Upgrading SSD in Laptop

imageI have a Samsung Series 7 (2012) 8G as my daily driver.  The HD in it conked out, and I replaced it with the biggest SSD that I had at the time.. 64GB.   Not quite large enough.

Rather than spend the money buying a new laptop (I want to move up to a 17” gaming laptop with at least 16G of RAM), we decided to spend $150 to get a 500G SSD.  I waited to install it till after Holidays, because I needed the laptop functional for the holidays.  I don’t trust myself with hardware upgrades.

It all went well!

Step 1:  Should probably have been back up the existing harddrive.  In the future I’d probably use Hiren’s Boot CD, and part magic, and back up to an external USB.   However, I did not.   Luckily, I had gizmo to save me.  (gizmo pictured in picture)

Step 2:  Open up the laptop (thank you Youtube) and replace the Hard Drive.  Of course, I got left with an extra screw, that I have no idea where it goes.

Step 3: Download and burn a copy of Hiren Boot CD since I couldn’t find my other copy.  Beware copycat sites.

Step 4: Use the nifty HD-to-USB gizmo, mount the old drive, boot from Hiren,  and use CloneZilla to copy it to the new one.

Clonezilla was not easy to find.  I had to choose:

  • Boot Linux
  • Exit the linux menu to get to root prompt
  • type “clonezilla” (total guess) .. it worked.



Step 5: boot into windows and Extend the size of the NTFS partition to cover the entire drive (“Manage Disk” in start menu)

Step 6: Update windows (didn’t have space to do that before) and shortly, update Elite as well.

Step 7: Apply stickers to outside of laptop from recent trip. 

Glad I could clone it.   I have two currently active client’s VPN softwares, a bunch of client WIFI things, etc, all configured.  Didn’t want to have to redo all of that.

Karma Go: Fail for us (so far)

Wife and I recently invested in (paid for 3 months of) a Karma Go.     We’re going to be using it in Florida for a week.. the place we’re staying doesn’t have an internet connection.  Its perfect for that..

However, we were wondering if we would be able to ditch our at-home TWC connection as well in favor of it.


a) Its Open-WIFI only – ie, “web site login page” to enable access – and 3 device maximum.     This means that things like the Apple TV cannot connect to it.

b) The “unlimited bandwidth” is capped to 3G – which means, some video, doesn’t play so well.  Other video works okay.    Seems to be playing video from our iPhones is not optimized – it doesn’t scan ahead, stutters, etc.  

c) I tried “cheating” and putting my windows 10 laptop into “bridge” mode, trying to drive a router from that – but nope, 20 minutes of farting around with it, didn’t solve it.

So..   Karma Go won’t be replacing our TWC connection, which means we’ll pretty much have it for vacation times only.  

Having test driven it for a few days, though, I can report that I can play Elite Dangerous while connected to it.

Endless Sky

imageLately, I’ve been playing a game called Endless Sky.  I’m thoroughly enjoying the game.   I don’t have the time right now (15 minutes) to go into the detail details, but, I’ll throw this out if you’re interested in the game – my evolution playing the game.

First Starting Out, with a Mortgage, I had to count the hops + calculate loan payments.  Only take jobs that I could do with a positive; if I had any cargo space left, look to which system I was going to, figure out Trade differences, and buy/sell to squeeze a few more cents out.   Run away from pirates!   If you die, you restart at the last planet you were at.  Pay of as much of the mortgage early as possible – I would pay off any extra bringing my prudent reserve down to 50k. 

Sell and upgrade to a newer ship whenever you can.  There’s no Buy/Sell penalty; you can go back.  and you can save the game.

Then as you get slightly larger ships, you have the ability to take multiple jobs to multiple sectors and really explore.   You can earn maybe 1 million per transit of the system using a … it looks like an SR71 blackbird, crew of 3?  Phoenix?  Beware of keeping your ship small enough so you don’t pay too much overhead in crew.

Then, you get to maybe 10million in net worth or so – you can get a really big ship, where the profit from a meager +100 credit/ton times 500tons of cargo gives you a nice $50k, in 4 hops.  At this point, missions / jobs don’t compare. 

This is where I am now.  Next up – I plan to get up to maybe 3 large ships (Behemoths) so I can earn > $500k per transaction.  As soon as I get there, I’m going to start buying a buttload of small fighters, and set myself up to have my own swarm.    I figure if I have 20 ships with missiles, any opposition will get 20 missiles at a time.   And lots of lasers.  Swarm.  Yep.

Then I’m going pirate hunting.    So I can demand Tribute Smile 

Here’s something NOT to do:   Do not run with a SR-71 + 6 berserkers.  The way that I had it set up, each berserker was about 1.5million.  When one of them got blown up and I didn’t realize it and I saved the game.. I lost 1.5 million.  I could not make that back up quickly.   So, yeah, save the swarming for later where 1-2 trades = 1 ship.

I did a  google sheet about ships, crew costs, trade potentials, DPS, etc.  Will share on request. 


We have three cats *:

Harvey Quinn
Blackberry / Scrappy
Fifi Toupe
  • Boy, Insistent
  • Boy, Hesitant
  • Girl, Kick yo ass

Fifi just got spayed, so needed to stay from her brothers.  Just in time – Harvey has matured, and, his biology is calling for him to be very very curious about female cats.  Even if it’s a litter mate.

Harvey and Blackbery have their dates with the vet next week Wednesday.

In the mean time – Fifi’s stitches came out, but Harvey would just NOT leave her alone.   So, when unsupervised, I needed to continue to keep them separate.

We have this setup:

  • I had to keep Harvey and Fifi Separate
  • One partition of cats could roam the hallways if we let them.  Either by opening the bedroom door or the bathroom door.
  • All cats must have access to litterboxen.  (There’s also drinking fountains in each Hab.)

How many combinations could I come up with?

I think the way this breaks down is as follows:

  • 2: Either we have   F, H+B  or F+B, H. 
  • x2: Either we have F in bedroom or F in bathroom.  (and the other pair on the other side)
  • x3: Either we have the bedroom open to roam, or the bathroom open to roam, or neither.

Yielding a total of 12 combinations.

Oops.   I don’t think I have tried all 12.   Some things to narrow it down:

  • F HATES being alone – LOVES Human company.   Not so much other cats – maybe because they’re smelly boys.   So really, access to roaming doesn’t mean much to her, she just hangs with us humans.   This brings it from 12 down to 6.
  • H HATES being alone; he loves to roam.  He views closed doors as challenges to open and sneak past as soon as you open them.   So always giving him roaming, same as the above, still at 6.    No!  down to 4, because H should always be roaming, that rules out the both-locked-in version (which is the “dogs are out” configuration).
  • B loves to be near another cat.  I think he roams mostly to follow H around.    Although he has sneak attacked me at the screen door to the outside in the Family room.   Still at six, cause he’s either with H or F.

So the four workables are:

  • F+B in bedroom, H in bathroom roaming
  • F in bedroom, H+B in bathroom roaming  <—Usual
  • F+B in bathroom, H in bedroom roaming
  • F in bathroom, H+B in bedroom roaming   <—no, she cries.

Aha! ruled out another one.  So, 3 good combinations.

The standard arrangement has been (at night) F with me in the bedroom, and H+B roaming with access to the bathroom litter box.

The one time I kept H with me, and F+B in the bathroom – he snuggled with me a bit, then went off into the closet and ignored me.   Quite cat-like. If I ain’t got the pettings, he aint got time for me.  

I think tonight we’ll go with F+B with me, and H out to room with the bathroom.


*Yes, I’m using cat pictures in a blog post.  I’ve been told that cat pictures are what makes the internet keep working. 

Love my life.