Friday, November 30, 2007

Decisions, Decisions!

Since I posted my first entry in this blog, I've had occasion to re-think my plans as far as the hard drives on my system are concerned. It now appears that going with a fresh installation of Windows XP Home Edition, followed by installing Kubuntu 7.10 and Linux MCE 7.10, on my new SATA hard drive (which is due to arrive either tomorrow or Monday, December 3rd) makes the most sense. Then, too, I would still have the two old drives available for backup purposes.

The one major potential fly in the ointment, so to speak, will be porting over all of my old data files from my current primary hard drive to the new hard drive. While Windows XP does have a built-in facility to assist in this process, the fact that I have a dual-boot setup on my current system could pose a problem. It may, in fact, still be necessary for me to remove open SUSE 10.2 from my current system before I proceed with this step. This, in turn, would require that I use the "fixmbr" command to return the Master Boot Record in my Windows partition to its original state, a prospect that, to say the least, makes me nervous! Still, I may have no alternative to this procedure, unless I copy the data files over manually, which would take considerably longer.

Some readers of this blog may be wondering why I don't simply chuck Windows XP altogether, and simply go with a Linux MCE-only system. The answer is that there are several Windows applications which I am currently using for which I have yet to find a suitable substitute. Chief among these is Finale MusicPrint, a subset of the well-known Finale music notation program package. Because the church of which I am a member has chosen Finale as their preferred music notation software, and since I have several projects in mind for use by my church, it is necessary that I use Finale or one of its derivatives (MusicPrint in this case), which, of course, requires Windows XP. I am aware of the NoteEdit and Rosegarden packages for Linux, and have looked them both over. However, neither one of them has the specific features that I need for the kind of music arranging and writing I am working on, particularly with regard to organ scores. I may, however, see about using the Lily Pond package under Linux for typesetting purposes, since it is supposed to be able to accept Finale music files as input. I will need to go over Lily Pond's documentation to be certain on this point.

One other minor irritation at this point in time lies in the fact that the wheel in my optical scrolling mouse appears to have failed within the last few days. This will probably require me to buy a new mouse at some point in time. Unfortunately, the make and model of mouse I am now using is apparently no longer being manufactured. This, in turn, means that I will need to scour the Internet in an attempt to find a suitable replacement. With all the makes and models of computer mice now on the market, this will be a daunting task, especially with all the holiday specials and sales now underway. The amount of money involved probably will not be all that great, but the investment of time required, and the resulting aggravation, is quite another story! Still, it looks like I may have no other choice; this kind of research is basic to putting together ANY kind of computer system, no matter what the computer is to be used for.

In the meantime, since I am expecting my new DVD burner to be arriving any day now, I will also be checking on the Internet to see if I can download an "advance copy," so to speak, of the owner's manual for this particular drive. Hopefully, that document will have information as to what brands of blank CD and DVD media they recommend. I also hope that this new drive will not be as picky in this regard as my current drive is when it comes to writing DVDs!

The next few days are liable to be busy ones, as my new drives arrive, and I begin the actual process of installation of both hardware and software. Stay tuned!

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