Monday, April 13, 2009

Computer Crash Update

I put in the hard drive and the sound card all by myself, and they worked. Yes, that is an accomplishment for me since I have always been afraid I’d blow it up if I messed with any computer innards. Dad did have to come and help me because I messed up the settings and lost my D hard drive in the process. So I ended up having to install Windows XP twice.

So now I’m currently waiting to get the back up restored from Mozy so I can finish loading up all the programs. I did try just copying the program files that I had saved so I wouldn’t have to reinstall everything again, but Windows XP’s menus didn’t recognize programs that way. So back to reinstalling :p. The new hard drive has a 160 GB, so it should be a long time before I put so much on it, it won’t function. Though I am seriously considering if how I have My Documents set up is the most efficient way to do it. I have 80 GB on the D drive, and I was using that as internal back-up storage and 150 GB on the external hard drive that I wanted to be a backup for things I would have normally burned to a CD but now fear losing forever. The rough idea I have is that XP will continue running really smoothly if all I have on the C drive is it and other program files. I have no idea if that is actually true.

And it is so good to have sound again! But I discovered a hiccup that I haven’t figured out how to solve yet. I saved 5 YouTube fanvids before the soundcard crapped out on me with recovering from the February crash: 4 in a format that runs in QuickTime and 1 with RealPlayer. Despite reinstalling the latest free RealPlayer and seeing that the file is there and nothing appears wrong with it, it refuses to play. The program says it’s playing but the clip indicator doesn’t move, there’s no sound or video. The QuickTime vids play just fine, but the sound is practically non-existent. I have to turn the player’s volume control to max, XP’s volume control to max, and then the speaker’s volume control to max before I can hear a whisper of the music. I had to stop experimenting with it in order to reinstall programs, so I haven’t tested files that I didn’t save from YouTube or if resaving them in a different format would help. I also need to buy a couple of speaker extension cords; I can give myself surround sound now. :D

I spent a few hours rearranging the computer equipment on the desk and tidying up the cords. This is my second attempt to get all the stupid cords off the floor so I can vacuum under my desk without fear of sucking up one of the cords and causing expensive and painful damage. First attempt was with some nice clips that attach to furniture and walls with a sticky back. They open and close easily to allow you get to the cord in question without much hassle. I thought I had put enough of those up to bear the weight, but I figured wrong. All of them had detached from the desk.

While I was wracking my brains to come up with a solution that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, I mentioned the problem to my mother. “I use zip ties on your father’s stuff. Otherwise, we couldn’t walk around his desk.”

“That would bundle them together, but not get them off the floor.”

“Then just tack them up.” That’s when she showed me the zip ties she had. Whenever I need to make a bundle, I have a zip-tie machine that can fit around just about any size object and then cuts the plastic tie close so I don’t have any dangly bits. Mom had a package of all the same size ties that you don’t use in the machine, and they also had a built-in loop at one end. I pulled out the horde of cup hooks I ended up with for some reason of another, and hung the bundled wires from the desk with the cup hooks. That took hours to accomplish on Saturday. Plus I installed a new shelf in the bathroom cabinet and my body still hasn’t forgiven me for all the twisting into unusual positions.

Yeah, not a lot of writing or tax work got done this weekend. Which means once I finish reinstalling programs tonight, I have to finish the taxes and send them away. I’m not freaked out about the deadline because I always e-file (and I still have another month before state taxes are due), but this is just bad form. I thought not doing them until March was bad, but this takes the cake. Writing, not even taking longhand notes was simply because I had a computer in pieces and was rearranging the office for updated function (and something new to look at until I can afford my built-in idea) and the living room is still mostly filled with stuff I need to finish dealing with and get rid of. But oddly enough I didn’t need to escape any of it. I’m going to try to get back into the grove today while at work, since I can’t do anything with taxes until I get home.

Next up is replacing the computer’s backup battery, which should probably happen ASAP. After that, I can probably wait a while before getting a DVD burner, new video card, and the Dazzler set-up to burn my VHS tapes to DVDs.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

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