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The EM Curse

I’m view­ing this entry on my ginor­mous 22″ mon­i­tor. My hero acquired it via freecy­cle, tot­ed it from the pre­vi­ous own­er’s house to our car and into our house again. It has some insane­ly love­ly res­o­lu­tion and so on, and is so big that I can have the text size set to HUGE and still get lots of stuff on a screen (not that Win­dows does that text-size-chang­ing ele­gant­ly, but that’s anoth­er top­ic).

My video and sound cards are absolute­ly awe­some com­pared to what I was using in the lap­top! I can even go on Sec­ond Life with­out spend­ing all of my time wait­ing for every­thing to resolve!

This is thanks to Sam, who acquired and set up this com­put­er for me. Thank you, sweet­ie!

He was actu­al­ly doing this already, part­ly because he want­ed me to join him on SL more fre­quent­ly, but then it became a real neces­si­ty, because we’ve expe­ri­enced some sort of odd electro­mechan­i­cal curse recent­ly.

Those of you who read Sam’s jour­nal know that he lost all the infor­ma­tion on both hard dri­ves in his machine recent­ly. That meant all the back­up infor­ma­tion was gone. We did­n’t ever find an expla­na­tion, but I think it was the hard dri­ve con­troller. In any case, we had to upgrade to SATA because that was more eco­nom­i­cal­ly fea­si­ble than try­ing to find EIDE dri­ves, and he has­n’t had more prob­lems since then.

What I can do from home/school/medical what­ev­ers has been fur­ther lim­it­ed now by the loss of my lap­top. It just died a few months ago. It had been going in lit­tle pieces—the PCMCIA slot did­n’t want to work for NICs, then the SD card read­er became unre­li­able, then the eth­er­net port lost the lit­tle tab that keeps the cord plugged in, and final­ly the place where the pow­er cord plugs in to the case got weird and the cord just would­n’t stay con­nect­ed well. I think all the pow­er prob­lems screwed with the oth­er parts at the end (yes, ter­ri­bly tech­ni­cal lan­guage there). The hard dri­ve was read­able, hap­pi­ly.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I’d just moved all my data else­where because I was about to rebuild the soft­ware on the lap­top, and the SAMBA server’s data dri­ve fell down and went boom. It’s sor­ta read­able in an exter­nal hard dri­ve enclo­sure if mount­ed with Ext2Fsd on a Win­dows machine. Of course, we can’t find the pow­er sup­ply for the exter­nal hard dri­ve enclo­sure, although it was right there with the enclo­sure just a few weeks ago. ::Sigh

When we try to put the dri­ve in the rebuilt Lin­ux machine, the machine (which is run­ning a very dif­fer­ent dis­tri­b­u­tion now) keeps want­i­ng to imme­di­ate­ly do some­thing to the boot sec­tions of the dri­ve, and I’m afraid that’ll make it total­ly unread­able. Yes, I said, “do some­thing” because Sam tried that part, not me. I’d rather not give details than be wrong.

I don’t know what the serv­er used to run. I used Red Hat. When Sam took it over, he tried sev­er­al dif­fer­ent things and I can’t recall what he set­tled on (to end users, it hard­ly mat­ters, which is how it should be). The rebuilt machine runs Ubun­tu.

Yes, we do use UPSs. No, there was no mal­ware involved. All phys­i­cal fail­ures. (Most of) the equip­ment was old. So we’re down a few machines and a lot of dri­ves.

Oh! The microwave! It went out dra­mat­i­cal­ly, with a big sound and flames and all! I’m glad I missed it. Hear­ing about it was all too excit­ing.

Then the toast­er decid­ed that it may or may not pop up its con­tents, and it might or might not have toast­ed them in the mean­time. It’s a Schrödinger’s toast­er, appar­ent­ly.

Oh, then there were the cell phones. Mine, then Katie’s. Just stopped work­ing one day. Okay, dif­fer­ent days, but you get the pic­ture. Both have been replaced now, but she and I were shar­ing one there for a bit, which Was Not Fun.

Katie has an inter­est­ing new art project, the Dis­cor­dian PDA. She’s going to get advice from her (won­der­ful) art teacher as to what kind of paint would work well on a Palm. That’s a good way to use one that won’t keep it’s time or date reli­ably any more. Or charge. It’s pret­ty much a paper­weight, so it might as well be love­ly to look at it. Not ter­ri­bly use­ful for keep­ing cal­en­dars, con­tacts, and so on, and our phones don’t sync with the rest of the world so well (ah, to have Tre­os!), so we’re down a PDA.

My car­pet steam­er still just won’t coop­er­ate (I think the ex screwed it up when she was “fix­ing it” with­out hav­ing ever seen one before), so I’m almost ready to toss it. I can hope to acquire one via freecy­cle, or wait ’til they go on sale, but repair of such things is sel­dom worth­while unless the shop can imme­di­ate­ly say, “Oh, that’s the (com­mon thing) and it’ll be (amount). I can have it done in two hours.”

I know there was some­thing else, or sev­er­al of them, that died dur­ing this time, too. A/V relat­ed, I think.

Any­body wan­na come remove a curse?

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