Thursday, September 11, 2008

While the Cat’s Away, the Machines Will Play

So, after returning from a week in Japan (more to follow on that), I discover that both my TiVo and my computer are malfunctioning. I can’t decide if this is random problems or their idea of a political protest against the new season of “The Sarah Conner Chronicles”.

The computer problem appeared pretty straightforward. My power supply died. Thankfully, acquiring a replacement didn’t take any significant amount of time. I’d never switched a power supply before and it was surprisingly easy. The hardest part was knowing which cables go where. I got around that by taking pictures of the connections for the old one before I removed it and just matching the new cables to the pictures.

Unfortunately, this did not fix my computer. After a quick check to the power supply to verify it’s OK, I realized whatever damaged the power supply probably also ruined the motherboard. Doubly unfortunately, I know very little about motherboards and changing one is a bit more involved. “Altex” is pretty much the only store nearby that has internal computer parts but they don’t guarantee the parts. I once bought a memory card from them that didn’t work at all so I’m very reluctant to buy a motherboard from them. And online sources are out because all shopping sites are blocked at work, the only other location where I have access to a computer.

So, rather than deal with the motherboard, I just bought a new tower. I am currently studying the Ubuntu forums to figure out how to clone my old HD. Also, it really is a crime you can’t walk into a major store and ask for a BLANK computer. The sales guys at “Best Buy”, while helpful, were kinda baffled by the idea of selling a computer without an OS. As it is, I’m booting into a USB-install of Puppy Linux until I can recreate my previous HD install. Even that wasn’t so easy because Vista has this dumbass “Easy Config” program that tries to run immediately after you turn on the computer the first time.

In other news, I have NO self control at all. How do I know this? Because I walked into to “Best Buy” intent on purchasing a tower.... I walked out with a tower and a shiny new laptop. Because the most sensible action during a machine rebellion is to allow one more in your life. I’ve decided the tower will be my “official” computer and the laptop will be my “play” computer where I install and try out new stuff.

Now, if only I could figure out why TiVo cannot detect my phone line anymore....

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