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Wings Over Scotland

Gremlins in the machine

Posted on October 26, 2018 by

Apologies for the shortage of content in the last couple of days, folks. The 10-year-old Wings PC has been wheezing and groaning and emitting smoke for a few weeks, but it’s now reached a point where we can barely keep it from crashing for five minutes at a time, and we’ve run out of sticking plasters (and stuff to delete on its tiny C drive to give it a bit of cache space and stop it falling over clutching theatrically at its throat).

(Don’t even get us started on a rant about all the idiot software that insists on stealthily clogging it up with mysterious useless bloat but won’t work anywhere but the C drive. Who knew it was even possible to hate iTunes any more than we already did?)

We ordered a new one a while back, but until it gets here we might be a bit light on anything that involves a lot of typing, linking or formatting. Please bear with us.

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    1. 26 10 18 20:56

      Gremlins in the machine | speymouth

    113 to “Gremlins in the machine”

    1. defo says:

      Why not just say you want a holiday!

    2. frogesque says:

      Admit it, you’ve worked the puir wee thing to death!

    3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      If I wanted a holiday I’d have taken it in bloody July 😀

    4. Ian McLean says:

      Yeah, right! Playing with your new present more like. 😉
      Take the chance to have a wee rest anyway till new one is up and running.

    5. Millsy says:

      I can loan you my old Commodore Amiga( 1000) for a few days if you think it will help ,Rev.

    6. Have you tried switching it off and on again,:)

    7. Wullie B says:

      I have more memory on my Samsung S7 edge than you have on that C/ drive, can you not just get a new 512 SSD and copy everything over Rev

    8. mogabee says:

      Nothing better than getting a new pc!

      Dust free, speedier, shiny with new flashing lights..Great 😀

    9. ben madigan says:

      Sympathize with your PC problems Stu. I’ve been though enough of themselves. There are times the machines just refuse to obey their human masters and mistresses.

      On another note, going O/T immediately – this is an interesting little tit-bit of news which may be of interest to Scottish independistas

      After brexit, a treaty called the Duty of Sincere Cooperation – which includes a legal obligation for member states to assist each other over sovereignty – will no longer apply to Britain.

      Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s previous foreign minister pointed to this when she said last year: ‘When Brexit takes place, the EU could evaluate a decision on how to proceed and how to stand on these issues – and there may be a change.’

    10. defo says:

      Re Wheezing,groaning, and emitting smoke, I do that too.
      Maybe the spooks fiddled with it when they knabbed yer swag for making a joke.

    11. Stakhanovite says:

      FFS Stu, buy a Mac

    12. caledonia says:

      Your playing that video box/Game you bought admit it lol

    13. TJenny says:

      Surprised it hasn’t burnt out before now. Maybe you should get 2 new ones, just in case.

    14. Al-Stuart says:


      I have a spare computer if you need a temporary machine to cover for your clockwork Victorian antique PC 🙂

    15. Dr Jim says:

      PC Broken?

      See those hammers you’ve got

    16. Proud Cybernat says:

      PC Broken?

      No, I’m perfectly fine.

      Jaiket oan.

    17. geeo says:

      Feeding your computer daily doses of unionist bullcrap has likely caused it to break down in protest.

      Computer says …”sick of being fed these britnat quotes, Mega-byte me, i’m done” !

    18. Robert Roddick says:

      Good Luck Stuart, you’re now an important part of the lives of so many of us.

    19. Donald anderson says:

      Do try Cloud storage. I don’t even have a hard drive and it is infinite.

    20. Fraser A Reid says:

      We could just change this into a “donate pc bits to The Rev” column…… I would start with a 128Gb SSD. What you think Stu? Save a bit of money and cancel your pc order.

    21. Lenny Hartley says:

      Donald Anderson Cloud is fine until your internet goes down, now I know that this blog will be hosted on the cloud but having stuff locally means you can work on stories with internet access, ie getting access to his massive database.

    22. TJenny says:

      ben madigan – re Duty of Sincere Cooperation, could prove useful re indy for us and NI too.

    23. ronnie anderson says:

      10 year auld PC nae wunner its oan its last legs wie aw that 24/7 working it does, an nae need fur they apologies U always hiv back up in the Linkers Nana ect ect tae keep things moving along .

    24. Rock says:

      Scotland owes no bigger debt than to one man and his ten year old computer.

    25. Confused says:

      So … the bad guys have got GCHQ, the doughnut building, satellites, slurping devices at telecoms switches …
      – we have a 75G hard drive and a wordpress blog
      – it’s not the arrow, it’s the indian
      – you know what a backup is tho?

      Red Dead Redemption 2 will be 105G in size. I mention this for no reason.

    26. David Howdle says:

      Have you thought of using a version of the Linux operating system? It would rejuvenate your machine and it’s free. Linux Mint or Kubuntu are popular for good reason.

    27. Robert Peffers says:

      Yeah! Rev Stu – and of course the release of Red Dead Redemption II has nothing to do with it – whatsoever.


    28. Muscleguy says:

      Was is das ‘C drive’? Nicht sprechen die Windoze.

      Though I can sympathise from Android phone land, no matter how big a card you put in it stuff insists on installing on the internal drive. Previous OS iteration you could move stuff from one to ‘tother. But since they supposedly integrated the two (ha!) that facility has gone.

      On computing duties I’m a MacHead from way back in part due to the absence of any such thing. I even stubbornly maintain a Games folder instead of them all clogging up Applications as they are apparently supposed to.

      i haven’t had to worry about scratch disc space and it being sufficiently defragged for over a decade. I used to administer the lab’s Macs and we had one dedicated to an image grabbing camera. The software for that would make a temporary montage of all your photos and print it. Except the files were pretty large for the day and required sufficient unfragged space to write the print file to. So there were RULES and your data could get summarily deleted without warning (so you were strongly advised to sent them over the intranet to your own machine. It worked.

    29. Craig says:

      You just want time off to play Red Dead Redemption 2, I have

    30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Have you thought of using a version of the Linux operating system?”


    31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “and of course the release of Red Dead Redemption II has nothing to do with it – whatsoever.”

      I’ve got about a thousand games in my “waiting to be played” pile already. I’ll buy RDR2 in six months when it’s 15 quid in CEX.

    32. Normski says:

      LOL. LOL. LOL.

      Even my SSD boot drive has 1TB of memory.

    33. Frank Gillougley says:

      I swear by Windows98 myself.

    34. Corrado Mella says:

      Rev, you are using Linux right now.
      This site runs on WordPress on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack.
      Most of Internet is run by Linux.
      Servers, routers, switches, firewalls, modems…
      Smartphones run Linux.
      TV set top boxes run Linux.
      Iot devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, Philips Hue, Ring doorbells… Linux.
      Only relics and white collar workers cling on their obsolete Windoze PC.
      Stop paying the Microsoft Tax.
      Oh, I forgot. You’re a gamer.

    35. Auld Rock says:

      Don’t worry we’ve all been there. But bet you haven’t tried to throw it out the window of the 32nd floor of a tower office block, like I did back in the days when external ‘Winchester Drives’ were the best thing since sliced bread???

    36. yesindyref2 says:

      PCs are for Christmas, not for life.

    37. Inverclyder says:

      Install an SSD ffs!

      There’s migration and cloning software with most of the drives these days.

    38. yesindyref2 says:

      If you have old games that need a CD in the drive to play, and they don’t play with your new computer, look up secdrv.sys – disabled by updates in Vista and later, though I think Win 10 has an XP sandbox to run them.

    39. yesindyref2 says:

      Here’s what I do on Vista for Age of Mythology:

      1, Start, Search box – CMD – right-click cmd.exe – run as administrator

      sc config secdrv start= demand

      sc start secdrv

      sc config secdrv start= disabled

      If you copy and paste the three commands in – with ba
      lank lines after each one – you don’t even have todothem line by line and hit enter.

      Don’t do anything else, power off afterwards and it’s safe again.

    40. Robert Peffers says:

      Cloud not really very private.

      I keep a USB external 3.5 TB hard drive to use as an archive/backup. But it could be used as a replacement C: Drive.

      Mind you it isn’t really a big job to replace the existing C: Drive with a faster and larger internal drive. Either hard disc or solid state, Solid state is expensive, though.

    41. Macart says:

      Is it Space Invaders or Galaga on the birthday present?

    42. Illy says:

      Simple solution for making old machines useful:

      Install a Linux.

      Suddenly you don’t have the crap clogging up your hard drive, and the machine runs faster than under Windows.

    43. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rev. Stuart Campbell says: 26 October, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      ” … I’ve got about a thousand games in my “waiting to be played” pile already. I’ll buy RDR2 in six months when it’s 15 quid in CEX.”

      Aye! Me too. I’ve had fingers burnt getting games early before the bugs show up.

    44. Robert Peffers says:

      Windows 98? You new guys are all the same. I’ll stick with MDS until that Windows thing settles down. That’s where you tell the operating system what to do. It doesn’t tell you what you can and cannot do.

    45. Ken says:

      It just so happens that gamers have been queuing all night for Red Dead Redemption. A coincidence?I think not.

    46. Robert Peffers says:

      @yesindyref2 says: 26 October, 2018 at 8:38 pm:

      ” … If you copy and paste the three commands in – with ba
      lank lines after each one – you don’t even have todothem line by line and hit enter.
      Don’t do anything else, power off afterwards and it’s safe again”

      Err! What’s wrong with a simple batch file, (.BAT file)?

      Type it out in Notepad. save as a .TXT file. Rt Click the Notepad .TXT file and select edit instead of load.

      Save with extension .BAT. Now and a simple double click will run the batch file and load the game, (or any other automated task you have set-up a batch file for.

    47. it'sonlyme says:

      You can clone the c drive including the operating system onto a bigger hard drive using imageing software and lose nothing

    48. Dr Jim says:

      I like the tennis game, ping ping ping ping could play that all day, black & white too the real McCoy

    49. Proud Cybernat says:

      PCs are for Christmas, not for life.

      Gutted so I ams.

    50. galamcennalath says:

      We could be facing problems with ‘technology’ somewhat more basic that computers!


    51. frogesque says:

      Much as I appreciate the trip down memory lane, can any of you geeks tell me how to get an android phone to transfer files (pics) from hard memory to the bloody SD card?.

      Any other device you just transfer the whole file but Samsung appear to be a law to themselves.

    52. frogesque says:

      Above: answers on s postcard to off topic please, not going to risk the hammers of death. Or even Stu’s kitty cat

    53. Bill says:

      As I’ve advised before, get in touch with your IT department. I’d suggest an upgrade to windows 3.1

    54. Proud Cybernat says:

      My ZX81 has a 16Kb RAM Pack. Currently being used as a door-wedge. A few scuffs here and there but yours at a snip for £1,299.99.

      Bargain of the century.

    55. Street Andrew says:

      Nevva….in the field…of human …computer interface ….have so many…… owed so much…to so few….


    56. McDuff says:

      Rock 7.42pm

      In a nutshell.

    57. dakk says:

      No idea what any of yous are talking about.

      Rainmen the lot you.

      I’m out.

    58. Clootie says:

      …will this be a fund raiser?

    59. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      One can only look at the dominance of shitware called windows in the world to see that the whole place is going to hell in a hand basket.

      If I were running a rival, I’d drop the price of the product to the average PC. Your margin would be smaller per unit , but the amount of units would sky rocket.

      Took a PC with preloaded windows recently. As soon as I find the time, I’m going to banish windows and install ubuntu

      Although I appreciate that your hardware has done well to last 10 years, presuming its not mac

    60. Socrates MacSporran says:

      galamcennalath @ 10.01pm

      Thanks for that link, which demonstrates Brexit is being run by the Unionist media – it’s the only hope they have of selling more papers, to replace the missing bog roll.

    61. Robert Peffers says:

      @Socrates MacSporran says: 26 October, 2018 at 11:11 pm:

      ” … Thanks for that link, which demonstrates Brexit is being run by the Unionist media – it’s the only hope they have of selling more papers, to replace the missing bog roll.”

      I had the very same thought, Socrates, but also then thought many Wingers would still not buy newspapers on principle.

      However, as Scotland, being far less overcrowded than the rest of the United Kingdom, has a ready supply of dockens. It might just be the start of a new Scottish industry and a new export market of Dockens to England but only if there is an open border after we end the Union.

    62. One_Scot says:

      Lol, I thought I had problems, I’ve currently got a 15m cat5e rj45 Ethernet cable sellotaped to the livingroom celling and the front door mat over the cable in the up stairs hall to give a four fold download speed and a two fold upload speed over 2.4Ghz wifi on a PS4 that has no 5Ghz wifi capability.

    63. Fairliered says:

      If you had a working computer, Stuart, you would be able to appreciate the comments on this thread.
      As you haven’t, you will have to rely on the BBC and the Daily Fail to tell you how Badddddd the SNP are.

    64. Ghillie says:

      Just don’t go near those gremlins with water!!

    65. dakk says:

      All got that wee american accent as well no doubt.

      Eff off.

    66. Ghillie says:

      Robert Peffers @ 11.26 pm

      Sending dockens to England would make a refreshing change from Dickens from Tories.

    67. David P says:

      Wildly off-topic

      Did the Duty of Sincere Co-operation prevent EU states from recognising the vote for Catalunyan independence?

    68. Graham says:

      Xubuntu on my 10 year old laptop, still going strong.
      Want to play games?
      Get a PlayStation.

    69. ben madigan says:

      @ david P who asked “Did the Duty of Sincere Co-operation prevent EU states from recognising the vote for Catalunyan independence?”

      I have a feeling it might have David. Hearing about its existence made my antennae tingle. It might also have conditioned certain EU statements at the time of the Scottish referendum. It may have had less impact on NI after the Good friday Agreement

    70. yesindyref2 says:

      @Robert Peffers
      Thanks – saves a fair few clicks and time.

      Works perfectly 🙂 Just right click a shortcut and run as administrator.

      I’d forgotten bat files, did them a lot in days of DOS and Win 3.x.x

    71. Capella says:

      Curtains for Windows IMO

    72. Wullie B says:

      Get rid of the Spectrum and stop playing Beachhead Rev

    73. Conan the Librarian says:

      It took one of RBS’s finest software engineers (my son in law) to get Rome Total War running on my new laptop. The second and best Total War game of all time.

    74. mike cassidy says:

      You’re too embarrassed to admit you’re just going away on holiday with that lazy fecker, Cairns.

      But as you’ve inadvertently started a technical complaint thread.

      Can I just say I can’t get my laptop and new phone to talk to each other so that I can transfer music from one to other.

      Yes, I’ve installed the relevant drivers and probably the irrelevant ones as well.

      And no, I’m not going to try bluetoothing hundreds of music files by Bluetooth one by one.

      Bring back shellac!

    75. Capella says:

      @ mike cassidy – why not attach phone via usb cable and drag n drop?

    76. mike cassidy says:


      Been there. Done that.

      Laptop doesn’t want to know.

      The extra disc I got put in the phone to hold the music is just pining away at the emptiness of existence!

      I’ll probably just get a new Walkman.

      Life’s too short….

    77. yesindyref2 says:

      Since it’s on=topic, if your PC seems slower than it used to be, maybe it’s full of dust and fluff. If it overheats, the motherboard will slow down the processor to create less heat.

      Soft 1/2 or 1 inch paint brush carefully and delicately applied and a hoover nozzle will work wonders.

    78. yesindyref2 says:

      OT – defence
      Trident Juncture exercise kicking off soon in the “Far North”, based in / off Norway.

      It’s the sort of thing iScotland would be involved in too, almost certainly anyway. Note the involvement of X-Ray Company from 45 Commando, based in Arbroath.

    79. Capella says:

      Well I think these problems are just nature’s way of telling us it’s time to spend another thousand pounds and fill the long dark evenings reinstalling, logging in and updating.

    80. yesindyref2 says:

      Indeed. You have to wonder if the Rev is going for the loikes of the MSI Aegis Ti3 VR7RF 1080 SLI Gaming PC + FREE Monitor, a snip at £ 4,196.98 inc. vat, or be happy with the PC Specialist Vanquish Lazeron AMD Vega Gaming PC, AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz, 8GB DDR4, 2TB HDD, WIFI, Windows 10 Home at just £ 469.96 inc. vat. Both free delivery from ebuyer!

    81. yesindyref2 says:

      Maybe Rock will treat the Rev to the MSI Aegis?

    82. Cactus says:

      Many happy returns WOS boss!

      Aye wonder if Chris will be along later this morning…

      “Bright light, bright light”.

      Make a wish.

    83. Collie says:

      Fuck the English Armed Forces.

    84. Itslegaltender says:

      Nothing to do with launch of Red or Dead 2. Nope, no way!?

    85. cearc says:

      Happy birthday to Stu,
      Happy birthday to Stu,
      Happy birthday dear Stuart,
      Happy birthday to you.

    86. Bruce L says:

      Software that needs to be on the C drive, you say? NTFS junction points are your friend.

    87. mumsyhugs says:

      At least we know what to get you for Xmas – a new floppy disc!

    88. Robert Peffers says:

      @Graham says: 27 October, 2018 at 12:05 am:

      ” … Get a PlayStation.”

      Best an Xbox one X.

    89. Capella says:

      @ Yesindyref2 – I think with PCs the biggest numbers you can afford.
      @ Stu , is it your birthday? Happy day and every day to come. Let’s wish everyone a great year ahead.

    90. almannysbunnet says:

      Even when you get your new PC get yourself a NAS drive, seriously. Got a Synology DiskStation a few years ago and never looked back. The only thing on my PC now is the programmes. No more clogging up the PC with gigabytes of files. If you need more space, open the door and plug in another quadrateragigabyte drive thingy.

    91. PacMan says:

      Thing about using the cloud for storage purposes is that you are using it as a service and have to adhere to the providers terms and conditions.

      They could withdraw the service for any number of reasons for any number of reasons. If they don’t allow you access to the data before they withdraw the service then you are snookered.

      The best purpose for cloud storage is the ability to access data on multiple devices as well as on the move. It isn’t advisable to use it as the one and only means of backup/storage.

    92. PacMan says:

      My PC is more than 10 years old, have Lubunbtu installed, boots in no time and runs smoothly. I also have Windows 10 on another partition and the once in a blue moon time where I have to use that OS, it takes ages to load and when it finally does, it is like walking through treacle to use.

      Thank goodness for open source 🙂

    93. mogabee says:

      Wingers are the absolute bestest at random threads!

      😀 😀

    94. Kangaroo says:

      Re Bog Roll

      Having a good discussion on for anyone interested

    95. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “FFS Stu, buy a Mac”

      I have a Macbook. I briefly attempted to use it to produce Wings when the police impounded all my other computers last year. Short version: I’d rather gouge my own eyes out with a rusty fork.

      There is nothing on EARTH more irritating that having people go “Wah wah wah use Linux/buy a Mac” when you have any sort of problem with your PC. This Windows 7 PC has run almost flawlessly for a decade and now it’s just old and full and behind the times. It’s earned its retirement and it merits replacing. It does not merit wasting months of my life learning a whole new fucking operating system and finding whole new suites of apps for and learning all the new interfaces for those as well.


    96. Tatu3 says:

      If it is your birthday today Stu, I wish you a happy birthday and it’s my birthday too ?

    97. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      It is, and congratulations 🙂

    98. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Software that needs to be on the C drive, you say? NTFS junction points are your friend.”


    99. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Since it’s on=topic, if your PC seems slower than it used to be, maybe it’s full of dust and fluff. If it overheats, the motherboard will slow down the processor to create less heat.”

      I hoover out the insides (especially the fans) regularly.

    100. yesindyref2 says:

      Happy 30th Birthday! Again 🙂

    101. yesindyref2 says:

      Hi Rev
      That wasn’t aimed at you of course, just a general comment. If you’ve made a PC last 10 years, you’d have had to clean it out a few times.

      For the adventurous and more computer savvy, taking off the heatsink and fan occasionally and thoroughly cleaning out the fan is a good idea, cleaning off the old silicon carefully and putting on new paste. Don’t wear silk knickers and polyester pants at the same time though! Static can be a computer killer.

    102. Loquacious B says:

      Your C drive is like 75 gig? WTF Rev? Last time I had a C drive that small was like 2003 man! You running a laptop or what?

    103. Vestas says:

      I assume whatever you bought is coming with Win10? If so then I’d be inclined to turn off Windows Updates & just run them manually (plenty of google hits for that). Oh and make backups. Many backups 🙂

      I dunno whether you’re aware of refurb/surplus resellers like Morgan Computers (and others)? You can pick up reasonable machines with Win7 installed for peanuts – most come with 3-12 month warranties. They’re worth bearing in mind for machines which aren’t going to be doing anything too heavy-duty. Having said that there’s a 6 core Xeon with 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD for 400 quid or so – that ought to keep you nice & toasty if nothing else 😀

      Happy birthday – the date on the OT page makes sense now 😉

    104. K1 says:

      ‘Don’t wear silk knickers and polyester pants at the same time’

      Ever! 🙂

    105. Vestas says:

      @ Rev. Stuart Campbell 12:02 pm :

      “I hoover out the insides (especially the fans) regularly.”

      If only itunes was as easy to clean 🙂

      I end up having to “fix” daughters itunes installs at least once a year. I don’t even use the fucking thing so imagine how happy that makes me….

      If either of them ever gets an Apple TV I’ll disown them – either that or slit my wrists 😉

    106. Macart says:

      Happy birthday Rev. 🙂

    107. Foonurt says:

      Christ, oan ah Fleein Scoat frame.

      Whaur’s mah wee, twaw HP Seevin wireless.

      Ah freen guffawt ett mae, fur coverin’ ower mah turntable, amplifier, CD-player, wireless et cetera wae poalythene.
      Whin no in yiss. Stoors ah basturt, whin aye in yiss.

      Ah!, bit dae ye yaiz ‘DuckDuckGo’, awe youz techno-buffs.

    108. Fred says:

      Hoovering out the fannies sounds the way forward!

    109. Graham says:

      Rev Stu, you’re probably right about suggesting an alternative OS not being entirely helpful, so I would like to withdraw my Xubuntu suggestion and simply point and laugh instead.

    110. Kevin Lynch says:

      Hmmm … Windows … iTunes … I see the problem. When the new PC arrives, re-purpose the old one with Linux if you can. Give it a try. You won’t get iTunes. But you can get Spotify. And given what iTunes does to your files. It’s basically the same thing.

    111. Camz says:

      75GB drive in 2018?

      Dear God man. Spend £30 on a 1TB drive.

    112. RyMc says:

      Holy bejesus! Get that shit backed up before it dies!

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