Wew. I put the firmware in /lib/firmware, it’s still not found during boot, the boot hangs later on, I wait, sigh, and hold the power button for 5 seconds to force shutdown for the umpteenth time that day, start it all up again, and…

I am currently using my bad old year 2010 faptop, getting a win10 install media thingy onto my totally-a-usb memory which is by now a micro sd in an sd card adapter in a usb adapter setup. It’s taking beyond forever. It may or may not let me reinstate the boot record. In either case, I should be able to preserve all important data SOMEHOW, though using a live usb for linux for recovery which would be my usual plan is kind of dicey when linux hates you.

All in all… this may or may not be entirely my fault, but my current message to whatever dev caused this is quite simply:

Thanks, Twelvestepsbeyondrecognition, for taking a pic of this so I don’t have to.


It is now the Future, and I am slighly less peeved. The Windows Media Creation tool is a piece of shit-stained vomit; it downloads a ~3gb iso in like four hours where I could get it in one through http or bittorrent. It also crashed with an unhelpful error after working for like five hours when I tried to use it directly with a USB stick, so I instead made it download the ISO (again, rip the hours of progress lost), formatted the usb stick with rufus, and used that instead.

I tried to recover the bootloader in some way using the windows installation media, failed, used the command prompt to backup some files, and reinstalled windows. I suppose if nothing else, I don’t have any hp bloatware on this thing any more! …and it’s working fine so far, with no data loss. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some studying to do to catch up for the time I lost… that I totally wouldn’t have used chatting instead. Adios!

Advertisements

Infinite stall works: jp edition

In honor of having finished reading Stargazer in Fapanese today, I figure I’d give you an idea of how I can simultaneously have read quite a bit of vn writing in Japanese yet also only have completed two short yuri doujins (my first was 明日終わる世界、その前夜). A lot of things here were sorta read in parallel with other things, which might not have helped (´・ω・`).

I started out with Amairo Islenauts; I got quite far into Masaki’s route, then stalled that ’cause I kinda didn’t want to read the drama or something. Much later I decided to go back and read a bit of Yune’s route… and that’s where we’re at now. Stalled.

I started reading Air in Fapanese as none of the two translations available impressed me; I knew Winter Confetti’s had taken flak for inaccuracy, and the start of Gao Gao’s patch felt worse than Winter Confetti’s on the editing and flow front, not to mention I was told it would be technically inferior to the Winter Confetti patch as the MC would be unvoiced for certain sections. I kinda got discouraged by the choice maze though and eventually stalled it because frankly it wasn’t that interesting.

Angel Beats -1st beat-… Honestly if it wasn’t for a bug and/or sneaky copy protection measure I might have read more of this;  I spent quite a long time with it and eventually got to like the second or third map location select, which didn’t work for some reason. Also you can’t transfer saves to other computers apparently, fucking rip. I might pick this up again, maybe even reading it together with the forthcoming English translation so I can shit on VA fucking it up like we all expect they will (´・ω・`).

Watashi no Real wa Juujitsu Shisugiteiru, or watajuu for short, was a really entertaining otomege that I’d recommend to everyone. Ultimately though after reading two routes I stopped midway through the otouto route because… well I didn’t like it as much, choices in-route confused and enraged me for some reason, and given how long the knife of unforgettable betrayal had been twisted at that point, I started reading…

Subahibi. I liked it a lot when it was a yuri harem, then I kinda liked it when it was denpa but it got harder to read and I stalled it about when a certain train arrived.

Then Kiririri eventually wore down my defenses, and I picked up Hatsuyuki Sakura. One of the better decisions of my life, as it’s consistently entertaining and seems well written both prosewise and plotwise. Finished the rather long “prologue” section, read a little bit of the “introduction”, stalled. Maybe I’ll pick it up again now though after finishing 11eyes and Stargazer.

I also read a bit of Zannen na Ane to no Love Comedy somewhere in there, but I think I’ll want to be able to power through silly SoL faster to not die reading it. Apart from that, I have like 20 minutes of …in white left or something, but I started reading that looking for short doujin vns to tl, so idk man ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Embracing the Void as Agenthacking

I have a lot of trouble getting started on things. One area in particular that has been consistently difficult for me is going places – work, school, the store to buy muh colas before they close for the night, that sort of thing. I have recently discovered and begun formalizing a technique which seems to help with it. However, it is creepy, because it involves partially dissociating your mind from what your body is doing. Today I fashioned for it a shitty chuuni chant: there is strength in emptiness: Automaton!

To be honest, I’m half hoping the chant doesn’t work as a switch-flipper, considering how terrible it is. My apologies, O chuuni gods.

It begun one day when I was lying around, trapped in a familiar sensation where I seemed unable to will myself to any action, enmeshed in repetitive and irrelevant thought and generally getting nowhere important. I felt out of touch with the world, like there were no thread connecting me to this plane – indeed, was the world even real?

A seductive call beckoned. Perhaps I should try something I had done piecewise before, but never so deliberately, so completely – could I give my estranged body over to an imagined automaton, let the automaton collect the knick-knacks and tie the shoelaces and lock the doors and ride the elevators, and take back control once I needed to once again be human?

The attempt was a resounding, if alarming, success. My body proceeded to smoothly go to work, while I, dissociated, observed that I probably tie my shoelaces faster and more efficiently when I’m doing it on autopilot. In the end I spontaneously reintegrated over time without having to force it, which was a relief – one time I was at the store and boredly (and likely boneheadedly) started practicing the mindfulness concept of framing your thoughts as things you are having rather than facts that are; while it didn’t really elucidate much, I did find myself unable to easily exit the frame, which was honestly a bit unchill.

I have used the automaton takeover concept like, two times after that, and it really does seem to work. It’s not just mindlessly doing things on autopilot either – the disconnect ensures that you have actual thinking time while carrying out business, and is the prime difference between this and pure distracted flow.

To use this technique you should probably be somewhat comfortable with feelings of derealization. The good news is that these correlate with depression, and I swear half of you fuckers want to kill yourselves, so it’s vaguely plausible that someone else might have had a similar experience. I do wonder if I have accidentally stumbled upon and formalized a Normie Technique(tm) that nobody told me about, but the fact that I’m worried that someone with psych issues will try it and end up being unable to return to united reality or fucked up in general does bolster me somewhat. Uhh, be careful trying this at home, I guess.

My personal motivation was that I was pretty derealized already, so making things more formal wasn’t really going to be that much of a problem. If you find yourself able to convincingly make that argument, this method may be worth trying.

Call of Duty: Modern Woodworking

I got my first welfare check in summer last year, just before I went on vacation with my parents.

There are some demands placed on those applying for welfare; one is that one must not unduly refuse suggested interventions. No interventions were suggested for about six months, but hey, cash money. Then I was summoned to a meeting, where I was given a plethora of options, except eight tenths of them were second hand shops and cafes and fuck anything where I have to do customer service. Also, everything had long waiting times anyway.

There were only really two options left: go back to the environment & ancient remains conservation agency where I worked in late 2013 / early 2014, or this other place that did carpentry – more specifically, in-shop manufacture of wooden items. My counselor was not particularly subtle in recommending the woodworking shop, claiming it had both rave reviews and, amazingly, the ability to accept new recruits right this moment.

I left the meeting put in queue for a potential spot at the agency and awaiting a text regarding an interview for the whole wood thing. “To start with you’ll build a box, and if that works out, we’ll put you straight into production.” Well, I’m not a huge fan of handicrafts, but it’s not like I hate it either; guess I’ll check it out and decide afterward.

About two weeks later I was given a tour of the premises, then an interview by the supervisor. I noted the structured approach to the interview; especially a technique used where, before asking about who I was as a person and where my problems lay, the manager volunteered some details about his personal life first – his kids, not enough time, how his work there gave him meaning, that sort of thing. It was pretty transparent; I figured it was likely an adaptation to help people with certain neurodivergences, but also wondered if it was part of the broader style of the therapeutic techniques used.

Earlier during the tour I was told about the “sharing” ritual, where at the start of your shift you sat with the other participants and could optionally share how you were currently feeling, if there were any special affordances you’d need or appointments to keep that day, and what you were working on briefly. This ritual was shielded from latecomers, which served to protect it, but also as a soft punishment for arriving late. I’m not sure how explicit he made any of this; I could feel myself starting to assign greater value to coming in time, realized I had been hacked, and figured that this was fine as the hack was desirable anyway. The boss seemed pleased, but in what might have been another affordance, he wanted me to go back home and think about it before taking any decision.

Two days after my social security contact had said she’d call me she actually did, and I accepted. I was then scheduled for a quick meeting where we would actually negotiate working times and other details. Some time later, I had agreed to work there from Monday to Wednesday, 12:00 to 15:00, with the assumption that I would eventually take on more hours. I was to start on a Tuesday, February the 21st. I was told by phone that day that, umm, I’m kind of sick so can we make it just tomorrow? Okay, fine, my sleep was all kinds of shit anyway that time rip me.

I woke up at like 2am on the 22nd. I had crisps for breakfast. Brewed tea, which is a pretty potent mindhack when you’re not acclimated to it. Biked through miserable snowfall on my mum’s three-speed bike, on which only the first two gears actually work. The front tire was inadequately pumped. It was not a good experience. I arrived twenty minutes early.

Vacation

I’ll be gone on a trip to germany -> mostly france -> germany the entire month of august.

I’ll try not to die and may or may not ever get nets

Farewell cruel world

 

If you want to contact me, hit me up on Twitter because that’s what I’ll be looking at on muh smartphone and ill only be using muh smartphone for any random wifi hotspot while we travel.

Cooking With Zaka: a Super-Legit Tomato Sauce Narrative

Oh shit, I’m cooking today and it’s like one hour til I have to start. I really should have remembered to take something out of the freezer to thaw… I really don’t want to thaw something in the microwave, so my options are basically gradually peeling off a block of ground meat in the pan (huge pain), krögarpytt (brand of frozen mix of potato, onion and various meats, plus lots of things I’d have to look at the ingredients list for), or… oh yes, my saviour – that lovely meaty cylindrical thing I first had back in Eastern Europe.

Regrettably, I am not speaking of dicks.

The frozen ćevapčići lidl sells in 1kg bags is both delicious and affordable, but we’ve had it a few too many times recently. I should probably cook something else… maybe I’ll change the condiments from rice to pasta or fries… fuck fries turning them is a huge pain… meh fuck pasta too… okay it’s rice again… wait, I could make a sauce! …but what exactly? It’s not like I have the time to make tomato sauce from scratch, and frankly it’s not like it’s that great anyway (I’ve done it according to a legit recipe once!).

Well, if you don’t like a recipe you can always change it! I quickly search the fridge and find a fairly small red onion, garlic (not an option, was rotting), and okay that was all I was looking for in the fridge to begin with. Next I reach for the box of strained tomatoes I know is in the larder next to the fridge. Surprisingly it has not been abducted by aliens (maybe the red on the packaging scared them off), allowing me to wrest it from the depths of the… just kidding, it was at chest height on the second shelf.

I get a bouillon cube, a knife, put some rapeseed oil in a saucepan, and set to business; the business is making the bouillon cube submit to my knife (not the easiest), and cutting the onions.

I managed to not cry.

The preparation of the ćevapčići and rice was easy (and irrelevant). Anyway, the sauce. I heat the oil at medium-high for a bit, pop in a piece of onion to see if it’s ready, and the bubbling around it assures me that this is the case. I put in the rest of the onion and stir it around a bit, lower the heat, and pour in some of the strained tomato and the semi-powdered bouillon cube (it did not submit fully, but I was able to impose strict limits on its military and generally destroy its infrastructure), let it boil, add salt (used a lot, which was a bad idea – try not to do that, the bouillon cube prolly has it already), white pepper, and finally the x-factor ingredient I just had to put in: chili flakes. A bit too many, I reflected after I had thrown in a bunch. After letting it boil slightly and stirring it around a bit, I decided it was done, used a spoon to try it, and was promptly greeted with something strong and edible, probably in that order.

It was actually not too bad, and if nothing else it proves that whipping something up on your own isn’t necessarily too bad. At least if you’re a Zaka. I may or may not make it ever again, but I’ll probably take it a bit easier with the chili flakes and use less salt.

Thus concludes this episode of Cooking With Zaka.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 red onion
  • strained tomatoes
  • white pepper
  • salt (maybe)
  • chili flakes / seeds / whatever
  • rapeseed oil (olive oil might be better)

Serve with other stuff, if you actually think it’s worth trying. There are probably better recipes.

Rectal Hachés And Other Misadventures

As you may or may not be aware, for a while now I have been waiting on a diagnosis, or lack of one, after a series of psychiatric evaluations. I started it due to suspicions of me having ADHD predominantly inattentive (also known as ADD). What transpired today was thus somewhat of a surprise: I did indeed receive a diagnosis – of Asperger Syndrome.

It’s not all that easy to accept because, well, I never felt all that aspergery. I’m not the best guy ever when it comes to socializing, but I’m not really super bad at it either and I don’t like, interpret idioms literally or totally make an arse of myself all that much. Lots of things /do/ fit, however, and I think the doctors are right. Especially the typical life story outlined, with a failure in uni studies, an outgoing early life but a descent into passivity when grown up… it all fits me to a T[1].

The one thing I’m thankful for is that I performed like a normal person in the video test where I was supposed to interpret people’s motivations and feelings based on a video I was shown. Apparently this is because I use my highly developed other skills to interpret information in a logical manner, allowing me to mimic the intuitive understanding exhibited by your average joe. Also a plus: my iq-penis is apparently in the top 2% of the population, to the point where if I tried to join MENSA I might be able to pass the test. Not that I see much point in doing that. A part of me really wants to be top 1% because that’s just a much prettier number somehow, but, uhh, I guess I’ll have to deal.

Unfortunately my short-term memory and “speed”, whatever that means exactly, are significantly less above baseline than my other skills are. I can definitely agree with this assessment, and hopefully I’ll be able to learn how to compensate for this efficiently somehow.

So where does this leave me? Well, apparently I have the right to… stuff that places can provide. And things. I feel pretty weird about like, taking courses in how to handle typical aspie problems – I feel like some people I see there might be much more hindered socially than me and thus a real bother to deal with. Is this unfair? Maybe. But given that this is something I’ll be doing voluntarily, it’s something I’ll have to think over. In any case, I’m meeting the people currently coordinating my efforts to get back into some form of occupation on the 28th, so I think I’ll take it from there. I actually have something I need to think about more before that visit, and hopefully I really will get it done… if only to not feel bad. That’s a pretty bad reason, but, uhh, results are all that matter right?

…I should really try to mentally reframe it as something to benefit myself when I can.

In conclusion, how I feel like right now is kind of like when I got diabetes – I’m really annoyed with this shit and will try my best to kick its ass. As for you all – all I can really say is, I still (probably) care about you even if I might occasionally seem not to. Feel free to remind me to think about your feelings on occasion, because I don’t necessarily do it automatically :P.

The title is a lovely piece of bilingual wordplay. It may or may not make you groan if you figure it out. If you want a hint… the English word you seek is not politically correct.

[1] The Grammarist claims that “to a tee” is incorrect, but it’s in the bloody Cambridge English dictionary and all with no note of it being a misspelling or anything. I still like the form I use here the most, but while it grates on me to see the more teematic version, I can’t really correct it in good conscience. Yet another little annoyance that I will have to either get used to or suffer through to the end of my days, sigh.