Monday, September 8, 2014

Coping Mechanisms

We each have our own ways of dealing with things. Comforting routines, distractions, mental shelters that we can turn to when things get to be too much.
For the last few years one of my favorite games to relax to has been Minecraft. There's a certain zen to visualizing, discovering, and shaping the world. I've spoken about it here before, but it has been a great help in getting through these last few days. The beauty of Minecraft is also that it is 'light' enough that I can play it while having my computer perform other tasks in the background.

I've started what I will call the "PROJECT." The PROJECT is to finally overhaul the terabytes of storage attached to my machine. Various drives and backups and dusty data that has been copied, transferred, or transplanted from way back when. I have save-game states from games I haven't played in over a decade. I have a lot of junk. Outdated driver packs. Game-patches from back when that was still a manual process. ISOs for obsolete tools. A lot of stuff that's easier to just keep copying than to abandon it.
The PROJECT will force me to consolidate to a single location. The PROJECT will condense my multiple photo, funny picture, infographic, ebook, pdf, TXT notes, RTF notes, DOC notes, ODF notes, into one sustainable folder structure. The PROJECT will use several root folders to consolidate this data onto dedicated disks that can then be mirrored to paired external disks for backups.

That is what has been running in the background on my computer for the last few nights. Copying files around to empty various drives so that I can start those locations fresh and slowly feed in the data and build up the new hierarchy. Phase 1 was weeding out old backups and redundant copies to create space. Phase 2 was backing up key locations to external drives. Phase 3 is half-way complete and involves wiping the internal drives. The end of Phase 3 is pretty brutal but feeds into Phase 4. A complete, fresh, reinstall of the Operating System. That's a little scary. I've collected so many little tools and modifications to my system that I've usually just copied or restored back to my fresh installs that I'm worried that I'll overlook a key feature that won't find out about until I'm missing it... but that worry is evenly matched with the dozens and dozens of things that have been installed, uninstalled, reinstalled, and left various components of themselves resident in my system. Ghost folders and DLLs that are long obsolete but still getting loaded because the Registry is a convoluted mess.

So while my system is copying 850 gigabytes of stuff from location A to location B I dive into Minecraft (running on location C) and try to wrap my head around integrating IndustryCraft2 power production with the Forestry mod machines utilizing BuildCraft power. As an added bonus I've discovered that the IC2 version this pack is running is considered experimental and there are some things that haven't been really documented anywhere. For instance, I created a canning machine to 'normalize' the various stacks of food items I'm creating. Roasted chicken, beef, pork. Carrots, bread, berries, cake... each use precious inventory space when exploring. A canning machine sticks the nutrients into a can and lets you carry a stack of them without having to worry about what's inside. Fun, right? Right?! Anyway, I built the machine, hooked it up to power, and then it turned out that the cans I had created to put my food into weren't compatible. They were from a different mod. Unbeknownst to me, at the time, the recipe for the food cans had been changed. Instead of utilizing three tin ingots in an upside-down bucket formation, it now requires a single ingot to be flattened into a sheet, flattened again into a panel, and then fed through an extruder to create two cans. Or at least that's what my research last night seems to indicate. I'll be trying it tonight, while the next victim of Phase 3 formats and scans in the background.
The next challenge is exploring the various power generation cycles to begin self-sustaining loops. I have a stack of wind-turbines to keep entropy at bay, but some of these machines need more oompf to get rolling. 
There's an interesting Apple-Tree farm -> Squeezer -> Fermenter -> Still -> Biofuel that I'm exploring that will hopefully power all the machines to produce the fuel and hopefully some excess for my electric jetpack. Because flitting around the world with an electric jetpack is a lot of fun.
And all this is just to distract me from worrying about tomorrow. I hope tomorrow goes well. I really hope it goes well.

No comments:

Post a Comment