cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 12:44pm on 19/08/2007 under , ,
I mentioned in one of my recent posts how we came home from our Sword Camp vacation, only to find that [ profile] esrblog's desktop machine had shut down and refused to reboot due to a dead graphics card fan.

So the following day, we went to our favorite cheap spare-parts computer store, Alpha Computer in Frazer, PA, and bought some more memory and a new graphics card. Unfortunately, [ profile] esrblog's window manager kept crashing. A 9-hour memory test came up clean, so he figured the problem was with the new graphics card.

Thus, the day after that, we went back to Alpha Computer, and persuaded them to replace the new graphics card with a different variety of new graphics card without further charge. Unfortunately, the new new graphics card failed to solve the problems. In fact, the machine acquired a new problem--Firefox started crashing. Often.

On Friday night, [ profile] esrblog tried to compile some C++ code for a Wesnoth project he's working on, and the compiler crashed. According to him, that's a symptom of bad memory--despite the prior favorable memory test. Seems that none of the problems were with the new graphics card/s after all.

So, on Saturday morning, a little before noon, we went back to Alpha Computer to get a replacement for the memory he'd bought. This time, he tested each one by attempting to do a C++ compile. To his surprise, all of the possibilities failed the test. Wondering if the relevant socket had gone bad, he returned all the memory sticks and got a refund.

By this time, [ profile] esrblog was wondering whether it wouldn't save trouble just to get a new desktop machine. So after a quick lunch, we went to our favorite used computer seller, Second Source in West Chester, PA, to see whether he could get Jason, the Saturday manager, who is a fan of his, to quote him a price for taking the old desktop machine off his hands. He also wanted to price inexpensive used laptop machines, since he needs to go on a business trip on the 23rd and wanted to have a machine available to him.

Jason couldn't quote us a price right off, but he observed that if a new laptop is what [ profile] esrblog wanted, Micro Center in Wayne, PA (our favorite shop for buying computer accessories) sells IBM X60s and X61s--the sort of machine [ profile] esrblog is used to, and really wants.

So we got back in the car and headed to Micro Center, where a salesman confirmed that they have such laptops, on sale, for $1699 (plus tax, of course).

At this point, [ profile] esrblog noted that, since the machine comes with Vista (which he will not use), he should go home and get a Ubuntu boot disk to confirm that one of these machines will, in fact, run Ubuntu. So we drove home (a half-hour's drive) and came back with the disk. It did boot (once a change in options was made at the bios level) so he bought one. After that we ate dinner, had some great ice cream at Handel's (Chocoholic Chunk!), and ran a few errands (not necessarily in that order) before heading home.

By the time we got home it was 8 P.M., and I was no longer in the mood to do anything useful, so I spent the rest of the night playing a buggy campaign in Battle for Wesnoth. I had previously reported the bugs, which managed to give me a level 3 Necromancer, a level 3 Mage of Light, a few Bone Knights, and a Bone Shooter--all in a campaign (Liberty) where I was not even eligible to recruit units I could level up into those units. Yes, it made the campaign insanely easy, but it was fun all the same.

[ profile] esrblog also had me get out my digital camera so that he could document NOT using Vista and installing Ubuntu over it (a procedure which supposedly may make it possible to get a refund of the license price out of Microsoft, and at least will make for a great anti-Microsoft photo essay for his website). So we did that. The most interesting thing about the process is that the screen that shows you the license is set up to make it impossible to move onward without checking "yes, I accept the license!" It has no other option, you see, and the "next" button is grayed out--presumably until you check the box. He didn't, of course.
Mood:: 'tired and frustrated' tired and frustrated