Tag Archives: computer

Proxy post: PMS

Proxy: n. a person authorized to act for another
Post: n. a blog entry, like this.

My computer is on the fritz again, causing me shit fits – it’s a Windows boot issue, and though most of my data is backed up, the two files I’m presently working on are NOT and one I have to reconstruct by tomorrow. So….

I’m resorting to using a post sent to me by fengshuibyfishgirl
, a fellow WordPress blogger and feng shui practitioner. She is my proxy today while I hyperventilate and hurl dog turds and bad language at my computer.

She sends these definitions of PMS:

10  Things PMS Stands For:

1.  Pass My Shotgun
2.  Psychotic Mood Shift
3.  Perpetual Munching Spree
4.  Puffy Mid-Section
5.  People Make me Sick
6.  Provide Me Sweets
7.  Pardon My Sobbing
8.  Pimples May Surface
9.  Pass My Sweatpants
10.  Pitiful Mood Syndrome

I’ll take 2 aspirin and feel better in the morning. Grrrrrrr.

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Pogue plugs in to tech savings…

Pogue: n. David Pogue, the tech columnist for the New York Times

Plug in: v. Connect

David Pogue is the puckish tech guy whose column has come to substitute for my attachment to PC Magazine.  I don’t always catch his columns, but whenever I do, they ignite my inner geek’s acquisitive nature.

His most recent column is about “saving” money on your tech devices.  Now I know that even if you buy something at 80% off, you have not saved money; you’ve spent 20% more than nothing. (OK I know my math is incorrect, but you get the idea…).

His first suggestions – I’ll give him credit for this – really are about saving money: by letting go of your cable TV contract (a good one for me, since I watch about an hour a month and can watch many shows and reruns on the computer); letting go of your land line (thinking about that as we speak…); and eliminating your cell phone contract and going on a monthly plan (can’t do that till my contract runs out in July).

If I stop paying Comcast for my land line ($22/mo) and my basic cable service ($13/mo) I’m $35 a month to the good = $420 a year.

$420…. to spend (!) on Pogue’s final suggestion: buying computer gear that’s been refurbished.

Ahhh. I am SO ready for a new laptop. My current one is four years old and sounds like it’s digesting an entire Thanksgiving dinner when I ask it to do certain things.  I’ve been eying the Dell XPS 1530 for a year, and refurbished I can get one for about $700.

DOWN GIRL!!!!   I have to snap myself out of geek lust.  What I really need to do is back up the laptop, reformat the drive and reload just the few programs I use on it.  Only if that doesn’t solve the problem, do I have the right to think about replacing it.

I HATE reloading software.  I just went through this a few months ago with my desktop.

Sigh.

PC Magazine on paper: RIP

PC: n. abbreviation for personal computer (in this instance)

Paper: n. a felted sheet of plant fibers laid down on a fine screen from a water suspension, often suitable for the display of printed words.

Ziff-Davis, publishers of PC Magazine, announced today that starting in January the “magazine” would appear only online – no longer in its paper version. End of an era.

Although I let my subscription lapse about a dozen years ago, PC Magazine was once my favorite read.
An addiction, actually.

For a liberal arts kinda gal, I always had a nerd side. Computer nerd. I bought my first computer for an unspeakable amount of money in 1980 and have never looked back.

It made writing a whole lot easier, but as time went on I got so intrigued by the technology that I got myself hired at a local custom-computer-building outfit in Berkeley, working for a couple of legitimate geeks – ordering parts, selling systems, doing tech support, training users.  Since I had zero background in electronics I had to educate myself in order to stay at least one step ahead of my customers.

That’s where PC Magazine came in.  It was my bible.  I read every issue from cover to cover. My husband grew jealous because I took it to bed with me and gave the magazine more attention than him. (Perhaps this explains our divorce??)

I kept the back issues and they began to crowd out the real literature on our book shelves.

In 1990 the magazine developed a huge online community on Compuserve, called PCMagNet, of which I was an enthusiastic member – even got my picture taken for a full page PCMAgNet ad (token female user) that appeared in several magazines.

When we moved to Washington State in 1992, I left the computer profession behind, but not my attachment to PC Magazine.  However, removed from the day-to-day business of computing, I began to see the magazine for what it really was: xornography (a p-word in disguise to throw off spammers) for geeks.  It was impossible to read the magazine without lusting for some faster, flashier, slicker piece of hardware or software.

My own gear invariably came up insufficient.

Without the benefit of being able to get new gear at cost any more, the magazine became torment, and finally I cancelled my subscription.

I still flip through the current issue when I see it on a newsstand, and I do check reviews at PCMag.com when I’m contemplating something new (or did when I had the $$ to do so), but I have recovered.

Here’s the cover of their final print edition. Oh, that logo is soooo familiar, so evocative. RIP, friend.

pcmag

Patience

Patience: 1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. 2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.

One week and six hours ago I turned on my computer to discover it hung at the Windows screen.

*I rummaged thru my geek experience and pulled up a bunch of tricks. Tried them. Nothing. I went online and looked for more tricks (I have a laptop too). Nothing.*

[Repeat several times from * to * while breathing deeply.]

I slept on it and tried more tricks the next day with the help of a techie pro. Nothing.

Thinking it was a bad drive I ordered a new highly recommended one from Newegg.com and tried to move on to other things for a few days. I took lots of yoga classes. Breathed deep. A gal in my yoga class shared about having to pull life-support from her severely damaged newborn. Another spoke of trying to make peace with her dying mother. And I’m hyperventilating over a hard drive?

Breathed some more.

The new drive arrived yesterday afternoon and I transplanted it where the sickie had been. Partitioned it, loaded Windows. Or so I thought. When I turned the machine back on it hung in the very same spot.

[Repeat from * to * above while breathing deeply.]

No dice. So…

As I said earlier, “phuck that!” This morning I did what I should have done a week ago – I took it into the local computer shop. They’ve got the spare parts and they have the patience.

In prior incarnations I’d have been rending my clothes over such a disruption, but there’s still plenty room for improvement in the patience department.

PHUCK!!!

I know I said I’d only be using P-words on this blog that were of the voiceless bilabial plosive sort, and that I would eschew fake P-words that sounded like F, N, S, or T, but today I must break that rule.

My workhorse computer, “Big Mama,” came down with the phlu yesterday – totally phucked up – and I’ve spent most of the past two days trying to restore her health. Windows won’t come up, but tries in so many peculiar ways that I now think it’s the hard drive. I am tech savy enough that usually I can fix such glitches, but this one just got worse and worse. I went so far as to call in a mobile tech I called who was also baffled. And I’m $140 poorer. So far.

And OF COURSE I HAVEN’T BACKED UP my most important files in a couple of weeks… so I stand to lose a lot of data if I have to reformat (or get a new drive). Monday I’ll have to find a shop with a good bench to see if they can at least get those important files off. THEN I have to do the unbelievably noxious task of reinstalling programs on a new drive.

Pshit! (The P is silent.)