Statistically improbable, but there you have it: both my machines (Laptop – Windows XP, Desktop – Windows 2003) are swiftly breaking down at the same time. The following things all happened in the last week:

  • DESKTOP: Upgraded to iTunes 6.0.4 (I think), and the program hasn’t started up at all ever since. No more ripping my CDs, no more podcasts. I’ve gotten a pop-up to upgrade my iTunes on the laptop too: erm, no, I don’t think so.
  • DESKTOP: inserting a DVD in the drive halts the machine. Like, mouse freezes and everything. Power button is the only solution
  • DESKTOP: upon booting, the machine now gives me between 3-5 error messages. iTunes, obviously, but also Firefox (multiple times). Those popups with a “Send a message to Microsoft?” You bet I’m sending!
  • LAPTOP: couldn’t get a VPN connection going. Errors at different stages, but always an error. Seems to have been solved by upgrading my ZoneAlarm firewall, but loads of other stuff has gone wrong since that install
  • LAPTOP: Power management went belly-up. I can’t shut down properly (PC hangs on wall paper or just after), I can’t suspend nor hibernate (neither with the key combination or via the shutdown menu)
  • LAPTOP: USB stopped working. No more sync with the N91, no more sync with the iPod (doesn’t even charge), no more transfer of my pictures. Couleur Cafe is coming up and I’m going to take hundreds of pictures to post (some) on Brussel.blogt.be. Joy!

I always gathered that one PC would break down before the other, and I’d go through the work of moving all data to the good one, reformat and reinstall Windows on the first and go from there. As it is now, I’m not sure which one I can consider to be the ‘good’ one. I need a good working portable for Friday (Couleur Cafe), but I’m in the middle of finishing a project on that machine and I hadn’t really calculated an OS reinstall in my Gantt chart.

Wednesday is Windows Vista demo time @ Microsoft Belgium headquarters. That might be an option …
Windows Vista

(No “switch to MacOSX” comments please. Not gonna happen.)