Category Archives: malfunctioning computers

finally… sort of… 8/

moe and i went camping last week. two days before we were supposed to leave, i tried to log into my (new) blog, only to discover that it had been shut down. apparently the blog software increases the server load enough that my host service thought i had been hacked, so they shut down the whole domain until i called and straightened them out. they removed the block on the main site almost immediately, but they kept the block on my blog until they could figure out what was going on. i said that would be fine, because i was going on vacation for a week, which would give them plenty of time to straighten things out.

also, i figured that, as long as there was a possibility that my personal computer(s) had been coopted as well, i would use the opportunity to upgrade my operating system from a 5-year-old distribution to a more current one, so i made a backup, and went camping for a week, intending to do the upgrade when i returned.

when i returned, the first thing i did was upgrade my OS. i figured (for a variety of reasons) to upgrade to dapper drake (kubuntu 6.06), which i got up and running fairly quickly, although there were some things that i thought strange. i should have known that if something appears wrong, it probably is, but i blissfully ignored it, thinking that it was just something that was named differently between the mandrake OS i was used to and the debian OS to which i had upgraded.

specifically, the “problem” (i don’t know what else to call it at this point) was (is) that, for some reason, the installation of dapper that i got running with no problem, didn’t have some packages that it was supposed to have, including gimp, firefox, ark, and a bunch of other, more arcane stuff. no problem, i figured, i’ll just install the packages separately: no dice… both firefox and gimp “BREAK” when i request their installation, but there is no obvious indication of what “BREAK”s, or how to fix it… ark is installed, but it doesn’t work, so i remove the package and try to reinstall it, but it ignores my requests to install. all during this time, i am blissfully supposing that my installation will work out in the end, and doing things like reinstalling my mail, schedule, address book and so forth.

finally it comes to a head and i decide that reinstallation is the best option, so i reinatall again and get exactly the same thing!!!! 8/

so i tried the old, 5-year-old installation disks, thinking that it was running before, so it should run now. i went through a somewhat more difficult install that ended the way i thought it should, and rebooted…

it started to boot the way i thought it should, but then, when it came time to start initialising the graphics, THE COMPUTER FROZE!!!!!!!!!! >8/

i went through the first part of the install of dapper on my windows laptop (without actually installing it), and determined that it does, indeed, have firefox preinstalled, as well as a bunch of other stuff that wasn’t showing up on my other box. i also went through the other disks on my laptop, which appeared to work okay. so i figured maybe it’s because of the fact that i have a “no-name” generic plug-n-pray monitor. so i just happen to have a sony 17″ monitor lying around (thanks to my mother in law, who said it was a “flat screen” even though it isn’t), so i pull my no-name monitor out and install the sony monitor and try again…

Disk error 10. AX = 4280, drive 9F.
Boot failed: press a key to retry

this is from my dapper “live” CD… 8/

i’ve spent all day, two days in a row geeking around with various computers and computer parts, and the only thing i have accomplished is to replace my monitor with this big, ugly silver monstrosity, which, while it does work better, it’s only on my windows and mac machines. i’ve now got a box that used to have a mostly functional installation of mandrake 9.2 on it that is now blank. i stayed up until 2:30 am yesterday, it’s 10:20 pm now, i’m so tired i can’t see straight, but i can’t go to bed without trying something… anything to get my linux box up and running again.

on top of that, i downloaded an .iso of feisty fawn (kubuntu 7.04) to see if that would work, but… on my windows box, the .iso is bigger than the blank CD will accept by a few k, which means that i can’t burn it, on my Os9 mac it fits and it’s all there, but it won’t boot, and when i tried it using the live CD of dapper (before it died), it said that it was going on okay, but when it was finished, the first time it froze before it completed the burning process, and the second time it said it was successful, but when i looked at the disk, it was blank… }8/

however, i also processed three rolls of film from our vacation, and they finally got whatever was wrong with my blog sorted out, so if nothing else, i can bitch about malfunctioning computers…

1102

one of my paypal accounts was compromised, which resulted in about $100 being withdrawn from my bank account for “purchases” and “subscriptions” i did not make. fortunately paypal was on the ball, and fortunately i check the account on a daily basis, otherwise it could have been much worse. also, really fortunately, it wasn’t my hybrid elephant account, but another one. unfortunately, it was an account that i had used to buy a new DVD from The Bobs, and that purchase got caught up in the group of purchases that were cancelled when they realised something screwy was going on. i have to give paypal credit for actually noticing that something was screwy when the person who compromised the account changed the default language to chinese, and limited access to the account at that point. it’s also a good thing that i don’t actually keep any money in my paypal accounts, otherwise that would very likely be in the hands of some chinese hacker at this point. i still have to wait a week while paypal waits for a “response from the other party” before they declare it a fraud and refund my money.

1098

i’m thinking of moving this blog to my own host, and possibly changing the format to wordpress, so as to get away from the bizarreness caused by sixapart and their childish rule-making. i’ve got a server with a lot of space, and the ability to create subdomains, so why not? it would mean that i don’t have to pay 6A for an account, i could let this account lapse back to a free account, so that i could comment on friends’ posts, and there’s a good chance that i could turn my wordpress blog into a RSS feed, so my livejournal friends can keep up with my posts as well.

i’m learning more about this tomorrow.