The timing was amazing…

I got a new computer yesterday, hand-delivered from the steamy jungles of the Land of Enchantment. After rounding up the needed other parts yesterday (going to take a little getting used to the shift key not being where I expect it), I got things up and running without difficulty. I took a break for some tea, and said to myself, “self, I sure hope the laptop has some more good years in it, now that you’ve bought a desktop machine.” I took my steaming mug of caffeine back to my work table and opened up the laptop.

Obviously the gods of computing (very difficult to tell from the demons of computing) were listening, because at that very moment the screen did a little flickery dance and the computer froze up.

Moments, mere seconds before I started to copy files over to the new machine.

I already knew what the problem was, but this time things were going much more badly. My guess is that the sparks and general bad things that happened before have caused other damage to the video controller. I managed to get things working, more or less, by removing the back of the road warrior and tipping it up on its side while it ran. After poking at the video card and wedging a matchstick in at a critical point, I was able to keep it running well enough that I could access it over the network and begin moving files.

Did I start with my writing, or my software projects? No, of course not. The match stick was working, things were under control. Instead I moved a bunch of junk I wanted to burn to DVD and get out of the way. The hard drive was getting very full, and affecting performance.

Things have become dramatically worse. This morning the Road Warrior can’t run for more than a few seconds before the video problems freeze it up. It can’t even finish rebooting. Finally I disconnected the video controller completely and booted it. I can’t see the screen, but I can access files over the network.

I don’t think any amount of duct tape is going to solve this problem. My blogging software is still over there (I really want the mobile machine to be my blogging platform), so I’m adding this entry the old-fashioned way. None of the usual bottom-of-the-entry links are going to work right, except the comments, which I hard-coded.

Now what I want to do more than anything else is go somewhere and write, but I can’t.

Edited to add: I have the blog software running on the mini now, so the automatic stuff should be restored. I have tried to keep the hard link to the comments here:

Discuss Things that Suck

There is a chance that uploading this will blow away the entire blog if I didn’t move the data over correctly. That would really suck.

31 thoughts on “The timing was amazing…

  1. Being MOH definitely doesn’t suck (Try this line at a bar next time with a pretty girl: “Hi. Did you know I’m the Current Millennium Office Holder on Jerry Seeger’s blog, Muddled Ramblings and Half Baked Ideas? Yes, that Jerry Seeger.”) so I’ve decided to retain the title.

    At this time I’d like to thank some of the mini-henchmen that made my 48,017th visit possible:
    Visitor 48013, searching for the czech word for shit.
    Visitor 48014, Carol Anne.
    Visitor 48015, one of Jerry’s San Diego minions (there are so many of us I can’t tell us apart)
    and finally
    Visitor 48016, Bob Forman: so tantalizingly, deliciously, enticingly close…and yet, in the end, abject failure.

    the benevolent one
    (actually, the benevolent 48,017th)

  2. Speaking of things that suck. My new computer lasted less than 48 hours before failing completely. It’s going to the shop, and apparently I’m on vacation.

  3. Congrats on the new computer. Whatcha get??!!!

    My G3 is still two almost-always-on machines away from my G5 because I haven’t transfered everything over yet. Or rather, upgraded everything I need to upgrade. Like image editing software…

  4. Oh, she meant ‘scary blog entry.’ I thought she was describing the entire ambiance of Muddled Ramblings. Guess I’ll file Lydia with Jesse as ‘just too subtle for the likes of me.’

    But really, wouldn’t it be cool (and a feather in Jer’s skull cap) if some egg fryer showed up and left the message, “Your haikus clearly indicate psychotic instability. You and your minions scare me. This is the most demented, twisted corner of the blogosphere I’ve ever seen.” Of course, it would have to be a very sheltered egg fryer, but still…

  5. Sorry if I’ve let the atmosphere brighten around here. I’ve been on vacation in dreary Los Alamos, which recharged my gloom-and-doom batteries thoroughly.

  6. What, John, you consider nearly nonstop rain to be gloomy? Constant drip-drip-dripping to be depressing? Water water everywhere wearying?

    Hey, it all means there’s more water in the lake! Let’s go sailing!

  7. I have, in the past, described myself lightly as a workaholic. Juxtaposed with my non-income it’s kinda funny. It’s always funny until you take the drug away.

    This time, not so good. Being unable to work has completely flattened me, to the point were I can’t even muster the energy to call the guy to see if he can fix my computer. I am messed up.

  8. I nominate our esteemed MOH – “subtle-as-a-fart-in-church” to call the computer guy. I’m jonesin, maaann and I need a fix of that sweet MR&HBI.
    If I have to go out on the street and fix on any old blog…well who knows what that Shi been cut with.

  9. I have not witnessed comment vanishment, but when I moved the blog to the new machine there were some dicey moments when I thought I had blown everything away. Hopefully whatever comments were lost will reappear when I have the tecnology.

  10. What has vanished is not the comments themselves, but the list of most recent comments in the sidebar. Said list has also disappeared from Fuego’s Place and Beer ‘n Trucks, which leads me to believe it’s a problem with Haloscan, not with your computer.

    However, you might want to check with the folks at Haloscan to see what’s up.

  11. I also can’t find the recent comments on the sidebar. I also posted some Anchorage vs Santa Barbara comments that never appeared.

  12. Heyes, if I could. I’d put you at the top of the poetry rotation rigt now.

    The list of recent posts is thanks to a service from (if I recall crectly) Maricopa College, which turns the RSS feed into an html list. I sure hope that hasn’t gone away.

    Haloscan seems to be up and running, but technology is a cagey bride. It seems Bob saw the posts, at least. Had you posted them to a page that no longer existed or who’s identity had changed, I would still be able to find them.

    In the words of Kim Stanley Robinson (a fine, fine, writer) SITS – Something In The Silicon. A side efect of very complex systems is that there will be erros that are never understood.

  13. Scary enough blog since Jerry speaks ‘me’. Witness last night’s catch up time. Still bummed you can’t ramble your usual fun and chaos.

    Hmmmm….dunno much. Work is evil Jerry! It’s the playing with work you miss.

  14. So, it seems we will all have to chip in and get Jerry a new computer. The Mini dies, the lap-top died, and he is left with Gigantor – a Compaq that wieghs as much as a Yugo, and works about as fast.

    Any ideas?

  15. The Compaq has a fast enough processor – the lights dim with I fire it up. Battery life: 3 minutes. I’m considering removing the battery to reduce weight. My bigest beef with the beast (other than it doesn’t run any of the software I use on a daily basis) is that the keyboard has the action of an old Smith-Corona. My fingers are getting a workout.

    Just talked to Vlad, he’s going to sell me a used Powerbook far newer than the one that died (newer -> faster -> shorter battery life). It will be a couple of days before it is ready, though. Meanwhile I have a couple of episodes written, waiting for the technology to post them.

    Soon. Soon. I keep telling myself that.

  16. Jerry,
    Are you attending the astronomer’s convention in Prague, and if so, are you carrying credentials that will allow you to vote on whether Pluto remains a planet?
    Despite your astronomical proximity to the convention and your historical connection to the VLA, I suspect not. Because if you were, I’m sure you would have asked us, your loyal minions, how you should vote, in the form of a poll.

  17. To recover data on a machine with fried video card: firewire the new machine to the old. Boot the old machine in “target disk mode” (cmd-T at boot time, I think, but google will confirm). It will show as a mounted disk on the new machine, and will be running no software (including OS) whatsoever, so you can copy *everything* over. Also handy for defragging a disk (which is eventually needed in OSX, no matter what you read to the contrary). -b.

  18. That’s exactly what I was doing when the new machine died. The new problems with the old Mac may preclude that solution, but only a working Mac will tell for sure.

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