Might revamp the site sometime!

Languishing due to more activity on Facebook with friends (so many photos there!) and less conferences and events attended, I must admit I’ve left this place a bit. Not even edited the automatic robots.txt so Google lost me.

However I feel I need a project and this one is just on the side of not-so-time-consuming that upgrading the gallery from Lazyest to Eazyest, finally removing WPG2 perhaps (so many left to remove!), and adding a better theme will help.

I can then start to do more posts and updates – I’m doing more photography, getting to grips with more cosplay work and doing more coding and AI, fun fun fun ๐Ÿ™‚

Resizing Windows Bootcamp Partition on my Macbook Pro

Finally got an update for my site! (I need to work on more, we’ll see). Useful information to post which I need to record mostly for myself if I ever do this again!

Basically resizing partitions can take a while; mainly due to moving data. My situation was that my Windows 7 partition was too small; I was down to 1GB of space (150GB was Windows, 600GB was Mac OSX on a 750GB drive). This likely, doing somewhat in reverse, could

In preparation I made a backup; not that I had much to backup. ๐Ÿ™‚ You may also want to defrag the drive fully (moving all data to the front) so it is slightly faster to extend; I’d recommend JkDefrag: http://www.kessels.com/jkdefrag/

Resizing Mac OSX partition

The first step was to resize the Mac OSX volume. This first required me to decrypt it; takes a while but after that the Disk Utility can easily resize HFS+ volumes. Simply find it in the Utilities folder, open it up, select your drive and click on the Mac OSX partition to resize it. Some oddities arose; I now can see the “Recovery HD” partition when I hold down Alt (the “Option” key) on bootup, so it moved that to the end of the partition. Who knows where it was before.

Resizing Windows partition

The second step is to resize Windows. I did this with one note, which I am not sure is entirely true but whatever; I left a 10MB space (apparently needs to be at least 512KB of space) between the last part of the Mac OSX drive and the Windows drive I was extending.

The tool of choice was GParted; http://gparted.sourceforge.net/ – just booted by holding Alt as normal. I changed the preceeding space to 10MB, and made sure it went to the end of the drive.

Another thing to note is that it said I had to do a checkdisk of my Windows partition. I did a full checkdisk – rebooted into Windows, right clicked the (C:) volume and chose Properties, selected Error-checking “Check now…” button under “Tools” and selected both checkboxes (essentially choosing /f and /r). Of course you can’t do it when it is loaded so after restarting it did the checks and I was ready to resize.

Problem: Windows is no longer seen!

Once Windows 7’s partition was resized came in the problems; the default bootloader (holding down Alt on boot) didn’t see the “Windows” partition anymore. I used 2 things to fix this.

The first was rEFIt; http://refit.sourceforge.net/ – this replaces the Mac OSX bootloader and has a nifty tool built in that I had to use – install it in Mac OSX using the DMG download. The problem with resizing Windows is that Mac OSX’s bootloader no longer knows where the Windows partition starts – there are essentially two layouts for the drive (GPT and MFT), which are now out of sync due to GParted increasing the Windows size. Once installed I restarted and used the Partitioning Tool, which automatically detected the error and asked to correct it. Once corrected Windows then was known to rEFIt properly; after a few reboots for me at least.

Final Fix: Inaccessible Partition Error

Last thing was that Windows itself now was bothered by the resize; generally this will also happen if you, say, had 2 Windows installs on a machine, deleted the one at the front of the drive and resized the latter to fill the drive. Windows thinks that the files to load the OS are located in a very specific place on the drive, which would now be wrong.

It comes up as black screen error; if that doesn’t occur, great I guess ๐Ÿ™‚

If it does, it requires either something like ERD Commander (known now as MS DaRT); I used version 6.5, but the same process is achieved through using a bootable Windows installation or upgrade disk; the Repair option will search automatically for such basic issues with a current installation and ask to apply fixes. Do so and it should allow full access to your Windows partition again ๐Ÿ™‚

Again the CD was just booted through using Alt/Option key on bootup.

You could now remove rEFIt, I may well do so in case I want to re-encrypt my Mac OSX partition, since it likely would interfere (and most certainly is unsupported according to its own documentation).

Hope this helps someone else; certainly when I searched Google it took a fair few threads and posts to find all of this, since most of them point to (now) paid tools.

Where The Bodies Are Buried

Bad at updating my site eh? I’ll get on and upload some brilliant stuff I made recently, but nothing much else to report home about here except a short kind of review.

Finished reading Where The Bodies Are Buried – brilliant Scottish police drama book (ie; it isn’t a too standard police procedural with a lead male detective, huzzah!), I hope Chris “-topher” Brookmyre does more of them; witty, sometimes gruesome, very heartfelt, strong characterisation – good stuff (if somewhat slow to start and some clichรฉs here and there the build up is momentous and had me pretty gripped) – perhaps not as strange as some of his other books but read it if you like anything crime ๐Ÿ™‚

Additional to Facebook; I am probably giving this a glowing review since I’ve not seriously read reams of police procedurals; many of which would wear you down with clichรฉs and haggard repetitive characters. I mainly see the core interest in the book as the non-police people, however I enjoyed reading a strong female detective rather then a brooding male.

I’d also highly recommend his other books, but only have read two; One Strange Day in the Middle of the Night and Quite Ugly One Morning, both brilliant too ๐Ÿ™‚

3DS Thoughts

Some random thoughts on the 3DS I caught on Saturday;

  • The 3d is okay; but it varies a lot game to game. You have to keep still using it so obviously you would turn it off if you use the gyroscope inside (as with Monkey Ball – a real shame). Some games barely use it noticeably – a 3D in-a-sub-at-a-periscope-firing-torpedoes game was just so…flat!
  • My eyes “work with it” but it takes a fair few seconds to adjust then having to keep them steady, else you get just a holographic “double image at once” going on of course.
  • There are no games I immediately want to play on it having tried almost all of the demos available; fighting, sports, racing and remakes/re-releases. I guess Kid Icarus is new? Monkey Ball also was passable.
  • The augmented reality stuff is fiddly but pretty silly fun. Would be happier if it wasn’t so gimmicky (there was only one bit available to try).
  • Generally much better button placement (power, volume, d-pad, abxy buttons etc., although start/select are a bit out of the way) and the addition of the analogue stick is good. From the fighter players I’ve talked to they’d prefer two of them (even just realistically to support left handed players!)
  • Why is the bottom screen smaller then the top one? Looks goofy ๐Ÿ™

When I might buy a 3DS:

  • Better battery life/extra battery packs. It’s pretty rubbish at the moment (2-4 hours, ouch)
  • The Professor Layton/Phoenix Write crossover game is out, or perhaps Mario Kart
  • If I really find a reason to constantly use wifi in a game; so can use WPA2 at home

Not going to happen for a while then, oh well!

Website and journal of Andrew Armstrong