Friday, March 27, 2009

He's Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

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I hope some of you missed me. I had a week from purgatory, so to speak.

Last Friday the lights started flickering and before I knew it, I heard a loud "POP" and noticed rivulets of smoke wafting out the back of my computer. All was dead. I wondered if it was the power or just the power supply in my 16 month old computer. Saturday I ran down to my local computer shop on University Avenue next to Prospect Park and had a new power supply installed. I'm normally not afraid to mess around inside my computer, but there seemed to be a lot of different wire connections that could go wrong. It took less than an hour, including drive time. Only $75, a lot less than I expected, and I got to watch him do the job and could ask a few questions.

Back home, I booted 'er up and things seemed to be fine --- for 20 minutes and then I flipped on one of the lights as it was getting late in the day and it started flickering again. And, "POP", the power supply went again with more rivulets of smoke. Too late to go back to the shop. Then I noticed as I put more lights on, they started flickering again. It was the building power after all. I called the manager, fearful of a possible fire or who knows what and he immediately knew what I was talking about and said he would call an electrician and have him come out on Monday (no sense paying overtime, and, if he knew about the problem, why didn't he tell us?). I had another new power supply put in on Tuesday and got it back home, hooked it up, flipped the switch and NOTHING HAPPENED. Back to the shop to have them verify that it should work, it did on their power, and they gave me a new power cord saying the other one might have burned out on the second blow (how can an electrical cord burn out and not show signs of "melting"?).

Got it home, hooked it up, and it started off perfectly. I thought. Because when I went to access some of my favorite sites on the internet, I discovered that my broadband modem had fried also. Went to bed.

Got a new DSL modem last night from Qwest, carefully followed the instructions and everything seemed to be humming along until I got a message telling me to call Qwest. The warning message said they needed to fix one of their errors. Spent 30 minutes on the phone with them and they couldn't get it going, even thought they thought I had made no mistakes so they said I should call my local provider to have them "authenticate" the modem. That took about 90 minutes and didn't work. Went to bed.

Called Qwest again this morning and a different rep verified that I was hooked up properly and she called my local provider and explained in geek-talk what was needed to them and a guy came on the line and in about ten minutes hooked me up.

So. . . .

I have about 300 messages in my inbox. Please bear with as I try to get them handled this weekend.

Lesson learned: I have owned computers since 1989 and I've fought with modems and other installations many times. I'm pretty much self taught. Which means trial and error and error and error, etc. In the early years it might take me a day or two to get the installation done, at the spiritual cost of lots of violations of the Second Commandment and frequent use of an offensive vocabulary I'm embarrassed to admit that from much practice I know how to use creatively.

This time, no Second Commandment infractions or other crude expletives could have been heard by someone outside lmy window. Perhaps that is one benefit that I have received from writing Stella Borealis for these past three years.
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