urbandruid: (Default)
In no particular order:

Get Eudora mail off the old computer
Buy license for StoryMill
Find (preferably cheap) graphics program for the Mac. That does not suck.
Buy license for Fetch
Defrag old laptop
Run scan disk thingy
Clean laptop screen (Mac)
Charge Kindle
Clean old school crap out of binder

updated 01/04/12
urbandruid: (Technomage)
Yes indeedy, I have. Goes like this: I've been having a problem off and on with my DSL lately, in that it keeps crapping out on me for a few hours, then coming back. It did it once Wednesday afternoon, and again today. I spent almost half an hour on the phone with my ISP, most of it involving long pauses and "hold on, let me check this" or "just a second, ma'am." Long story short- the line's okay on their end, I don't feel like going out and checking the outside line here at the house (it'll be fine too), and since they already replaced one blowed-up modem for me, I have to pay for the next one. I can get a refurbished one, which'd be cheaper, but still.

So I told the guy I'd think about it, and call them back later. And I thought about it, and thought about it- and while I was thinking, I thought, hell, let's give the poor modem a break. Turned off the surge protector, thereby cutting power to everything on the desk, modem included.

Spent a few hours cleaning out crap in the office/spare room. Come back, fiddle around with computer. See red internet light. Swear, shut down laptop.

See red internet light turn GREEN. Reach over, feel top of modem. Modem is nice and cool. Modem was HOT when it was not working. Hmm. Hmm.

Modem stops working in the afternoon, when it's hot. Starts working again when it's cooler. And it's always hot in my room- I keep the door closed so Sam won't come in and play with my power cables.

Hmm. I think the modem might be getting a chill pad of some kind, 'cause I can't afford to keep replacing these things. Besides, I like this modem, it's cute and shiny.

I miss PSP

Jun. 12th, 2009 12:51 am
urbandruid: (River)
It's funny, for someone with a visual impairment I'm being driven really freaking crazy by the fact that I don't have a graphics program on the Mac. Haven't had one since I got the thing in January. I have some really basic things that came with it, all of which suck, and a few demos I've downloaded, which suck only a little bit less.

One of the things I didn't think of when I decided to get the Mac instead of another PC was that they don't make Paint Shop Pro for Mac. *sigh* I miss PSP. To the point where I actually booted up the Gateway the other night and messed around with some graphics. Of course, when I got the images back to the Mac (a complex file transer system involving a USB cable, my old iPod, and a lot of crossed fingers and swear words) I found out I need to resize the damn thing. Which naturally I can't do on the Mac, because I went ahead and added text to the image. I can resize the base photomanip, no problem, but it'll fuck up the text but good.

*headdesk*

I realized recently that I haven't done anything with urbandruid.net in.... um, a very, very long time. I have the redesign projects started, but they've been stalled because I kind of need a graphics program to get anything done.

So I'm downloading a Photoshop trial, and I hate to say this, but I feel like I'm on dial-up again. It's been going for at least half an hour, is at 17%, and is estimated to take another 1 hour, 31 minutes and 21 seconds. On DSL! I realize it's a big file (1,012.84 MB) but still, this is ridiculious. This damn thing had better work, that's all I can say. If it doesn't...

It really has been driving me nuts, not being able to mess around with manips or make icons or other random stuff like that. And I have no idea where I'm going with this post really, except that I'm bored, I still have almost an hour and a half to go, and I felt like ranting about this. So there you go.
urbandruid: (Galen)
So. This one's coming to you from Galen, my shiny new silver MacBook Pro laptop. he is very shiny and new, has a TON of memory, and I do mean a ton (~260 GB, and that's after I started loading software and all my music.)

I love this thing.

I have, however, learned several things I thought I'd share.

Computer stuff )

In other news, I really should be in bed already, but I'm not actually all that tired. Probably has something to do with the phone waking me up at 9:00AM Wednesday. I decided that was too early, so I went back to bed, and got up at, um, quarter after 1:00. ...Yeah. I'm going to be hating life next week when I (ugh) start back to school. Which I don't really want to think about. I'm starting to get a little bored now and then, so probably starting back to classes is a good thing, but I swear, sometimes I hate winter break. I just get used to having time off, and they want me back.

Or maybe it's the fact I spend half my 'vacation' doing holiday stuff with my family, which sometimes isn't all that, ya know, relaxing?

And I so wanted to be in London this semester. Campus is going to seem pretty bleak when I head back, and I don't think that's helping my mood any.

Ah well. It's 3AM now, I suppose I ought to go at least try and sleep.
urbandruid: (Galen)
Actually, to be perfectly honest I'm not sure if it's Bill Gates I hate more right now, or those assholes at Gateway who make such shoddy computers in the first place. Because much as I hate Bill Gates, he didn't make the lemon that is my old laptop.

I have a new laptop, a shiny silver MacBook Pro, and I'm pretty sure his name is Galen. In the decade plus since I last owned a Mac, it's become possible for them to talk to each other, share files, and so on and so forth. So I didn't think I'd have much trouble getting my files off of Anna and over to Galen. I forgot that this is Anna, and she doesn't play well with others. Never has, but it's been getting worse lately, which is a good part of the reason I got a new 'puter for Christmas.

The CD drive still doesn't work- Anna doesn't think it exists at this point- so there goes one easy way to get my stuff from point A to point B.

I spent half of this afternoon and part of this evening trying to get some kind of ethernet magic happening between the laptops. No go. My suspicion is that either 1.) Anna's too old and Galen is sitting there going, "Is that a Pentium 4? I don't speak that!" or 2.) Anna is just too screwed up.

Anna doesn't network well. She barely hangs in there with the DSL modem, and needs a notebook card to go wireless. I've actually got one of those, but its software is on, you guessed it, a CD, so...

What I'm looking at (and I'm not looking forward to it at all) is maybe 2 or 3 GB of Word documents, HTML files, and assorted images, plus almost 10GB of music. Oh yeah, and all the email files. Gods only know how much memory we're talking about there. If I'm lucky I can get most of the music transferred to the Mac from the iPod itself. As for the rest...

I can FTP it all to urbandruid.net and download it that way, or I can try to email it to myself. Or, you know, use my tiny 250MB USB drive. And won't that be fun?

It's almost 1AM now, and I'm hoping that all of this will look better after I've had some sleep, but I honestly think it may be a case of same shit, different day.

On the plus side, I really do love my new laptop, and I got both DSL and my email to work on the first try. Something to be said for that, right? Right.
urbandruid: (Technomage)
It's hot. This is gonna sound stupid, considering I basically live in the desert and should be used to this crap by now, but I hate that it's hot.

I'm really tired, probably a combination of the heat, the fact that it's too hot to eat much of anything, and the hours I've stayed up waiting for scans to finish in the ongoing attempt to fix my computer. Which brings us to...

State of the Virus: Insidious little fucker. My tech guru at http://forums.spybot.info has had me run various malware scan and removal programs, and a couple things to log all the junk my system is running, and I swear every one of them finds bits and pieces of crap that shouldn't be there. Bit by bit I think we're getting rid of this thing. I've only been getting help for the past two days or so- there are a hell of a lot of people with this virus- and already Anna's running closer to normal. Before things were so slow that it was almost like having dialup again.

The only thing is, most of these scans they're having me run are full system ones, and since I have a lot of crap on my computer, it takes them an avarage of 2 hours to run. Longer if I do a bunch of other stuff. Upshot being, I'm mostly leaving the computer alone even though it's running a hell of a lot better. /State of the Virus

On a side note I have to say, if you've got virus-y computer problems and are in over your head in trying to get rid of them, the http://forums.spybot.info people are awesome. If I ever get nuked with anything else (let's hope not) I'll go back there in a heartbeat.

Moving on. Too much working at the computer and sleeping, not enough fluid intake- my kidneys are starting to get pissed at me again. I really really don't need this, you know? So now I'm drinking so much water and diet Sprite that I swear I'm drowning in it. Hope I'm drowning the kidneys, anyway.

Let's see, what else is going on? The grandparents are out of town, and they've got neighbors watching their place and watering plants, so we're cool there. Going to call my aunt & uncle and see if they want to go catch "The Dark Knight" with us. Otherwise Mom and I will probably go check it out on our own this weekend. With my aunt and uncle or not, we'll do our usual "we ain't paying your snack nazis a dime" thing, aka buying some candy at Target, stuffing the boxes with tissues so the candy doesn't rattle, and smuggling said candy into the theater in our purses. We usually buy bottled water, only because we haven't figured out a way to smuggle that in yet. :)

I've seen people smuggle potlucks in, though- usually during big premere weekends when the theater employees are more concerned with keeping people from blocking the fire doors and other crowd control stuff, 'cause if the fire marshall shuts them down they make no money.

I also saw some people bring McDonald's into a movie, including ice cream. How they got away with that I couldn't tell you- you could smell french fries ten rows away.

Anyway, I'm off for a nap. I think my computer's recovered enough that I could risk Trilly tonight- if, you know, I'm not Typhoid Mary, and anyone wants to risk talking to me. :)
urbandruid: (Vader / Sith Happens (niicoly))
Okay, I know you're all tired of hearing about my virus. I'm tired of hearing about my virus. So until I get it sorted, it'll just have its own section in posts, which you can skip over, like so:

State of the Virus: It's Virtumonde, and I've thrown in the towel and called for backup. The nice people at the spybot.info forums are talking people through removing this and other fun virus-y things, so I added myself to the que there. For some reason they're a bit backed up right now. /State of the Virus

I've been trying to write, anything really, but I'm not getting much done, I've been too stressed out over the computer thing. Mostly I've been reading while I run scans. Or sleeping. I was up half the weekend trying to fix stuff, and it finally caught up with me. Stayed up till 3AM yesterday morning, woke up at 1:45PM today. Strangely I feel better now.

I start back to class in the middle of August, and it's looking like it's going to be another fun fall semester for freshman. By which I mean, the local State U reduced their enrollment again, and we're going to catch their overflow. The only good news there is that I shouldn't have any of them in my classes, I'll just have to run a bunch of 'em over on my way to and from. :)

I got an invite to a 'new and returning student orientation' with my disabled students councelor. Recycled that, but Mom made the comment that I could probably give the orientation if I wanted to. Which led to us starting a list of stuff the freshmen really need to know. I'll have to see if I can reconstruct it, because I have a feeling I'll be adding to it a lot next month.

I'm almost bored enough to want to go back to school, but I know the novelty will wear off sooner rather than later.
urbandruid: (Constant Vigilance (lovesoldier))
I'm back. Well, I'm sort of back. Internet Exploder is still fucked up, I'm just not using it anymore. :) I'd been meaning to download Firefox for ages anyway, and while I'm still trying to figure out exactly how all the bells and whistles work, I like the fact that I can use it without a zillion more infections hitting my system while I'm surfing around.

This is the worst virus I've had since the Mac one I picked up back in the 90's, that ate damn near everything it came into contact with, starting with my internet connection stuff. I was on AOL for a week while we called every office suppy and computer store in the Sacramento area, trying to find a copy of Norton for Mac. Finally had to order it from the company and have it shipped FedEx overnight. That was a fun virus... I could sit there and literally watch it eat stuff. On the plus side, Norton kicked it, and it's still not touching this damn thing.

I paid for the full version of SpyHunter, and another program, Registry Medic. SpyHunter cleaned a bunch of crap out, but the code I got to activate the full version of Registry Medic didn't work. The freebie version gets rid of 5 things, and that's it. I sent a message to the software company about that one, still waiting to hear back.

Meantime I'm just running my spyware removers over and over and over. Once in a while if I'm really desperate to get things running smoother I'll go in and delete a bunch of crap like 'freeporn4u.com' and (fake)'spyware.com' junk from the registry. The problem with the registry is that there are two or three different sections I have to clear the crap from, and if I miss one damn piece, as soon as I reboot it starts replicating itself like mad.

I was up till 5AM cleaning the registry Tuesday night, thought I'd gotten it all, collapsed into bed... woke up the next morning, booted the computer, saw Norton zap a couple trojans, and started swearing. Ran the freebie version of SpyHunter, and all that registry crap was coming back. Which was when I decided to throw in the towel and buy the software.

I'm really, really tired of this now, as if that weren't obvious.

Also? Never using Internet Exploder again unless there's no other choice.

Anna crashed while I was writing this post, and when I rebooted, Firefox offered to bring back all the tabs I had open. This program rocks!

Still playing delete the virus bits, and anything else I'm not sure of, from the registry. At this point I'm pretty much dumping anything I think looks suspicious. This is less dangerous than it sounds, because most of the stuff is 'somethingorother.com', half of that's obscene, and I figure if it's something I really need from, you know, a legit website, it'll come back eventually. Plus I have Norton GoBack, so if I really screw up I can restore things to before I did that. :) Much more of this, though, and I'm gonna have to use the wrist brace. Again. Wouldn't be so bad if I could delete more than one thing at a time, but noo...

On the plus side, now I have a real browser again, on my own computer, instead of having to use Mom's whenever I wanted to, you know, make an LJ post, or look up something else about my virusy friends.

It's just... I like things to work, and it totally pisses me off when they don't. Especally this level of 'not working.'

Ah well. Off to start another scan or three and watch some Battlestar Galactica.
urbandruid: (Constant Vigilance (lovesoldier))
Okay, so here's the short version of the story. I'm surfing along the other day, Saturday morning I think it was, and all of a sudden IE is going NUTS (yeah, more then usual) and I'm getting crazy popups everywhere, half of which are for porn sites and viagra, the other half for 'virus' scans, or messages warning me that my system is infected and I'll get in trouble with my boss & my spouse (no lie, one of them told me this.)

Turns out, I have the latest virus sensation that's sweeping the internet, some IE malware bug. Which I've now been trying to get rid of for three days. Most of yesterday was spent trying to get Anna to boot at all- she took this opportunity to have one of her little "haha, I'm trying to make like a Gateway and blow up" moments. I refer to these as Anna's little nervous breakdowns.

Anyway. Went out Sunday and bought the biggest, baddest new version of Norton I could find, which I'd been meaning to do anyway. Took it home, took a long nap, got up and started trying to install it. Turned out my older Norton stuff was SO old I had to uninstall it all before installing the new software.

I could have been smart and uninstalled things a piece at a time, replacing them with the new software before moving onto the next one. I wasn't smart. I downlodaded a huge Norton uninstaller, proceeded to run it, and let it reboot my system.

Cue crashes, fatal system errors, and lots of swearing. I went to bed Sunday night with things still screwed up.

Somehow yesterday I got it from fatal system errors to Anna's usual nervous breakdown crap, which I kind of know how to fix- you leave it alone for a few hours, come back, and keep trying to boot from a disk until it takes instead of crashing.

So now we're back in business, kind of, except that I can't use IE for anything without getting popups and freaking Norton the hell out. Add to this the fact that my connection's making like I'm back on dialup instead of DSL. Put it to you this way- I'm writing this on Mom's laptop, which IS on dialup, and it now seems to be running pretty fast to me.

So. I've run Norton, couple times. Run Adaware, couple times. Downloaded Spybot Search & Destroy today and am now running that. When that's done I figure on upgrading downloading Windows updates, upgrading IE... and downloading Firefox. It's not like I LIKE IE, just that it's all I've got, unless you count the anciet (4.7) version of Netscape I use mostly for my email. ...Yeah. I don't like change sometimes, what can I say?

Anyway. In case anybody's been wondering where I've been- well, there you go.

Oh, and if anybody's got any suggestions- been there, had this and got rid of it?- HELP! Email's about the only thing I can still get to without risking more crap trying to download itself, so I should be okay for reading comments.

And can I just mention how much this is sucking? I don't have that much vacation time left, and this isn't how I planned on using it.

...and sorry, I guess that was the 'not so short' version, but this has kind of been annoying me and I wanted to vent a little.
urbandruid: (Nametag (jackshoegazer))
We're in business.

I guess the ISP guys must've kicked AT&T in the ass, because when I got up this morning and tested the modem, I got a few more lights. Like, all of them.

So I'm cruising along at I'm not sure how fast, here, enjoying the fact that I don't have to keep a book by my comptuer anymore to pick up and read sections of while waiting for shit to load.

It's very cool. I'm looking at my bookmarks and thinking "where do I go now? How fast will that site load?"

The bad news is, I tried to hook up Mom's computer, Morden, and it's not gonna work. I'm pretty sure she doesn't have Ethernet or a network card, because the settings the modem instructions told me to look for and change aren't there.

I'm kind of waiting to tell her about this. I did call her and yell "It works it works it works it works!" into the phone when I got Anna connected, but, uh, I think she can wait to find out that she's gonna need a new computer.

...Or not.

Dec. 19th, 2007 03:02 pm
urbandruid: (Vader / Sith Happens (niicoly))
...Well, this is sucking.

I think my !@#$ing network card is too old, because it's giving me weird errors. I called the ISP once, and they told me to take off the splitter filter I had on the modem line, because it doesn't need it. Told me that should solve my problem. Naturally, it didn't.

By that time I was too tired and fed up to call them back, because I pretty much know what they're going to tell me, and I figured I'd totally lose it if I had to hear it.

So I went and watched the deleted scenes on Order of the Phoenix, and then randomly decided I'd watch "The Gathering" from Babylon 5.

...Londo's hair was really scary back then. I'd forgotten that, somehow.

Anyway. Mom's off in an hour, and I was really hoping I'd have this set up and all figured out by now.

I think I do have it figured out, and it's not good.

I can't find any specs on my wireless card, other than what the wireless network thingy under network connections says- "ORiNOCO mini PCI card." The driver's from 2001, and something tells me that's not good enough. So, yeah, the saga of my tech kind of sucking continues.

Argh!

Either the ISP guys didn't ask the right questions when we signed up, or we didn't ask the right questions. Whatever, I guess one of us needs to call them back and find out just how screwed we are. I figure I've been dealing with this all day, maybe I'll make Mom do it.

If we can't get this figured out I'm just going back to my crappy dialup in my room. Right now I have all my stuff in her room, on this kind of rickety old secretary desk thing, I can hardly see the screen from where I am, and in general the setup bites. Oh yeah and I'm on the main phone line- which, you know, wouldn't matter if I could get the effing DSL to work...

*headdesk*

DSL!

Dec. 19th, 2007 07:45 am
urbandruid: (Vader / Sith Happens (niicoly))
Hey, guys.

So Mom and I finally got fed up with our less than stellar dial-up and decided to get ourselvs DSL for Christmas. Not that we celebrate Christmas exactly, because, you know, agnostic and lapsed pagan. But we have a tree, have always had a tree even though we never did the church thing (and my cat's new name is "Get away from the fucking Christmas tree!" but that's a whole 'nother story.)

Anyway. So we finally got our stuff together and called our ISP last week to see about getting DSL- we knew they had it, just weren't sure they'd have it in our area. If they hadn't, we'd have been stuck with the phone company, who a.) get enough of our money and b.) kind of suck in that "we're trying to take over the world, tee-hee" kind of way.

We still have to pay them $4 or something a month to run the DSL through their line, but whatever. They're a hell of a lot more expensive than my ISP, too, and not nearly as nice or easy to deal with on the phone. I hate calling tech support- had some very bad experiences when I was a teenager- and I will call these people.

So we talked to the ISP guy, and he explained how it worked- they told the phone company to switch over our line, and when that was done they'd let us know. He said it usually took about 3 weeks. So imagine my surprise when Fex-Ex showed up yesterday with a box addressed to me that appeared to contain a modem. (I called Mom, just to make sure it wasn't a Christmas present for me, but I was pretty sure what it was.)

Then, around quarter to 5:00, I got a couple emails from my ISP. One says "we shipped your modem yesterday from a place in state." Another says "Your DSL should be activated on 12/19, please make sure your modem is hooked up, and call us if it doesn't work."

THEN- while I'm running around the living room going "this is cool, but I have no clue what I'm doing!" the doorbell rings.

UPS. With the books we ordered from Barns and Noble. "DSL for Dummies" which unfortunately is missing its table of contents, and has a 2002 copyright date, damnit, and "Networking for Dummies." Because we're going to need a router, and PC cards. Or at least a PC card- Mom's gonna have to get a new computer, which she's kind of been looking at anyway.

So, here we are. December 19. I didn't think I'd have this to play with before I had to go back to school, so I'm very jazzed.

I'm going to go read some stuff in our books (and an older one I bought for XP when I got this computer) and then I'm going to go haul Anna and her stuff into Mom's room and see if I can get it to work.

If not, the dialup's still going, so I'll be back. But... yeah.

Anyone have any advice about routers, networking, anything like that? Or other DSL-y stuff I might need to know? Please share. Thanks. :)

(As an aside, I discovered that Darth there is the closest to a 'happy' icon I have. The rest are a bit... dare I say 'moody'? Except the writing one, which just doesn't quite fit. I might need to work on this.)
urbandruid: (Dru / Up To No Good (kamilaa))
Hey, guys.

I'm SO glad it's Friday, you have no idea. Long week.

Last night I finally decided to throw in the towel and take Anna to Best Buy, to have the Geek Squad check her out. I had some trouble getting the cables unplugged- one of them was stuck on something. So I leaned over to reach behind the desk and sort it out...and knocked over a nearly full glass of Sprite. I got the back of Morden, a lot of the desk, and a bit of the power strip. Go me.

Everything's fine, though I did let the power strip dry out over night before I hooked things back in.

But for a second there, I figured I'd fried Morden, too.

So, after all that, I figured we might as well get Anna to Best Buy. Stood in line for what felt like ages there, watching somebody's bratty kid run around until I wanted to smack both the kid and their parent.

After looking over the computer, poking around at some stuff, uninstalling and reinstalling the driver, Mr. Geek Squad tells me... I need to replace the keyboard.

No shit, really? Okay, so I shouldn't mock the guy- he was very nice.

So, the upshot is, if I can find the part, and bring them Anna and said part, they'll install it for me. Which is good, because I'm not about to do it. He said it'd probably cost around $39 for the labor. I suspect it might turn out to be more when they find out how much crap they actually have to do, but, whatever.

Now if I can just find the part...
urbandruid: (Irina / Be Seeing You (stratford_girl))
So we were at Office Despot last weekend (yes, that's what we call it) and in the clearance aisle I found a 256mb jump drive for $9.99. So I bought it, took it home, played around with it. It took a little work to figure out the ins and outs- their idea of instructions was "plug it into the USB port"- but I got a bunch of stuff copied from Anna. Decided I'd try to move said files to Morden, that being most of the reason I bought the jump drive.

Morden doesn't want to play. He doesn't recognize the drive, and when I tried to install a driver it seemed to want off Mom's system software discs, it gave me all sorts of crazy errors. So today I went to the manufacturer's site for the jump drive, dug around their FAQs till I found one that told me which file to download to get their drive to talk to Morden and ME. Downloaded said file. Ran it as instructed.

Got the blue screen of death three or four times, and the last one it made me bring Morden up in safe mode. Blah. So I got that sorted out, and figured I'd plug in the drive to see if it worked.

Plug in drive. Blue screen of death. "Pres 'enter' to return or 'cntrl-alt-delete' to restart your computer." Yeah, yeah, and a lovely fucking day to you, too, Morden.

Tried to run the "Add New Hardware" thingy again. Blue screen of death. "Press enter to return..."

Hmm. Okay. Went back to the site, had another poke around, and I think I know what Morden's beef is (this time.) But still.

Fer cryin' out loud, all I want to do is finish the Alias smut I started writing yesterday. (Now you see why it got done on the back of the printout of the beginning, pre-smut parts, and a bunch of notebook pages.)
urbandruid: (Jaina / Invisible Girl)
This is coming to you from Morden, again, and I can't begin to tell you how much that doesn't thrill me.

When last heard from, I was going to get ahold of the name of my grandparents' tech guy, give him a call, and see if he could help with Anna's keyboard. Well, we got ahold of the grandparents, and their tech guy has a day job now. They had someone else come out to their house- someone random from the phone book, I gather. It cost them $100 just for the guy to walk in the door, and Grandpa wasn't too impressed by him.

So much for that. So I said, okay, let's call my aunt and uncle who live near San Francisco. They're easily the most tech-savvy members of the family; Grandma only calls me for her tech support needs because I'm not long-distance. Anyway, they're both incredibly bright programmers who have laptops. I didn't figure they'd know exactly how to fix it, since they're more on the software end than the hardware one, but I figured they'd have some clues.

They do, and said clues aren't good. First, my uncle said that the problem I'm having could be caused by any number of things. Second, he said that while replacing the keyboard might do the trick, it's not something he'd do himself. That he's tried replacing hard drives and such in laptops, and has ended up with a mess. Apparently, under that sporadically working keyboard, it's a mess down there. Cables and ribbons and stuff. Now, I was already put off by Gateway's instructions for do-it-yourself laptop keyboard swapping, involving as it did a.) opening the case, b.) prying large chunks of the computer apart, and c.) the necessity of using something called a "grounding glove", which must be anchored to a non-metallic surface at all times...Think it was non-metallic. That'd make more sense.

Anyway, I was like, ...yeah, if he doesn't recommend it, I'm sure as hell not gonna try it. So. Bust on that. Aunt and uncle are doing good, though, which was good to hear.

Next we took a look at the computer repair places in the phone book. I was sort of hoping one would jump out at me, in the sense of "I remember that place, they're good" or "I think that's the place x friend took their laptop, and they fixed it." No such luck. Ended up calling the Fresno State bookstore, because their computer department used to do repairs. The computer people weren't working on the weekend, but the person we talked to said she thought they could at least tell me what was wrong with the computer, if not actually fix it. So Mom called them on Monday. They don't do repairs, but "you could try CompUSA or Best Buy."

Yeah. I took Anna to CompUSA a while ago, when I broke the SysRq key. I'm pretty sure that they super-glued it, and their manner when I dropped the compute off and picked it up, didn't fill me with confidence. So I'm not sure how I feel about them maybe taking apart the case- okay, yes I do. I don't feel good about it at all.

Which kind of leaves Best Buy.
Except... )
urbandruid: (Anna / In The Shadows (ebonysapphire))
Hey, guys. I'm writing this in-between bouts of swearing. I'm using Mom's laptop, Morden, which isn't exactly my favorite computer. Most of the swearing, though, is being directed at the Gateway site.

I've been home since noon, and I've spent most of that time, excepting the couple of minutes it took me to haul Morden out of Mom's room, move Anna, and plug Morden into my phone line- I've spent most of that time poking at Google and Gateway, trying to figure out my keyboard issue.

It took a little over an hour of searching, swearing, and prodding the Gateway site's crappy search features, before I learned that the keyboard for my model is replaceable. They have some (kinda scary) step by step instructions, with pictures, in PDF, for how to replace the keyboard. They start with "This package contains your replacement keyboard..." or some such. So I know that they do make them, or that they exist somewhere.

What I suspect it's going to take me another hour to figure out, is if they have one in stock, and how much it would cost me. I don't know for sure yet that the keyboard needs to be replaced, but I suspect there's a strong possibility of that.

Mom offered to call the grandparents about the tech guy they have on call these days- and they need one. I love my grandmother, but she has no common sense at all where things like computers are concerned- she opens all those attachments they tell you not to, forwards them to half the family... Mom and I always say half the reason we have anti-virus software isn't because we're worried about hackers and worms, it's because we're worried about Grandma.

Anyway. This guy fixed a hardware problem they'd been having with the CD drive in their new computer, so Mom suggested calling the grandparents and getting this guy's number from them. I'm not sure how much he'd charge to look at Anna's keyboard, or to fix it if it's fixable, but his rates can't be too outrageous, or the grandparents wouldn't give him their business.

So, I'm thinking, call him- I offered to call Grandma myself this morning, but Mom said she'd do it, and I, uh, didn't argue too hard about that- and see if he can take a look at Anna over the weekend. Apparently he does house calls, but he may have a shop we could take the laptop to, too. (I suspect half the reason he makes house calls to Grandma's is that they've got one of those bigass tower CPU things, and nobody wants to haul one of those all around town.) '

But while I'm waiting for Mom to get off work and tell me where we are with this, I thought I'd do some research. I was kind of afraid that the keyboard would end up not being replaceable at all, so that I'd be looking at replacing the whole fucking laptop if the keyboard wasn't fixable. And after having Anna II's predecessor, Anna I, blow up one morning when I turned it on to check my mail before school... I wanted some warning this time, if my baby's days were numbered.

2:58 PM
I've pretty much given up on Gateway for now )

None of this is really important, mind, I just felt like whining a bit about it. Anyway. I think I'll shut up now and go do something real. I don't have any idea what, but something.
urbandruid: (Anna / In The Shadows (ebonysapphire))
It's doing it again. I replied to one of the comments to my last post, & it took a lot longer than it should've... & I don't hve time to keep c/p'ing, got to get ready for school. I'll try & fix stuff later, if the stupid keys are working again. (& there're some I've got to c/p, b.c. 'again' is 'gin' if I don't. So glad the grbge guys got me up erly, so I hd time to do LJ posts tht look like greek, or some kind of scry plebe code.

Dear anna/shadowtech keyboard,

I love you lots. Please work. Please just freaking work.
argh, I don't hve time for this. truly do not. 'a' key is making kinda sticky sound no hen I try to use it, others don't, but they're still not working either. Seriously, wtf?

frustrtingly yours,
Me
urbandruid: (Constant Vigilance (lovesoldier))
I'm writing this from Semagic, one of those LJ update clients you can donload. I'm posting this way because my keyboard is being teh evol. It keeps doing this thing where a bunch of keys on one side don't want to work, including a couple I need to type my username & password. This is frustrating enough, because one of the keys that isn't working is the 'a'. Every time I want to type it, I have to copy/paste it. You don't even want to know how much trouble I had e-mailing my Psych prof, & that's something I had to do today. Oh yeah, and I just noticed there's a typo in the damn thing- "nd" instead of 'and'. I really don't know why this keeps happening, but it's starting to drive me nuts. There's nothing in the keyboard, I didn't spill anything on it... and it's just those couple keys on the one side. 'a', 'w', two, three, & q. I don't get it, but it's really fucking obnoxious, and it's taken me like half an hour to write this, with the c/p & all.

am defragging my hard drive, for whatever that might be worth. Maybe it'll help, I dunno.

This is too fucking frustrting, I'm gonna have to go try and figure out how to fix this.

Ugh. Can't even type fast enough to really get the anger out. Takes too fucking long.

argh! ('scuse the typos, btw, that I missed when I was c/p'ing.
urbandruid: (Jaina / Invisible Girl)
My day actually managed to get worse after the stuff I wrote in the library.

I went out to get something to eat out of the vending machines before Psych, leaned over to collect my candy bar and my change... and gravity + laptop case = Chris landing on her ass on the sidewalk. I may or may not have a bruise, but it's definately sore.

This is how invisible I am at school, too- nobody seemed to notice, not to laugh at me or to ask if I was okay.

So I trudged up to class, and class wasgood, as it usually is. Then it was time to go home.

Turns out? I cannot actually carry 10-plus lbs of laptop and assorted crap, half a mile to the bus stop. But I did it anyway.

Because of my vision, my center of gravity has always felt a little off- I can't carry stuff on my left shoulder, because I can't see it there, and it seems to overbalance me the wrong way. So I had to alternate between carrying the case on my right shoulder, or in my right hand.

My back is killing me, but the right side is especally bad. By the time I got home, I just wanted to crawl into bed and cry.

Couldn't though, because, dentist.

I have to go back for fillings, naturally. Two are in old fillings that are sort of discolored and have been bugging me anyway, but still, I was just going "....why is it always me?"

More later, unless I do collapse when I get home today. Which sounds likea really good idea...
urbandruid: (Constant Vigilance (lovesoldier))
Tuesday, 8:47 AM
Well, this is just fantastic. In the sense of not really. I'm writing this from school, but I'll have to post it when I get home, because, after nearly an hour of running around from the reference desk to the computer lab, to the media center where the techs hang out...

...my network card is too !@#$ing old to connect to their wireless network.Fuck. I disconnected Anna and all her accoutrements, packed her and the minimum of stuff I need for my Psych class, into her case, and hauled 10 lbs of laptop, plus said accoutrements and school shit, into the library, all around the huge reference room, down the looong hall to the computer lab, across the hall to the media center, where I sat playing with things and swearing at them for a while till the techs got in... talked to a guy who seemed to know what the problem might be, and it was one I knew how to fix, so I did that, and... he took another look and told me the bloody network card is too bloody old.

My shoulder is already killing me, and I'm going to have to haul all of this crap half a mile to the freaking bus stop, lug it onto the bus, and lug it the several blocks home.

At which point I may have time to get it plugged back in and check my email, before I have to get ready for my dentist appointment.

Because, you know, this day didn't suck enough, already.

Oh yes, and I'm sitting at the far back table in the library, with the sun in my eyes- slowly rising, so it's getting a bit easier to see what I'm doing- because the library only has plugs scattered along the walls. Why, you ask, do I need a plug, since I have a laptop? Because Gateway sucks.

No, really, I mean it. That's why. Every computer I've ever bought from them has had battery issues. The first one, the battery never charged, and they had to send me a new one as it was still under warranty. Unfortunately, by the time I figured out the new laptop, Anna II, wasn't so much better off, her warranty had expired.

I guess she's only half as bad off, technically. The battery is supposed to have "at least" a 4-hour charge. It has maybe 2 hours, probably less, and they go pretty fast. It was down to 60% or so while I was working on it while waiting for the techs to show up, and I was praying the charge would last long enough for them to help me.

*facepalms*

I honestly don't know why this surprises me. Things like this never seem to go my way, particularly when we're talking about school related stuff that involves me going out of my way to do stuff, such as carrying 10 lbs of laptop all over hell's half-acre. I don't even want to think about how much fun it's not going to be to carry this thing to the bus and home again. In a word, ugh.

Other than that- oh, and having to go for my annual checkup/torture session/cleaning at the dentist, hah- it's been a pretty good day so far. Yes, this makes me feel a lot better, too.

Seriously, though, why does this stuff never occur to me? It's not like Anna's state of the art anymore- she's from 2002, at least according to Windows. Newer than Mom's laptop, Morden, or Kosh, our ancient desktop, but that's not saying a lot. And Anna's perfectly good for what I use her for, though I think her keyboard is starting to fall apart- among other things, the space bar has issues, and that stupid SysReq key I broke a few months back is kind of hanging on by a thread... but she's a good computer- and I think I'm kind of used to thinking of her as state of the art, whether she really is or not, because she's lightyears ahead of anything else we've got in the house.

But the upshot is, she's too old, so I'm sitting here, running AdAware, typing this, and listening to the work crews doing whatever the hell they're doing outside on the quad between the library and Admissions & Records this time- though it could be the guys working on the Admissions & Records building, too. They were supposed to be done last fall, but maybe they've finally figured out that they'll be a year behind if they don't finish by the time this semester is over.

I'm really starting to think the college hands out contracts like these to the lowest IQ-score bidders.

I didn't do much more than toss some spam out of my inbox this morning, because I figured that I'd have all of this time to kill at school, and I could surf LJ and other things at my leisure. Hah! So much for that plan.

Oh well. At least this answers the question of whether I ought to trouble myself with bringing Anna to school again. (And the answer would be, not unless I have a deep burning desire to do some typing that can't wait until I get home.)

I need to do some writing for AL, among other things, but I'd kind of planned on having the prompts accessable to me. Which, for obvious reasons, I don't, because they are online and I am not. I've probably already made this more than clear, but this annoys me.

I seem to be sitting right in a draft, too. Either that, or they have the AC on. Hell, as screwed up as this place can get, nothing would surprise me anymore. Even that. At least it'll be warmer upstairs, at 11:00 when my class starts. If I can make it that far and not die of boredom, which seems rather possible right now.

I guess I could always- ooh, isn't this exciting? - copy out my Psych notes so they're a little less chickenscratch, a little more legible.

If there's a plus side to this, I'm finally learning how to use my TouchPad. Or TrackPad, or whatever the hell you call it. It's really touchy, and I don't like it much. I use a mouse at home- I brought the mouse, and if I were online I'd probably use it, but I'm too lazy to dig it out at this point. It's not like I'm really doing anything of major concequence here. Just hanging out, watching the AdAware scan crawl its way through the temporary internet files- I ought to clean those out again, I suppose- and occasionally glancing over at the guy who sat down a little bit ago at the opposite end of the table. He kind of looks like David Tennant as the 10th Doctor- or maybe it's just the clothes, which are sort of preppy, and the hair which is kind of brown. Or at least I think so. Sun's still kind of in my eyes. But, you know, it's something to talk about, at least.

9:45 AM
I've killed almost another hour playing around with this. Still annoyed. Still bored.

9:54 AM
David Tennant lookalike dude is gone. Sigh. My shoulder hurts, half from hauling the damn laptop around, and half from hunching over the damn computer so I can see what I'm doing to type this oh-so-important document. I have no Advil, ibs, or any other kind of painkiller on me. If I wanted non-asprin, I could hike way the hell over to the nurse's office, currently residing in Bungalow # something or other, also known as the village of portable classrooms way the hell and gone almost to the edge of campus.

In short, no thanks.

For some reason which I really cannot fathom, the security alarm at the entrance to the library has gone off every time I've walked through it. The last time I came back in here, the kid at the front desk looked at me, asked if i had a laptop, and when I said yes, waved me on through.

I wonder if they'll want to search the bag when I leave. They're welcome to, nothing in there but Anna, her mouse, two notebooks, a paperback (Babylon 5: The Shadow Within) my Psych syllabus, my iPod, wallet, keys, and a couple of pens. Oh, and a makeup bag with pads in it.

Anyway, they've got signs posted everywhere saying they reserve the right to search bags and/or persons- there werent' as many of these signs last semester, so they must've had some problems with book theift. People are idiots. But, you know, whatever. As long as they don't make me late for class or hurt my baby, I don't really care.

I've never had my bag searched before, so it would be a novel experience. Though I guess it'd happen if I ever took a plane anywhere. I haven't flown since way before 9/11- we're talking mid-1990's, here. One of these years I'd like to travel. You know, if we ever win the Lotto or something. We play, but we never win.

The Apprentice has a contest where you can enter to win 10,000, and I entered that last week. Didn't win, though,but I'm not surprised. I entered online, and we all know how fast Anna's dialup connection isn't.

10:02 AM
Things to do, if I a.) ever get Anna home; b.) survive the dentist; c.) ever remember that this list exists.

massivly long list )

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