Posts Tagged ‘computers



A lot of people probably don’t know this — but I do, in fact, like to help out my fellow human beings when I get a chance.

So, when a friend of mine told me she needed a new computer, I offered to build her one.

Now, I enjoy doing things like this, mainly because I frickin’ hate the retail computers. They just load them up with crap software, and Lord knows I hate crap software. I mean, you already have enough that comes with your operating system (assuming you’re not going with some Linux build) … you don’t need more that essentially does what your machine already has software to do. If you want something different, you can add it on later. But the programs they put on these things … they are maddening, useless, and really, most people don’t even want all that extra shit on their machines anyhow.

She gave me a budget, and I worked with what we had. I would inform her about sales from NewEgg, and she would buy the pieces as she could. In the end, I put together a spiffy little i5 with 8g of RAM and a 1T drive. Loaded MS Office Pro (her request) on to it, some solid (free and good) antivirus programs, and bam, she was good to go.

What she didn’t expect was the desktop that I chose for her.

The DM I got from her on Twitter simply stated: “Thank you very much for the desktop. I fucking love unicorns.”

OK, so maybe I’m not the nicest guy in the world after all.

I can accept that.

I am, however, still laughing.


Bear with me here, folks

Yes yes yes, I know I haven’t been blogging recently. Not so much because I don’t want to, but quite simply, between Snomageddon, work and life, I simply have had no time except to update my Twitter and FB feeds.

And then — get this — as I’m finally ready to start working on my Snomageddon tales, what happens? BAM! Computer starts acting squirrelly (on Friday). Squirrelly as in locking up about every 30 minutes or so. Being a geek, this keeps me up at night. I need to have this shit fixed, you know? So, I delete programs. Works temporarily, but then starts locking up again. I pull every trick in the book out. System restore. Nothin’. Upgrade anti-virus. Nothin’. Defrag/system clean. Nothin’. You name it, I tried it. Can’t figure out the problem. Try a fresh XP reinstall. Locks up at the 34 minute mark.

I figure the HD has gone corrupt. So at work last night, I’m hemming and hawing over which drive I should get, driving all of my coworkers and Facebook friends insane. Finally pick one. Order it (and some new RAM, cause I figure now is the perfect time to upgrade to Windows 7, 64-bit version). Coworker gives me an old 10G drive and Linux to put on it so I can at least be on the Internet until my parts arrive.

I go to install it, and what do I notice?

Loose power cord to the HD.


No no no.

Are you fuckin’ shitting me?

I plug it back in. There’s something in the back of my head that just doesn’t want this to be the problem, but curiosity demands that I run it and see if it works.

I plug it back in. It hits the 34 minute mark, and starts to stall. I feel strangely vindicated. And then it hits 33. That’s when I’ve entered the noob zone.

Now I have a fresh XP install. Drive seems to be fine.

At some point, I’ll have to surgically remove my hand from my forehead, that’s how hard I hit myself. I mean, this is the first time where I didn’t check all the connections first. I feel incredibly stupid. A pure ID10T error.

I owe many apologies. I blamed everything imaginable for my errors (namely Crapple, because it all started with iTunes trying to update). So, if you got caught up in my RageStorm of blame … uh … I’m sorry.

But I should be back to blogging more regularly after next week. You know, once I get the new rig set up and have removed the hand from my forehead.

And back to more XP updates. Kill me now.

(Of course, I really should just turn them off since I’ll be doing a fresh install of Windows 7 … )


The road to hell …

We all know that saying — “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Today, I am living it.

I decided for mom’s Christmas and birthday gift to basically build her a new computer and have her join the modern age. And wow, the experience has been epitome of “fiasco.”

Mom’s rig was my old computer, which was pretty cool back in like, oh, maybe 1996. We’re talking a 366 celeron processor, maybe like a whopping 128 megs of RAM and like a 16g hard drive. OK, I’m a nerd and I tee-hee’d while typing that all out — but you old timers, I’m sure, remember those e-Machines from Circuit City. Whel-hel-hel-hell, that sucker is still kickin’. And it’s still running Windows 98. And it’s all original parts — except for the RAM upgrade. I think it originally came with 64 megs. Tee-hee!

Im afraid I cant let you do that, Three.

I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Three.

Now, I’m not a tech, but I’m generally pretty handy with computers and can generally get to where I want to be without a major struggle. I mean, I built my rig from the ground up — 3.6g x2 Athlon, ASUS motherboard, 500g HD (cause my old 60g crapped out on me), 3g of RAM, rockin’ videocard — all in a sleek black HAL case (for all you “2001 Odyssey” fans). It’s stable, it’s fun, it’s everything I need with chips and salsa on the side. Mmm. Chips and salsa. Man I wish Iguana Grill would open back up. I miss that place.

So, the original plan was to basically rebuild my old Compaq and give her that. Except, for whatever reason, the motherboard completely died on me. I had already ordered an 80g HD for it, so, no biggie … I figured I’d just get a new motherboard, throw that into a new case and we’re good to go.

But instead of listening to my instincts — I opted to cheap out and get her some lesser quality parts (cause, you know, it’s not like she’s playing Warcraft all day into the wee hours of the morning — she’s typing e-mails and stories, and watching the occasional wacky video or e-card). What’s the result so far? Motherboard — DOA. $15 Power Supply — alive, surprisingly. Sleek white cheapy case has blue ground effects. Why? I don’t know. But I’m sure mom will be rockin’ with it.

I have yet to send the motherboard back to NewEgg (don’t worry, I still love you NewEgg) — so in the meantime, I bascially threw her old rig into the new case and decided to install XP on the new HD since I know she doesn’t have anything backed up.


If I ever do that again with such a painfully slow machine, someone shoot me in the face. Really.

Just catching XP up-to-date with the Service Packs and various security fixes took ALL FREAKIN’ DAY. And by ALL FREAKIN DAY, I do, infact, mean ALL FREAKIN’ DAY.

Of course, as I type this, I have about 5 different options clanging around in my head. “Oh, I should just take everything out of the case, put it back into the old case, and then when the new motherboard comes in, reinstall everything at my leisure and present it to her.”

That would make sense. Why didn’t I do that 8 hours earlier?

Christ on a pony. Someone get me a beer. I’m going back in …

And she better freakin’ like it when all’s said and done — that’s all I’m sayin’.


Just a little netiquette reminder!

When someone sends out a mass mail and needs a response, there is almost no reason to use “reply all.”

Now, “reply all” can be a useful tool when used properly, ie by anyone with an IQ higher than fungus.

Here’s an example:

Mike sends out a mail to me and Jeanann
Mike: Are you guys coming over for LOST? I’m thinking about having a cookout, too.
Me: Sure. Do you need me to bring anything?
Jeanann: I’ll be there. I’ll bring pasta salad.
Mike: Bring whatever you like. I have beer, and some burgers and dogs.
Me: Sweet, what time? I’ll bring some cole slaw or something.
Mike: 7pm.
Jeanann: See you guys there!

See, now everyone knows the time of the event, Jeanann and I won’t both bring pasta salad, life is good. It’s like a three-way call. We all get the facts all in one shot.

Now, the improper use of “reply all” often happens at work. For example, yesterday I opened my mail to find about 30 messages titled “RE: Need some help.” The original message was asking for who people thought was a great TV dad to be used as an example for Father’s Day. And instead of just using “Reply,” these tardlings had to use “Reply All.”

Dear God in Heaven, do I really need to know that you think that doofus from Little House of the Prarie was a great dad figure? I’m thinking no. Do I care if you read some other doofus’ “Reply All” message and argue why your choice is better? Oh, fuck no. Infact, when you do that, I’m thinking you take tard to a whole new level.

And what’s really irritating is that this happens all the time. So much so that some of my friends have to put “Do not ‘reply all'” in the first graph of their e-mail. It got so bad that I stopped checking my work e-mail and got yelled at. Nevermind that I pointed it out and said “It’s a colossal waste of my time to sit here and have to sift through all of this crap.” Nevermind that these people who read all the RE:s and argue via e-mail obviously don’t have enough to do (and there’s an evidence trail RIGHT THERE). It was my fault for not sifting through the spam while trying to do my job. Fucktards.

I really don’t know what inspires this kind or douchery, but please, knock it the fuck off. Learn some common courtesy. We all don’t think your attempts at witty quips are funny. Ninety percent of the time, a simple “Reply” will work. If more than the original sender NEEDS to know the information, then use “Reply all.” And hopefully it’s a small group getting the mail. But in a company-wide situation, I really can’t see the need to send EVERYONE your RE(tarded): spam unless it’s vitally important.

And if that’s too hard for you to figure out, unplug your fucking computer.

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