Monday, November 10, 2014

Hello World, for the umpteenth time….

It all happened Thursday the week before last. I was sitting at the computer, and it froze. It had never done it before, but the standard solution is to turn the computer off and turn it back on. Which I did. And when I rebooted it, all I got was a beeping tone. A quick Google search on my tablet revealed that my motherboard had most likely gone to The Beer Volcano & Stripper Factory. I had previously noticed that my mom used to use a tower with a similar chipset as to mine. So I made her an offer for it. She agreed, and I took it home. I spent over two hours moving hardware over to the new computer (same chipset, same processor socket), and I then started to restore the OS. At first, things were going great. Then I had to readjust something in the tower. After which I got nothing. No video. Pulled my video card, and still got graphics off the onboard chipset. My mother’s computer would be a no-go and I would be sending it back to her (along with an upgrade from an Intel Celeron to an Intel Core 2 Quad Core and a wi-fi card upgrade).

Back to square one. I went to Worst Buy and asked for an increase of my credit card. And the idiots approved me. So I went and ordered a new computer. And it arrived last Thursday. I got an HP 500-214. Among the specs:

  • AMD A8 6500 quad-core processor, up to 3.5 GHz.
  • 8 GB of ram, upto 32 GB is supported. Previous tower only supported 4GB, and I ran a 1 GB video card, so I only used 3 GB.
  • It had Radeon HD 8650 graphics already integrated with multimonitor support. I went ahead and put my Radeon HD 7750 card in, because it has a HDMI port, and I do see using my HDTV as a display in the future.
  • Integrated Wi-Fi and LAN. While I do have expansion cards for both LAN and Wi-Fi, they are all PCI cards, and the computer doesn’t have any PCI slots.
  • USB 3.0. My external hard drive is USB 3.0, and I like being able to transfer files in few minutes, as compared to upwards of an hour. And I should also add that I wasn’t really panicking when my original tower died because I had a recent external back-up.
  • There’s also a multi-card reader,but it doesn’t support MicroSD, so I’ll use my USB reader.

And there are a few caveats with this new computer:

  • Lack of expansion bays. There were only 2 drive bays in the tower, and they were both occupied. I still have a couple of SATA ports to work with, so I may visit this problem later. Or I may just rotate my 3 1TB hard drives though my existing USB external drive.
  • Wimpy power supply. Only 300W. This may become an issue with the next video card upgrade.
  • Secured BIOS. It took me an hour+ to figure out how to even access it. Here’s a hint: use the wired USB keyboard to try to access it, as your wireless keyboard won’t work until the OS loads…
  • Windows 8.1. Windows Vista was WinME, Service Pack 1. Windows 8 was/is WinME, Service Pack 2. It’s crap. And it was preloaded. But HP does publish Windows 7 drivers for all the internals, so it is possible to downgrade to Windows 7, which is what I did. I did make a system restore set before I wiped the drive, though.

I don’t think I’m going to be tinkering much with Linux on this box, as I’m not really sure what the driver situation is going to be. But with a 2 TB hard drive, I may be dabbling with virtual machines instead. I spent most of the day today installing software and patches (I had nothing else to do today since I had to take a sick day today).

When it comes to the customer experience scores, I’m getting the exact same scores that I got with my previous tower. But this was also with over $400 worth of upgrades to the previous tower. And the only ‘extra’s’ I’ve put into this one are the TV tuner and the video card (which is an apparent downgrade…).

So, Hello World. This is my new computer.

Haven’t felt good all day today.

Normally I don’t blog about when I get sick. But today, it was different. Last night, I felt my throat getting scratchy. This morning at about 2, I woke up and realized that I’m in no shape to work. It would’ve been a no-brainer with my previous employer (not to disclose where it was, but it was in food-service). If I was that sick, I just wouldn’t show up (it wasn’t my decision to make, it was the health code). I’m no longer in foodservice, but still I was in no shape to work. Actually if I had made to work, I would’ve been able to tough it out. But that morning commute would’ve been a doozy (4.5+ miles of walking to get to the bus).

So I called out. That in and of itself was an adventure, mainly getting a hold of someone at work. But I was able to get hold of someone, and my absence was duly noted. This will probably be my only sick day I take. I was normally scheduled for the next two days off anyway. I have paid sick leave, but the amount of time is finite.

I called in sick today. I never call in sick. The last time I was sick, I was literally sick (and was sent home from work).

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

It's all about the integrity people....

So I went to 7-11 Monday night. I switched my items and put them on the counter to check out. Clerk rang me up, I paid and I took my reciept. When I looked at the reciept,  I noticed that I want charged for a couple of items. I could've walked out of there and enjoyed my free items. But ill-gotten gains are in reality losses and not gains. So I spoke up and had the clerk ring me in for them. Yes, the owner of this 7-11 is a complete and total asshole, but my character is who I am. Besides, it's not good integrity that's on the line, it's mine. Honesty never was the best only. It's the only policy. Lie to me, and I will never have anything to do with you.

With that in mind I also voted that night. And aside from the Congressional race abd the initiatives, I abstained most of the races. My respect and my vote must be earned. And if you've did nothing but spout partisan politics, then you dint have enough character for public office, let alone my vote.

It's all about the integrity...

Friday, October 17, 2014

My paycheck is gone...

I got paid today. First thing I did was get on the computer, and started paying bills. All of them. And I paid all of them. One of them was the last payment for my poor judgment last July. I paid off my tv. And this alao means my wifi printer is now paid off as well (it was part of the deal with my tv).

Now if I can pay off $550 in 3 1/2 months, then perhaps I can be more aggressive in retiring my credit card debt. At one time, I was able to pay off all my credit cards. Maybe I should try that again...

I was paid today. And it was all gone in less than 8 hours. But my bills are paid....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

More poor judgment…

Woe is me. I’ve done something that I will surely soon regret. Very recently, I exercised extremely poor judgment. I got an HD TV. Tomorrow, I will finally pay it off. So last night, I called Comcrap. And I re-ordered all the premium channels. And then I got an HD DVR cable box.

I may end up regretting this, but for now I can TV on my 60” the way it was supposed to be. Filling the entire 60” 16:9 screen rather than having the unnecessary black bars around the image. Although I won’t be around much to watch it, since I’m now full-time. But that’s why I got the DVR on my box. And with judicious use of a splitter, I can still use the TV tuner in my tower (and I can still add the second tuner card if I wanted to try it Linux again…)

I’m going to regret this….

Saturday, October 11, 2014

More fun in the office

Ok, I know I previously said that the only mention of work in this blog would be that I have a job and nothing more. But there have been happenings there that I have to comment on.

Basically, long story story short, is that I’m finally full-time. Even for part-time, my current employer is great, but full-time is even better. No, I’m not going to mention where I’m working at in this blog (officially I will still just say that I have a job. Nothing more, nothing less). But it is a good company to work for. And yes, I still work for the previous employer who fired me. After all it is better to forgive than to seek revenge….

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The game last night...

If it wasn't did the penalties last night, it would've been a blowout. But even with them, they still won. Russell Wilson had over 100 yards rushing.  Another threat from the back field besides Beast Mode. I'm not going to mention the name of the team we played last night because it has overtly racist overtones (it's kinda like the n word to native Americans). So I will call them Colin Mochrie. And we beat the hair back into Colin Mochrie....

Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's over....

As of this writing, the Mariners were leading the LA Angels 4-0. But there will be no post-season for them this year in The New World Order (Mind-Control Division). The Oakland A's won the game 4-0. Seattle had been eliminated. But let us take heart. We still have King Felix. Alms unlike to many recent years, we're going to have a winning record....

But it still sucks that we're out of the playoffs....

It boils down to this...

The entire season boils down to this game. If the Mariners win this game (and the A's lose their game), a one game playoff will be forced. There's still hope for a postseason in Seattle. Currently, as this post was being written the A's were leading there game, but the trend has been for them to choke it like bunch of Inept Imperial Officers, so the opera isn't over to the fat lady sings....

One can only hope....

Nerd Card +1

It started a couple of weeks ago. I upgraded my video card from a Radeon HD 5450 to a Radeon HD 7750 core. Basically, heat is an issue, and I wanted a video card with a fan in it (and while I was at it, perhaps an upgrade). Installing the card came with its own issues. It was big. Yes, it is a PCI-e card, but it was a full sized card. My two previous Radeons were sized to fit in low profile towers as well, and so fitting wasn't an issue. This one, however, I had to disconnect all of my SATA cables *and* pull out all of my other expansion cards, just to get some space for my fingers. After reseating everything (including taking apart my tower again to put my hard drive cable back in the right slot so it could boot up again),  it booted up successfully. I didn't even have to upgrade or reinstall Catalyst. Then next up was to upgrade the cpu heatsink. I noticed the cpu temperature was close to the same level that is when I bought my laptop. Which means I need to clean the dust off of it. And I figured if I'm going to have to take it off again to clean it, I might as well or a better one on. Again, space was a concern during installation. But, after sourcing a long enough Philips screwdriver, I got it to fit. This was huge. But I can see that my processor is running a lot cooler now. And more importantly, I can now put the side panels back on the tower (my previous solution was to leave the side panel off and point a desktop fan at the motherboard. The new heatsink actually works even better). The one drawback to installing the heatsink s my wifi card for knocked loose, and I couldn't connect to the internet. Had I just jimmied it, I would've been back online right away. But I had to take the hard way, and nuke it from orbit, wiping the hard drive. Fortunately, I had just performed a full backup to my external hard drive earlier that day (and that took over 4 hours in an of itself)....

Long story short, my tower is running cooler and quieter, and abd backups are always a good thing....

Did I also mention that I now have The Lord of The Rings and Star Wars on Blu-ray? And I just got the James Bond 50th Anniversary box set on  Blu-ray?

So I guess while I put my tower back together that I can glory in the +1 to my Nerd Card....