Category Archives: the battle of the computer

progress?

i’ve discovered what the problem is with my linux box: i tried to upgrade directly from hardy to jaunty without going through intrepid first. it really wasn’t my fault, i just did what the upgrade application told me to, but that doesn’t make my box any less broken. fortunately, i appear to have found a linux guru on kubuntuforums.net who is the eternal optimist and thinks that i can probably rescue my box without having to reinstall. i’m up for it, but i would also be up for reinstalling if it doesn’t work out. meanwhile i’m learning all about aptitude -f install and dpkg --force-overwrite -i and other arcane goodies that go over the heads of about 90% of the other kubuntu users out there. and my linux box is still broken. oh well…

i got an order for 3000 postcards yesterday, which will ultimately be sent to japan, and i mowed the lawn for the first time this year as well. also i’ve got a BSSB rehearsal later this evening, so despite my broken linux box and my ongoing depression, i’m keeping busy enough that it doesn’t hurt as much.

ETA, 5:00pm: the linux guru i met turned me on to skype, which i now have installed on my mac, so if any of you are inclined to actually talk to me, i can be reached at przxqgl. we didn’t get very far, but i am more convinced than ever that we will actually be able to rescue this box instead of reinstalling it. i’m now doing a remote ssh to the linux box and running all the commands on my mac, which saves me getting confused over which keyboard i’m typing into.

HAH!… sort of… i guess… 8/

so my linux box had a bunch of package updates that it had to install, so i finally got around to installing them today, and when they were done, it told me that i had a version upgrade (jaunty jackalope) that i could install, and so i decided to install it as well. strangely enough, there was something wrong with the upgrade and the ultimate result was that it lost the mouse and keyboard, which meant that i couldn’t log in.

fortunately (sort of), i have the /home on a secondary disk, and i have my calendar backed up on google, so the only thing i can’t immediately access is my email database. i have access to my email accounts, just not the already sent and received email that i have on my computer.

so, the battle of the computer begins again, but it’s all a lot more under control, sort of, than it has been in the past. i have to figure out why the computer apparently isn’t seeing the CD-ROM drive on startup, and i have to figure out why the computer isn’t seeing the mouse and keyboard when it boots from the hard disk, but i have a computer, and a calendar, and the ability to fill orders (if i get any) without too much difficulty, so it’s not a reason to panic and run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off…

coming to the end of another moisture festival

i met ukulele dick at the moisture festival the other day. his “real name”, acording to his schtick, is Banjo Penis. i traded him a copy of serpentine for a copy of his ukulele dick cd and a copy of his “Dick Dujour” cd, Music to Scare Children by. i’ve been listening to them on and off throughout the day, and i must say, the guy is more than just a ukulele player. i also made buttons for him that say “Act Dorky, Live Forever”. i’ve got performances on friday and sunday for sure, and possibly saturday.

the big news, or maybe not so big if you hang out with the right people, i guess, is that circus contraption is breaking up. i have no idea why, but i can imagine, as with most artistic organisations like that, that there were some artistic differences somewhere along the lines.

other news: my SSDI hearing is the 24th. i’m approaching it with an interesting mixture of hilarity and dread. i got to see part of the forms ned was filling out earlier in the week, and he said about 10 things, of which i would think that 1 of which should be enough to get me on the “disabled” list in a perfect world, but because of the fact that the world is decidedly imperfect, i don’t know if it will help or not. we’re going to work on it some more after the moisture festival is over.

also i’m getting ready to be able to accept credit cards on hybrid elephant, but i’ve only gotten one order since i went live with the new site, so i’m wondering if i can’t put it off for another month until i get more of an idea about whether or not people are going to notice it.

despite the fact that i won the battle of the computer in record time – this time – i learned a bunch of things that i didn’t know in the process. the main thing i learned is that the intermittent quiet scratching noise coming from the computer is the power supply fan, which, instead of turning on and doing what it is supposed to do when power is applied, in fact, it rotates weakly, not anywhere near fast enough to be anything like the heat sink that it’s supposed to be, and intermittently emits a scratching sound that makes me think that it, too, is not long for this world.

<stewie>victory is mine!</stewie>

linux computer is back up and working! i backed up my calendar and now i have it on both my main computers – with them cross-connected so that any changes i make on one will automatically show up on the other (which, it’s my understanding, that you can’t do on windoesn’t without a significant amount more futzing about than i was willing to put into the whole deal – thank you linus torvalds and steve jobs, fuck you bill gates), and i am currently backing up my /home directory (with all of my email) which is something that i was going to do right before the computer died, so that if it happens again i’ll be even more prepared the next time.

apparently i fried the processor. the guy i took it to, which is right down the hill from my house (extremely convenient) said that the processor heat-sink was installed backwards – thank you re-pc – but he just happened to have another processor of the same size and speed. it turned out that he had a huge box of brand new processors, one of which he installed, then put the heat-sink back the correct way, and hooked up the LEDs on the front of the computer (which i had never bothered to connect because they don’t actually do anything other than light up), and he only charged me $50, which makes him my new best friend.

GROWL!

linux computer is dead, which isn’t really surprising considering that is built out of spare bits and pieces of several other computers. i’ve ruled out the power supply, for two reasons: one is that i replaced it about six months ago, and the other is that i actually took my computer to RePC (where a lot of the parts came from) and had the guy check it out. he checked out the power supply (which lit up his testing device with green lights, indicating that the power supply is working correctly), but refused to look at it any further(!) because it was too dirty(!), despite the fact that it wasn’t that dirty and i have seen computers which worked fine and were orders of magnitude more dirty than mine was… still, i brought it home and cleaned it, but it still won’t boot.

unfortunately, i have a 1:00 call today and i’m performing until 1:00 tomorrow morning, then i have a 10:00 AM(!) call tomorrow and i’m assuming that i will be performing until 1:00 am monday, but i’m not sure because my calendar was on my linux computer and isn’t accessible, in spite of the fact that it’s probably still there. but one way or another, there’s a good chance that i won’t even get to look at my computer until monday, and given a perfect-case scenario, won’t actually get it working again until tuesday or wednesday, which means that i have to re-create my calendar somewhere other than my linux box.