All Jacky needs to know (or is even remotely likely care about) is that the bears are fifty kilometres closer (not even an hour away) and nobody has built a wall in the last couple of years; I said trouble was bruin, but did anybody listen? NOOoooo … they just took the piss (didn’t they, Aura?)

But where are we now, eh? Where are we now?

Not even an hour away from being mauled to death in our beds, that’s where.

I’d say “just call me ‘Cassandra’“ but nobody would take the time to inform themselves sufficiently to bother. *sigh* I’m surrounded by fools and philistines … eking out my wretched existence from cradle to grave in a world of mental midgets. It’s enough to drive anyone sane (ha, yeah, right) to drink or something.

Anyway … I’ve been busy: a surprising amount of music, a lot more Linux than anticipated and a frankly alarming quantity of rice.

Eighteen hours I spent yesterday, researching, sourcing, downloading and prepping the most serious rescue/repair kit iso images … eighteen hours! It was a fraught process, let me tell you, and I was sitting, rocking and keening, in front of the computer until four in the morning … plaintively wailing and mewling (in a voice so high pitched only dogs or bats could possibly have heard it), “Farkin’ ‘ell, why!? Why!? What? What!? What!? What the f**k is it NOOOOOOOOWAAAAAAAARG!!!!???” as my entire system ground to a halt for five minutes after each byte transferred … before the last of them finally downloaded. Some of the torrents downloaded at just Kb/hour! Others took me two hours of trawling various Russian sites, full of dodgy ads and scripts that wanted to infest my browser, before I found more reputable sources and even then it was likely to be followed by two hours of trawling dodgy US sites that wanted to infest my browser with malware and cryptominers.

Along the way, I had to negotiate nefarious proxies, decentralised VPNs and a few anonymous file sharing services offering temporary storage (like those five-minute email services, but for file-swapping by people who don’t want to sign up for something and identify themselves in the process).

Sergei Strelec’s WinPE defeated me in the end, but there’s only so much Russian I can fake before I have to admit I don’t know how to say more than “F**k your granddaughter’s smelly c***, you b**ch!” … (I did say it was a stressful process) … and give up. Besides, it was just about the dodgiest site I visited (all my webbrowsers now refuse to open the pages I saved from the site just in case I ever feel like living dangerously again ¹ ) … and I really wasn’t keen to spend any longer there than absolutely necessary to determine that I wasn’t going to get any further — so, just the hour or so (like when Stephen dances on tables in dive bars and people stuff cash in his dirty underpants to encourage him to … for the love of God, please … go away ² ).

But I persevered and, finally, eighteen ours later, had the biggest named, most reputable, most highly praised on my drive, ready to transfer to my Ventoy key:

Paul Bryan Vreeland’s AIO-SRT (All in One - System Rescue Toolkit)
yannubuntu’s Boot-Repair
Gandalf’s Windows 10 PE Live Rescue ISO
Hiren’s BootCD PE (continuity version)
Medicat USB
TRK (Trinity Rescue Kit)
Ultimate Boot CD (continuity version)

And they’re all rubbish. You could build a better one yourself just by installing Arch Linux (or Blackarch or Kali Linux, Windows or even DOS) to a USB key and adding the appropriate tools — I did precisely that many years ago already (which is why I haven’t felt the need to investigate for the last two decades ³ ).

Okay … there are a couple of Win10 PE based ones amongst them, but they’re rubbish too (I wasted half an hour fruitlessly trying to persuade one of them to connect to my network ) and, whilst it‘s a bit harder, it isn’t impossible to build one of those yourself either.

And, granted, Rescatux surprised me by not only not being as crap as I already thought it probably would be before I even downloaded it … (and it was one of the most difficult to download as well!) … but by actually appearing to offer some useful utilities — I might give that one another look and see if it has anything on it that I don’t already have on my own universal work/rescue toolkit .

But, seriously, they’re all crap … don’t waste your time on any of them — build your own.

One good thing did come out of it though … I was reminded of a couple of things I’d completely forgotten about in the last ten-to-twenty years and investigated them too, as a bit of light relief.

I was in a very bad mood though, so my idea of a light relief right now might not be yours — you have been warned.

I don’t use email clients myself … and neither will you, if you value your privacy: they’re just a treasure trove of incriminating evidence waiting to be recovered from your machine; just stick to webmail, log in from your browser and deny having an account, when questioned later — no body, no victim … no victim, no crime (simples).

But I have, in the course of my career, had occasion to do so for official purposes and, as a result, have investigated them in my time.

Consequently, a number of years ago, I stumbled upon a couple of extensions for (formerly Mozilla’s) Thunderbird and, much to my delight, they seem to still be available.

The first, Reject Button, is a bit of a godsend, if you have to work, or at least attempt to communicate, with the intellectually destitute masses masquerading as colleagues in the various wage-slavery pits that pass for places of gainful employment — speeding up the process of telling people to f**k off with their nonsense, whilst you get back to doing your own job rather than theirs.

At, as they say, the cost of just a few friendships, use it to “enforce proper mail ettiquette, annoy all your colleagues and friends and eventually get beaten up in a dark alley.”

The second is altogether less politically correct but gets to the point rather nicely, I think you’ll agree.

It’s not as erudite as my own approach … and lacks the artisanal personal touch (which is especially appropriate on seasonal occasions)


But sometimes, they’re just such a waste of space that they really don’t merit more.

Even going to the length of forwarding them a rudely dismissive template

… might take seconds better spent idly twiddling your thumbs.

So, leaving it to an automated process reached with the click of a button might also be something you’d like to do.

When Reject Button just isn’t enough of a smack in the mouth, try QFO.

It’s a front end for the FOAAS service

… enabling you to tell someone to go forth and multiply with the click of a button — freeing you, just as does Reject Button, to make better use of your time than wasting any more of it than necessary on the likes of them.

There … forty hours later, I’m no less exasperated by the frustrating waste of time that was my mission to investigate the disaster recovery ‘solutions’ the ignorati have been raving about all these years.

(Rescue my computer? Rescue my ar*e more like).

And I spent so long on the keyboard and mouse … and working my phone for all it was worth in the background whilst my computer ground along at the pace of a geriatric, paraplegic snail … that I’ve got very painful RSI as a result — the good Lord alone knows how I’m going to entertain myself this evening now!

But at least something made me smile in the last two days … and hopefully, it has you too.

Oh, God … it’s just dawned on me that it’s fast approaching Christmas and I’m gonna have to think of something seasonal to say to entertain you all yet again.

You know what … maybe I’ll install Thunderbird after all — leave me your email address and I’ll send you a seasonal reply ¹¹.

¹ And that’s after I stripped them of their scripts, XHR resources, etc!

² He’s French, you know … and nobody loves him.

³ My speciality is disaster prevention … which obviates the need to recover anything — it can be difficult to persuade (potential) clients of its importance … because, until it strikes, they blithely assume they have nothing to worry about … but, when faced with that attitude, however, I simply enquire as to whether, upon reflection, they’d rather the condom hadn’t broken that time (which usually gives them pause for thought and they get in touch not too long after to (re)engage my services).

⁴ I’m not altogether sure why … it didn’t offer anything useful by way of tools/utilities and the only thing it did offer over/above any of the others was the Solitaire game — well, okay, it claimed to … but I didn’t investigate, just shook my head in disbelief more than in disdain, so I don’t know that it did … it’s probably just some third-rate clone though.

⁵ Pigheaded stubbornness, probably.

⁶ A fully working and loaded Arch install, a metric f**k-ton of portable, zero-install Windows utilities for auditing, diagnosing, disinfecting and securing your network and machines and even a small partition with a handful of Mac utilities on it .

⁷ That’s a very small partition with very little on it, because I don’t actually care about you or your computer, if you’re a Mac luser

… and, as like as not, might keep my key in my pocket and pretend there’s nothing I can do to help you (not even the very little I might) .

⁸ It’s just too much trouble to get it out for the sake of a Macolyte really — I’d have to plug it in, see what was on it, figure out if it might be of any use, actually try it and, you know what … get a PC!

⁹ I’m not left-handed ¹⁰.

¹⁰ Something, something, SouthpawPoet.

¹¹ I don’t know why I’m put in mind of Gutbloom … he’s done nothing to upset me — maybe it’s because, in the back of my mind, I have this suspicion it’s something he’d appreciate.



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Where Angels Fear

Where Angels Fear


There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live and too rare to die.