Friday, March 30, 2012

Laptop, Geek Squad and Fun

So I got a new laptop. Well, new to me at least. The story is that my mother-in-law had bought this computer (really, the one I'm typing on now) a few years ago, 2009 I think, and by fall 2011 it wasn't working at all. So they took it to the Geek Squad and they said 'nothing we can do, needs a new hard drive'. Two months ago, she gave it to me for 'spare parts.' I didn't really know what happened to it so I fired it up. When it got to the Windows 7 'Starting Wnidows' screen, I knew it wasn't the hard drive. However, I did get a, dum dum dum duh, Blue Screen of Death. I haven't seen one yet on Windows 7, so I was shocked to see one now. The message was UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. Fine, simple, reload the software. I actually found on the HP website the Recovery Disk for $15. Then the battery was shot so I order a new battery. Then something happened to the original charger and it was replaced with a generic Rocketfish adapter. Got a new adapter too. All told I spent $50.

So then I'm playing with the laptop and realized, damn, this is hot! Damn hot! Did some searches and found that since the fan intake is on the bottom of the laptop, and since folks tend to put a laptop on their lap (novel idea!) that the fan sucks in lint and what not from your clothes. So found some directions and disassembled the whole thing. I found that the fan had packed in some lint, hair, etc on the exhaust side of the fan. It was so thick it reminds me of dryer lint. Ya know how dense that is, right? Exactly. So I cleaned that out and now it's cool as a cucumber. I also upgraded the BIOS to current and flipped a switch in the BIOS to run the fan as needed rather than all the time. I deduced that the fan running all the time and the excessive heat probably killed the battery prematurely.

Anyway, when I got the disk from HP. I reloaded the software. Now I'm an Ubuntu fan, but I know full well that when you need to run some Windows program it's much better to have Windows installed than use Wine or equivalent. Unfortunately, HP does not have it in mind to make those Recovery Disks user configurable. So the disk I get re-imaged the hard drive back to factory. Then of course I get all of the junk programs with trials and useless software. In the end, deleted the junk software, and installed Ubuntu 11.10 alongside Windows.

Works like a charm, my computer does. And it was a lot of fun to work with.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Floppy

I was thinking about the floppy this morning. At one time it was the only way to carry data from place to place. And now it is no longer useful. Sure you might be able to store one Word doc on it. With the megapixels were into now with pictures and the lossless quality music files, the floppy just doesn't cut it.

I recall my first floppy drives. Back in the day, I had a Tandy 1000 with two floppy drives. Both were of the 5.25" variety. I remember, also, that those floppy drives were the only way to get use of the computer. No hard drive!

Then we got the 3.5" floppy. 200 more KB and even more portable. I still have a 3.5" floppy in my desktop. I'm not thinking that I'll ever really be able to use it. I'm just too lazy to take it out.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tech at my house

Currently I have the following tech:

3 HP laptops (2 in use)
1 home built desktop
2 iPhones
Play station 3
1 TB network drive

I'll comment on them all in future posts.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Windows XP

It's dead at my house. How about yours?

I would say that XP helped more people get connected than any other OS at its time. I recall buying the full version in 2002 and installing on my first home built computer. At the time, of course, the OS was much faster than its predecessors and better looking as well. I will say that I won't miss BSOD though.

Bye XP.

First blog

Well never had a blog before so I thought I'd give one a whirl.