Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Death of an OS

I've been trying to salvage a Windows XP laptop which mysteriously blue screened the other day. Ever since, when it boots, right after the XP load screen, it blue screens again with this error:

STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The Session Manager Initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a
 status of 0xc000026c (0x00000000 0x00000000).
The system has been shut down.

Looking up the error via Google doesn't give me any useful results other than "reinstall XP", so, I've been using a LiveCD to move all of the essential data (music, documents, Firefox settings, etc.) to another computer. It's a very fun process.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Review: Darcs

In short, Darcs irritates me more than any other distributed VCS that I've used so far. And that includes git.

One of the more annoying things about it is that the commands for it are significantly different from most modern VCSs. Examples (based on their equivalents in other systems):

darcs whatsnew -s
diff (unified)
darcs diff -u (for the record, I expected darcs whatsnew -u to do the same thing, based on the description in the help text.)
commit (to local tree)
darcs record

On a more positive note, I find the patch-based approach (as opposed to the snapshot-based approach Bazaar uses) to be an interesting method of performing backend operations. However, having to go through each patch "hunk" is rather strange, and doesn't really seem to scale, especially in a command-line interface. It seems that in the prototype GUI, it's a little better, but the usability is still lacking.