Category Archives: malfunctioning computers

argh part 5

i took back the asus mother board, because i didn’t want to spend time geeking with the dip switches in order to get the damn thing running again. it turned out that, during the intervening time between the time that i brought the asus mobo home and the time that i brought it back, re-pc got a whole bunch more socket A mother boards in stock, so i traded it straight across for another mobo (a matsonic MS8308EP), brought it home, got it all plugged in, but nothing works…

now i know that it works, because i watched the guy (the friendly one with the lip-ring named jake) at re-pc POST it with my processor and my memory while i was at re-pc.… at this point, i’m thinking it was a combination of fried mobo and fried power supply. fortunately the check from australia cleared over the weekend, so now i have $72 in my bank account now, so what i’ll probably do is go back to re-pc on my way to rehearsal this evening, buy the power supply that i took back last week (again) and give that a shot when i get home… 8/

argh! part 4

so i went to Re-PC yesterday and bought a new socket A mother board which is an Asus A7V. i got it installed and fired it up and, apparently, the mother board sent a signal to the power supply that said “shut down now, before you start frying things”. not only that, but i had to get a video expansion card because it didn’t have onboard video, like the previous mother board had, but i neglected to get a network expansion card, because it doesn’t have onboard network, like the previous mother board had, because i neglected to think of it until i got it installed, so even if it was working perfectly, i still couldn’t get on the network. not only that, but there are two rows of switches, one component with 4 switches, which, according to the review, has something to do with the front-side bus (whatever that is), and one component with 6 switches, which has something to do with the CPU speed, or something like that, but i don’t know what. there’s a good bet that they have something to do with the fact that the mother board thinks the power supply is going to fry something.

aarrggh!! part 3, continued

it’s an ASRock M810LMR mother board, and after clearing the CMOS on it, it still doesn’t work, which is a solid indication that the mother board is defective…

which i don’t get at all… how can a part of the computer that has no moving parts “wear out”?

presumably, if i buy another socket A462 motherboard (because i don’t want to have to buy a new processor), something more than what has been happening will happen. also i have to be careful to get a mother board that takes DIMM memory chips, because i don’t want to have to buy new memory as well. my recollection is that the mother board itself cost around $40, but if i have to buy a new processor and new memory, it will be significantly more.

now it’s just a matter of drumming up enough customers to pay me so that i can actually afford to buy a new mother board… which could be later this week, or it could be early next year. 8/

aaarrgghh! part 3

it’s not the power supply. i just went out to Re-PC and bought a brand new 500 watt AT/ATX power supply, plugged it in, and it didn’t work.

also, boeing surplus is closing it’s doors as of december 21. the guy said that, after that, there will be a few items offered on internet, but most of what boeing surplus sales is now will go in the scrap heap… which means that if you want that sun machine for $25, you’d better go get it now.

aaaaaaaarrrrrrgggghh! part 2

okay, this is getting really frustrating:

one of my two remaining computers is a blue and white G3 mac with a “Sonnet” G4 upgrade chip, running Os9. i keep it running Os9 because all of the software i have for mac is stuff that’s Os9 native (quark xpress 5, photoshop 7, fontographer 4, kai’s super goo, etc.). however, either the computer or the operating system is becoming more and more sketchy as time goes on: i can’t keep the computer running for more than a day without having to reboot it, even with nothing running, and frequently, when i try to print something, it starts to print and then it says it has “lost communication” with the printer, and instructs me to try again, but the document in the queue stays in the queue, it doesn’t get deleted. when i try to delete it manually, it says that it’s “still in use” but it doesn’t print, and nothing else that i have sent to the printer after it will print, and very shortly after that, the whole computer freezes, or doesn’t freeze but loses the keyboard. it won’t shut down when i select “Shut Down” from the menu (presumably because it thinks it’s still printing) and when i use the “programmer’s switch” to shut it down, i have to run disk doctor, because it has developed “serious” errors in the B-Tree directory which only get worse if i don’t run disk doctor.

also, when i first boot up, if my external, USB CD-RW drive is hooked up, it says that it can’t find drivers (?) for the "non-specific QT processor with JG" (whatever that means), but can’t “connect to internet”, despite the fact that i can connect to internet at exactly the same time. admittedly, i get almost exactly the same error from windows when i connect the CD-RW drive to it, so that’s probably a problem with the CD-RW drive and not the mac, but still, with my linux box not working, it means that i can no longer burn CDs, which is a royal pain in the neck.

i’ve been seriously considering “upgrading” to OsX, but then i would have to run all my software using the emulator, which would only slow things down, and i don’t know enough about OsX to be able to do any good at all if something screws up.

meanwhile, i’ve somehow been able to crank out a phone book advertisement for a client, but i have been unable to print invoices, and i have had to run disk doctor eight times since 8:00 this morning… 8/

aaaaaarrrrgggghh!!!!!!!

something is wrong with my linux box – my main computer is offline, and i don’t know why!

i’ve noticed over the past few days that, when i run any one of the seven HTML browsers that are on it, that the HTML browser crashes intermittently, and occasionally the whole computer freezes up and has to be rebooted. i know that the 7.1 upgrade for feisty fawn is due out on friday, so i’ve been biting the bullet and not running a HTML browser on that machine except when i absolutely have to, and then shutting it down politely when i’m finished with it. i had also noticed that, occasionally, the power supply doesn’t completely turn off when i turn off the power switch, but continues running for a half-second or so before it turns off. then, yesterday, i did something on the web and the whole computer froze up, and when i tried to reboot it, there wasn’t even the “BEEP” sound to indicate that the POST had completed successfully.

so, i took everything apart, which meant totaly tearing apart my office, and plugged it directly into the monitor, to see if something was wrong with the KVM switch (i have three computers, but only one monitor), but it’s not that, because the KVM switch works perfectly well with my windoesn’t box and my mac, and the linux box doesn’t work, even when it is plugged directly into the monitor…

so, now, i have the linux box completely separated from the rest of the computer systems, and i don’t know what to do. i don’t have ANY money, so taking it somewhere is out of the question, and even if it was, i don’t have ANY money to buy new parts, no matter how inexpensive they are. also, my schedule is on the linux box, and, apart from an appointment with ned at 3:00 today – for which i have a paper reminder separate from my schedule – i have no clue what rehearsals are when. i think i have a trolloween rehearsal on sunday, and i think i have a banda gozona rehearsal on the 25th, but beyond that, i’m totally lost.

grr!

in spite of the fact that i’m overall very pleased with the new operating system i put on my linux box (i upgraded from a 5-year-old version of mandrake – which is now called “mandriva” – to the debian distro called Kubuntu – specifically Feisty Fawn), i’m beginning to suspect that there’s something wrong with the current version of the HTML display library that – i believe – it just updated a few days ago. my suspicions are primarily because ever since i ran the updater the last time, my computer has been crashing and freezing on a regular basis, about 3 or 4 times a day. it’s not because of firefox – although it seems that with firefox it happens more regularly – because i’ve downloaded and installed 5 different browsers (amaya, galeon, kazehakaze, dillo, and lynx, which are in addition to the two – konqueror and firefox – that i already had installed: take that, windoesn’t!) and i get exactly the same behaviour whether or not i’m using firefox. it also may have something to do with xscreensaver, because it seems that when i’m not running xscreensaver it happens less frequently.

i hope whatever it is gets fixed soon, because i’m getting tired of rebooting, and restarting my browser… 8/

The Battle of The Computer is over, and, once again, I have won!

i’ve resurrected my computer: i got the operating system installed: i’m now running a shiny new version of Feisty Fawn, despite what walt mossberg says, kubuntu linux is vastly preferable to anything micro$not ever produced, if for no other reason than it is free, but there are many other compelling reasons it is preferable as well, such as it installs more quickly, and is easier to configure than any version of windows that i have ever worked with. not only that, but apparently SCO has filed for bankruptcy, which means, at least for the moment, that we can continue to use free, open source software with impunity, while having a hearty laugh at the expense of those who would have made it otherwise. after i got feisty installed, i searched around and discovered that sigrot isn’t a part of debian any longer (for what reason i know not), but signify is, however signify isn’t as easy to configure, so i found an archive that had sigrot on it, installed it, and now i have my email signature, complete with rotating, random quotes again. i even got xscreensaver working better than it was before.

meanwhile, SixApart has seen fit to let barak berkowitz go and get themselves a new CEO, which makes me even more glad that i bailed from livejournal when i did.

i didn’t make that much money at the punk rock flea market, despite the fact that i was there for almost 12 hours, but i did manage to make $30 without realising it (it was 6:30 in the morning when i arrived, and there’s a good chance that i was, for all intents and purposes, asleep when i did it), which makes me wonder if i could do any better in tacoma. if nothing else, it would mean not having to get up at a ridiculously early hour and drive fourty-fiive minutes before getting there. my boxes of stuff are still in the car, but moe’s car is blocking the driveway, so i’ll have to get them out tomorrow.

i’ve also got some “i am a terrorist” articles to post as well, but they’re going to have to wait until tomorrow as well.

hooray… i think…

my disks from cheapbytes arrived today, and feisty fawn is installing at this very moment… which gives me the very strong impression that it actually was the disk from canonical that was wonky, and not the CD-ROM drive or the hard disk.

also, tomorrow is the first day of ganesha chaturthi… so… happy ganesha chaturthi everyone! 8)

now, back to my install. hopefully i will have a functioning computer again shortly.

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.