urbandruid: (Nametag (jackshoegazer))
I'm so mad right now I could just scream. Or spit. Or do whatever it is people do when they're really pissed off.

Parts of my keyboard are dying again. It's only two keys at this point, the seven and the delete key, but I've been down this road before, and am- let's call it less than thrilled, to be going there again, less than six months later.

This is it, I've had it. This is the last Gateway I ever buy.

Of course, I said that ages ago- between all the problems I've had with Anna II here, and Mom's issues with Morden (Or, you know, the one major all-encompassing issue that IS Morden.) But now- now I'm really pissed off.

I'm digging through LJ archives, trying to remember when I got the keyboard replaced.... ugh, got it. End of February. Damn thing's barely lasted 4 months, and now it's crapping out on me again.

And now, of course, that I've (for lack of a better plan) called Mom and told her what it's doing... it's decided to behave. But I know this game. I've watched it play this game before, and I really didn't want to see it again.

Never ever ever buying another Gateway. Ever. Bastards...

ugh, sick.

Feb. 6th, 2007 06:53 am
urbandruid: (Default)
I'm sick. I have a cold.

And somehow, saying that doesn't remotely convey how horrid and miserable I feel. My throat is killing me, my head is all stuffed up, I ache everywhere, all I want to do is go back to bed and sleep for a week to ten days, however long it takes for this shit to go away... and i have to go to class. hang out in the library for 3 hours, go to psych, takes the bus home.

and as if that didn't suck enough, my keyboard is starting to die again.

headdesk.
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: (Default)
Too much about computers and their issues lately, not enough about me.

I'm pretty tired- school has been running me a little ragged lately, but doesnt it always? Im losing more keys, randomly now, seems like- the far end of the numbers, obviously the apostrophe is on the fritz again, and earlier today, the shift keys took a powder. Pretend the previous bit was in parentheses, those are screwed up too.

I have my first Abnormal Psych exam tomorrow, so I need to study a bit tonight. I'm not really too worried about it, though- I know this stuff. At least most of it. I think my first Geology exam may be next week. That one could be tricky- there's a hell of a lot of info in the first couple chapters.

Speaking of Geo, it amazes me how things can be so interesting in lecture- fascinating, actually... and then I go to do the reading. And I immediately feel like nodding off. Or like I'm about to nod off. For those insomniacs on my flist, I highly recommend this one: Earth, by Edward Tarbuck and Frederick Lutgens. No, I am not making up those names. I swear. This book is stupefyingly boring. I think when we get there, these two will have somehow managed to make even volcanoes boring. And I love volcanoes. In the sense of neat really destructive stuff I wouldnt really want to live near... Yeah. You know what I mean.

My book for Abnormal Psych is only a little bit less dull, but I expect it to get better with the next chapters; tomorrow's exam covers the boring chapter on the history of psychology, the chapter on the medical & psychodynamic models of psychology, and the one that's been putting me to sleep most recently- diagnostic tools & research methods. More specifically, the research crap. Maybe if they had examples of real studies that were a little less lame... Oh well.

Mentally, I'm hanging in there. Not doing too badly at all, actually. School is stressing me a bit, but I think its more in the range of normal stress than... well, than what happens when I'm not coping so well. The thing with Anna and her keyboard has really been throwing me lately, especally as it's so sporadic, and now the problem seems to be spreading. I can never count on everything working when I boot her up- I can't count on anything working. That's frustrating, and annoying, and on days when I'm coping less than brilliantly, it can be enough to have me bursting into tears. Stupid depression.

I'm not writing as much as I usually do, because of Anna's issues, and I think thats a big part of my stress and general feeling of crappiness. I do the bulk of my writing at the keyboard, for a number of reasons. One is convenience- most of it gets posted somewhere online, so already having it on the computer is a good idea.

Also, my handwriting is awful- no, I mean really really bad. It's a hand/eye coordination thing, and for some reason I'm not so fabulous at those. Every time I see the handwriting analysis guys on CSI, I chuckle, because I'm pretty sure they'd read mine wrong. I don't think it's changed much since, oh, junior high... Half the time I end up not capitalizing things, not because I'm going the e.e. cummings route, but because of the way I learned to write so that I could see it. Probably started in grade school, when they had us dropping the tails of letters down from the line... well, I wanted the space they were taking up for the next line. I drove my teachers crazy.

And this is my printing. My cursive- do they still even call it that? is atrociously bad. Like the printing, I can make it neater if I try, but that takes a lot of time, and mostly I don't bother. When I have to sign receipts and stuff, well... you can probably make out the C at the start. Other than that...

I guess the other thing is kind of related to the handwriting, which is that even when I'm not taking the time to make it really neat, it still takes me longer than most people to write stuff down. This is only mildly annoying for things like lecture notes- I usually just let those get really sloppy, and if need be will copy them out again later. But for stuff like writing, a keyboard has always been the only thing that could ever keep up with the speed of the thoughts in my head, exactly as I want to put them down. By the time I finish writing a sentance longhand, I'm five lines beyond it in my head, and struggling to catch up.

All of which makes writing a more frustrating experience than an- You know, its weird. It really isnt a leisure activity- I don't write like I read, or watch TV or movies- not just because I enjoy it. I write because I have to. Even if it's just a couple lines every day, maybe even every couple days if I'm really busy, even if it's just a couple lines scribbled in a notebook bitching about stupid crap like the vending machines at school- evil, money eating things that they are, and apparently some of their soda is really old and nasty, according to my honor society buddies.

Whatever, however little it is, I have to write stuff down. And lately the mediums for doing this have turned into a whole mess of frustration on their own. But I need to write. When I can't, when I haven't at all for ages, weeks, months, I can turn into a pretty horrid person. Not as bad as I am when Im in pain and without drugs, but just all tense and stressed and... I don't know. Its kind of hard to explain. Sometimes it'll feel like there are too many words stuck in my head, like I need to open a valve and let some of them out.

I suspect I'm going to end up using a lot more paper before the computer thing resolves. I'll just have to get used to going slower.

In other news, Sam is still being Sam, cute and occasionally very annoying. Last month she got into Moms closet- which, okay, no problem, though Mom would rather she didn't stay there forever. But we have one of those big plastic things you put rolls of wrapping paper in, right? And it has a lid, with a compartment where you can put your ribbons and your gift tags and whatnot. And Sam, clever little thing that she is, knocked over the container, and the ribbon thing must've fallen open, because the next time Mom went into her closet, she found... ribbon.

Ribbon everywhere, those spools of it that come like yarn, just wrapped around themselves. Well, they weren't wrapped around much except each other when we found them, and I discovered that however they put those together at the ribbon factory, it can't easily be duplicated by humans. I think the cat had a blast, though.

She's grown tons since the last pictures I posted of her. I have newer ones, and sometime (hahaha, right, in my *cough* spare time) I'll post them. She's gotten bigger, really just filling in. And that disgusting kitty-tuna canned food the vet suggested we put her on, has made her fur all sleek and shiny and OMGSoSoft!

She sheds like mad. White fur for all your dark clothing shedding needs, grey fur for all your light colors. :)
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.

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