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?
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.
After I posted yesterday I did some idle googling looking to see what kind of apps are available for my laptop and found one that reads the output from the OBD2 port and lets me reprogram to bypass missing systems by permanently setting the input as valid. I have to buy a cable to connect my laptop to the car but otherwise I’m ready to go.
This way is better for a number of reasons: The screen on my laptop is easily 4 times the size of my phone, there is an actual physical keyboard instead of a touchscreen for input, and the battery on my laptop lasts a lot longer in continuous use than the battery in my phone. Oh the connector cable for the laptop is $0.99 less than the phone connector cable, that’s important, too.
Unfortunately there will be a learning curve for the software to make it log everything when an error triggers so I can see how that error affects the rest of the engine. That will affect the measures I take to correct it. Right now I have 3 choices in dealing with error codes: tell the computer everything is fine and ignore the input, kluge something up that makes the computer think whatever triggered the error never happened, or pull the system off the donor car and install it on the hot rod. The last one is only going to be used as a last resort.
And while I was trying to type the previous paragraph Clint decided it was time for lap-sitting which interrupted the typing for about 2 hours. Nothing is bleeding, I just had to move the seat back so he didn’t knock anything off the keyboard tray which moved said keyboard out of arm’s reach. But he’s cute and cuddly so it was OK.
Also today was the first day there was enough sun to make my little solar-powered dancing alien decoration move and temperatures high enough to open the doors and windows and air the house out a touch. I don’t know if there is a correlation but my foot felt better today than it has in ages. It still hurt some, but nowhere near as bad as it did Sunday. I think I will be able to get that adaptor tomorrow and pump up my bike tires soon.
And now I have other things that need to be done so I’ll finish this here.
Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable