Tag Archives: computer issues

Things have been down at the Casa

That’s not an emotional evaluation, it’s a description of the state of my laptop since Saturday night. Since I was a Windows help desk operator for about a year before I got killed and another 4 months actively after my demise, I thought I would just boot into safe mode and fix whatever SNAFU had locked up my computer at the windows splash screen and get things back in operation. Unfortunately that didn’t work as the three methods for putting my laptop running Win10 into safe mode suggested by the manufacturer all did the same thing: Diddly.

So I kept looking up methods to unlock Win10 on my phone because I couldn’t look them up on my locked-up computer. Near as I can figure out two or more background programs got themselves into a race situation sometime between the splash screen (which was an NZ beach this time, very nice to look at for a few seconds but annoying for three days part of one day, a night, all day the next day, another night, and part of the next day) and pulling up the login screen. The thing that makes me think it was a race was trying to see what was running in background by doing the classic End Program move also known as the Three Finger Salute (Ctrl-Alt-Del) caused the login screen to appear. Yay!

I had over 400 new e-mails in 5 folders, including 2 time-sensitive work e-mails that luckily enough I answered in time. Not by much, but in time.

I just got caught up a few minutes before opening the Edit Post page here at WoaB the Blog. But I wasn’t staring at the Comatose Computer the entire time. Mrs. the Poet managed to drop in for a few minutes between visiting her relatives in Upstate NY and babysitting the grandson in the western half of the Metromess so we finally ate the beans and rice I made before her flight home was cancelled by rain parking over LGA for 18 hours, starting just before her flight was supposed to board, until early the next morning. And we had a RPG session playing Shadowrun scheduled for Sunday afternoon and I didn’t have to swim there this time, unlike the previous time when we had wind and rain of biblical proportions and half-trees were floating down the streets while floodwaters assaulted my knees but did not breach the perimeter at the top of my calves while I sought refuge on higher ground. And only a tiny part of that statement was hyperbole, see the post from June where I described the tiny tornado I got caught in that was the center of the downburst passing directly over me. Anyway, the team is under a curse from an artifact with a protective spirit that has to be exorcised every full moon at a cost of 10000 NuYen or my character gets killed repeatedly because my inability to stay dead makes the spirit extremely angry at me specifically for things above and beyond the initial curse. So the current run arc is us trying to get the artifact back to where it’s supposed to be so that some other schmucks can try to steal it and get cursed. Our curse will go away when the artifact is returned. To do this we need to enter two different countries, the first where the artifact is now, and the second where the artifact is supposed to be (not where we stole it from).

But before we do that we have to make a run that will get us access to transportation to the two locations which is where we are now. We have been tracking a Magic Raccoon that likes to steal Shinies, and has stolen an invention from a snack food company that Doesn’t Work Right and could possibly Destroy All Life On Earth (again) if a baked good is placed inside. And it isn’t Bigger Than a Breadbox, or Smaller Than a Breadbox, it is the exact same size as a breadbox, and I’m the only one in the group who knows how big a breadbox is… Yay I’m an antique! Anywho, we have the Thing That Could Destroy Life On Earth with a dead fish inside courtesy the Bandit (the in-game name for the Magic Raccoon) and we are going to return it to the company that invented it so they can fix it so it will make them metric buttloads of money we can destroy it in Mount Doom and they will give us access to a company plane that will allow us to travel without having to go through Customs so we can bring in our usual assortment of murder devices. And that was where the session ended after we fought a non-lethal battle with a 30 pound Magic Raccoon with spells and opposable thumbs and short, sharp, claws that like to rip through SynthSkin covering my character’s prosthetic arm. Fortunately it’s somewhat self-repairing in spite of being the wrong color, so I will be at 100% come next session.

OK, wow, that was quick

I got a notice in my email that yesterday was the 10th anniversary of moving my blog to WordPress from MySpace, more than 12 years since I started doing my old blog on an adult web site because all the other blogging sites I tried crashed the browser that came with the Linspire OS né Lindows, computer I was using way back then. That was so many computers ago I can’t even remember how many. According to the records on the dashboard page this is the 3131st post not counting the 9 pages also on this blog, linked under the title bar. That works out to almost a post every day for 10 years or a post every 1.1664 days, or 0.857 posts per day. Or from another point of view I skipped and was lazy for 521 days in the last 10 years. So there is room for improvement in my productivity. Basically I took a year and a half off from blogging in the 10 years I have worked at this URL.

In some ways it doesn’t feel like any time at all until I remember how many computers that either aged out and couldn’t run the browsers needed to create posts, or just flat wore out and had to be replaced from mechanical failure of parts too old to be replaced. And when you consider the last computer basically ran for 5 years and replaced a computer that was too old to run the browser needed to post on this site, which replaced the other computer that was too old to run the browser… Well then it starts looking a lot more like 10 years since I posted the first time here.

I don’t want to think of the pain and suffering linked here back when I was tracking wrecks and how to prevent them (ban cars). Seriously those years ended up being Not Good for my mental health after a while, but were something I needed to do after the wreck, Because Reasons. I’m still personally pissed off at the driver of the murder weapon, but I have moved on to the point that the wreck no longer dominates my life like it used to. The Sprint-T has taken that job over. 😁

Laptop was down

And I was annoyed, mainly because I used to be a Windows help desk operator and I had no idea of how to fix it, my training and experience ending with the introduction of XP, back in 2002, following hard on the heels of the disaster of ME and totally disrupting all the diagnostic and repair tools that had been in use since 98. So there I was a trained computer expert with years of experience and I am no better off than your garden variety N00B since my computer came minus documentation. I had no idea of how to get to Safe Mode, or if Safe Mode was still a thing in 10.

Basically what happened was while I was working and reading e-mail the bottom shelf disappeared, and when I ended the web browser I had a blank screen where the desktop should be. And when I restarted the computer I had a blank screen after the log-in screen. And since keyboard shortcuts I learned are not valid with 10 I couldn’t get anything running, or maybe they are valid but that was something else that wasn’t working. And because I don’t have any documentation I have no way of knowing if keyboard shortcuts are a thing anymore.

Anywho, as you can probably tell, I got the laptop fixed, but dang if I know how. The only thing I could find said to hold the shift key down to activate “sticky keys” and then hold F8 and reboot. After the third (or so) try I had a normal reboot and all my icons back. So here I am.

Other news, Clyde has learned to knock to be let in, we think. Story short, I heard what sounded like knocking at the front door a few minutes after I went to bed this morning, but when I got up to check there was nobody there, except Clyde sitting on the window AC unit. Clyde is not the kind of cat to hang around when people come to the door, even people he knows, so by process or elimination Clyde managed to knock on the window to get let in, or Clyde banged against the window whilst scratching an itch and got let in anyway. And as you might have guessed I didn’t win the $1 billion jackpot, but I’m buying a ticket for the $1.6 billion jackpot. Because, how can I not risk $2 for a chance at a billion dollars after taxes? The cash option is almost a billion tonight ($904 million) and will probably bust a billion by the draw on Tuesday. Not that I’m going for the cash option, I want every cent I can get because I could do so much good with that much money. And going by last week’s sales, we could see a $2 billion jackpot by the draw date. Even at 304 million to one odds I can’t pass that up. I mean look at what I have already lived through that I shouldn’t have, I must have some luck left over to win a little money, right?

Things are good

The Wi-Fi router is fixed, the new computer is connected to the router, and I’m back to over-thinking the Sprint-T. So everything is perfectly normal (there is a clip from one of the Addams’ Family movies where Wednesday says that but I can’t find it on YouTube). Anyway there was some kind of software problem with the router, the Frontier tech did an update through the Internet, and everything is fixed now as far as computers are concerned.

Now on the Sprint-T there is a problem. I was reviewing the rear axle I selected and discovered a potential problem. The axle tube is held in the center section by set screws, 4 of them, and there is some debate on how well they would stand up to resisting the entire rotational torque of the system reacting against the right side tube retention. Because as the rear suspension is designed now the anti-rotation link for the drive is on the right side only. I have one opinion that if I drill and thread the axle tube for the bolts to go all the way through the wall of the axle tube and use Grade 8 bolts it will hold up forever, and another that says I’ll need to replace right side tubes once or twice a season because they aren’t built for that kind of stress, what with the reaction torque in two directions getting planted against the road, all through the wall of the axle tube and 4 little bolts where is enters the center section. There is room for debate on both sides of the question, even from the people who make the axle. The other option is to attach the torque link or arm to the center section because it is designed to resist the force internally. but that really eats into the passenger side of the interior…

Also I have been having problems getting to sleep at night as the discomfort I have been having with the wrecked leg has been just enough to keep me from sleeping. Actually once I get to sleep I have no problems staying asleep, I just get to stare at the walls until sunrise waiting to get tired enough to sleep. That has been annoying as well as missing most of the day in bed because I’m so tired. I woke up at about 1300 and it felt like I hadn’t been asleep at all. I mean it doesn’t hurt-hurt, it is just annoying enough that I can’t sleep without getting exhausted. And I drag around all day in a daze. I could be worse, but I could be a heck of a lot better. And speaking of dragging around in a daze I had to type the last sentence 3 times before I could get all the words to make sense, so I’m going to take a pain pill and a sleeping pill and try to get up at a decent time in the AM. I am having serious problems seeing to type or to read the screen to make sure what I thought I typed is what is going on the screen. So off to bed for this old blogger.

Another fine mess

That’s a Laurel and Hardy joke, and my current situation. Long story short, the reason I was having trouble getting the new computer to connect to the Wi-Fi is because the router was dying a slow death. I went to my local comic book store to get my pulls, and when I got home I noticed my phone was awfully slow, and I checked my data connection, which turned out to be 4G instead of Wi-Fi. I did a quick attempt to get my phone to connect with no luck. One thing I discovered earlier is the new computer is Wireless-AC and the router is an older standard Wireless-G, and even good Wireless-G routers making a first connection with Wireless-AC is iffy at best. And I skipped a standard completely, Wireless-N.

So now I’m waiting to hear from Frontier on replacing their router. Until then my only access point for Internet is my phone, and the ethernet connection to the router as long as it holds up.

Not feeling good today

I did several days in a row with 2-3 miles walked with allergies and now my back is complaining, not loudly, but making its presence known. This is my notice to take a break and not overdo things. Also after several days of good behavior the “m” key on the keyboard is acting cranky again, and Google keeps sending me notices that my OS is no longer supported.

Now this can be dealt with in many ways. I can buy a new computer (ha, ha), I can get the keyboard fixed and install Linux, I can install Linux on my Dad’s old computer after I drag it out of the box it has been stuck in since 2012. And one of my friends might have an old laptop they can give me. First I need to call and find out how much getting the keyboard fixed will cost, then work from there.

On the Sprint-T I have been contemplating a frame revision that would add maybe 40 pounds but provide a major increase in torsional stiffness. It isn’t as pretty now, but it will be much more tunable for handling. Basically what I did was make sure all the possible load paths were continuous and triangulated in all 3 dimensions and clear the body. It was that last requirement that has been the monkey wrench in the works, as the body is 34″ wide underneath and 45″ wide at the top and there has to be a structural member to meet the mounts underneath or the body would have not crashworthiness. That’s not the problem by itself, the problem is the diagonal from the top of the rear roll hoop to the bottom of the front roll hoop. Now I thought I had this solved a while back, but when I traced the load paths I found it went all wonky at the front roll hoop. The loads went from in line to bending around the front hoop because of having to have a member under the body and the diagonal snake around the bowed-out sides because there is no straight line from the top of the rear hoop to the bottom of the rear hoop. Interestingly enough, there is straight line access from the top of the rear hoop to the middle of the front hoop, and back to the bottom of the rear hoop, but that places bending loads on the front hoop unless there is a corresponding member from the front suspension support to the front hoop. And that is what increases the weight so much, about 8 additional members about 50″ long each weigh 30 pounds total plus the gussets at each intersection add about 8-9 ounces each end. If I could reduce the size of the structural members any more without worry about damage from people leaning or climbing on the car I could make it lighter, but I have to use the frame as a ladder to get in through the top of the cage.

While I have been writing about fixing the mistakes in my frame I had a show about engineering mistakes and fixing them on the Science Channel on the Tee Vee. Some of those mistakes cost hundreds of millions of dollars to fix, some couldn’t be fixed for any amount of money. I’m just glad I’m finding my mistakes before I spend money building unusable junk.

My body is weird

As if it wasn’t obvious from previous events, I have a strange body. I’m currently sitting in my office where the thermometer reads 64°F wearing spandex shorts and a pair of ankle socks and a cat in my lap. And I’m not uncomfortable, except for when the cat starts to slide off the spandex and digs in his claws. Then I feel pain. But I’m not feeling cold right now. I have slightly stiff fingers but otherwise I’m not feeling the cold.

Still trying to either replace or repair the Chromebook. Amazon has been showing me high-end versions that run $900, I’m looking for something a lot less. Something in the $199 range, like the one I have now that I bought in 2013. Well, there are some. On the first page of the Amazon search the price range is $150 to $485. New ranges from $185 to the $485, the lower cost are refurbished (used) units. I haven’t been able to check the costs of cleaning and repair of my existing laptop yet.

And I really want to get Something done on the Sprint-T. Something beyond moving virtual boxes around on a laptop screen Something. Actual tubes welded together Something. But things are a bit busy right now.

Computer is dying, I ay have to stop updating until I get a new one

I’ having problems with soe of the keys on the keyboard, can you guess which one? That akes 3 dead keys, and I can’t work around this one. If I get just the right pressure and angle the “” key works soeties, but not very often. Like just the once for this post, up there in the headline.

Anyway, if one of you has a few extra bucks there is an addy on the botto of the right sidebar to send oney via PayPal. I just need a Chroebook, they’re cheap. Seriously, I need a new coputer ASAP. I can still read webcomics and eail with this coputer, but not make decent posts to this blog.

Help?

Not functioning well on a human level

I really wish there was a better way of putting it, which is actually part of the problem I’m dealing with. To be succinct I don’t word well the last couple of days. I have things to say, but when I sit in front of the laptop to put feelings into words, there are no words forthcoming. So instead of a cogent diatribe about the day’s events you get this, or even worse you get nothing.

I know the problem, the problem is an evil confluence of brain damage and depression. But knowing the problem does nothing to give me a handle on solving the problem. It’s kinda like when you fall out of an airplane without a parachute, you know what the problem is but the solution is out of reach. At least when your problem is unable to find words your impact is less messy than falling without a parachute. And I know this seems like I have a handle on words at the moment, but these are not the words I need to fix my problem, these are the words to describe my problem. And what is really annoying is this is some of my best writing in ages, writing about not being able to write what I want to write about.

While I’m on the subject of not being able to write what I want to write about, I’m having keyboard issues with this 4YO laptop. I use the arrow keys to navigate and edit because I grew up using them before mouses and touch pads were invented. Hell I used to write using a portable typewriter before PCs were invented, and a government-surplus Underwood before that. I think that one weighed in around 50 pounds, and had to be set gently on a desk to prevent structural failure. Which brings me back to the subject, the arrow keys are malfunctioning on my Chromebook. Specifically the down arrow key is dead, which is the key I use to return to the end of the sentence after I edit a word. It’s also the key I use most to navigate my bookmarks for reading stuff to cheer myself up a smidge. This is a mechanical failure from the symptoms, as the down arrow key is the only one on the keyboard that has lost markings indicating function. This used to be a common thing with my keyboards before they expired mechanically, specifically the “e” and “s” keys. I can’t tell you how many keyboards I have trashed because they wouldn’t type the letter “e” or use the space bar any more. I think I averaged about 2 keyboards per computer back in the old days of writing poetry and the precursor to this blog.

Add the dead key to the other issues with this computer and also the brain issues, well you get a writer who can’t write, which is kinda like a fish that can’t swim or a bird that can’t fly. You have something that the name describes that reason for existing, unable to perform that function. Talk about your existential crises, that’s what I’m living with. And as an example of contradictions I have written more than 500 words about how I can’t write today. And I never got to why I was bad at being human, but long story short, I haven’t had enough gumption to find my way into the shower in days. Among other things I don’t do that I should as a functioning human being.