Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Starting anew

This past weekend, the OTR community that I participate in was holding their Spring Marathon. This meant that there were 12 hours on Saturday and 12 hours on Sunday of excellent old-time radio presentations. I listened in on Saturday, all day, and heard many really good shows that I hadn't heard before. Very well done! In between presentations, there was time for a little chat. Because most of the people here are blind, these are voice chats. It's really quite an efficient way to do these things. I've formed very good friendships with these people from across North America.

So eventually I shut down and went to sleep because the next round started in a few hours! I got up early on Sunday morning, turned on the computer, and it didn't start. It would not boot up. Something was wrong here! I tried, and tried, and tired very many times. It just would not boot up. I didn't know if it was the HD or something else. There was power, there was humming, it just didn't start up.

So Sunday was dismal. I didn't know what to do! I was annoyed because I was missing a really good day of shows, and that I couldn't do anything else. I suddenly realized how much I depend on getting access to everything through the computer. I couldn't watch any of the shows I've collected, or the music, or access my mail, or chat with friends... I was lost! I had no contact with the outside world. I felt like a prisoner, lost on an isolated island somewhere.

So I sat at my wheel and tried to console myself. I always turn to the wheel in times of need. That is one thing that will ground me, will calm the turmoil in my life, that gives me a sense of some stability in the world. It helped -- but only a little.

Monday I called my computer tech person, and made arrangements to take it in for some service. After work, I ran over with it, and he checked it out. Seems that the power supply had failed. He suggested I get a whole new case. And a motherboard since this one was shot too. (I still don't really know what the problem was) And one thing after another, I ended up buying a whole new computer!

I can't use the HD that I had with the O/S on it. I had to re-install.. which is good since I already have XP Professional. But I had to get a new HD as well. I get home, and search everywhere for the disks... and they are no where. I know they have to be here somewhere... but where? Since I moved couple of years ago, everything is still in boxes piled to the ceiling. Not labeled. So where do I even start looking? Another dismal tortuous evening without the computer! I spin some more.

One good thing, though, about digging through a bunch of boxes and moving things around is that I will find things that I had 'lost'. I did find some money -- a lot of money, in fact -- which was enough to pay for the new computer, so that was fortunate. I think I need to go through more of the things around here and do some "cleaning" and see what else I can find.

Tuesday I run back to the techie guy and cry out for help. So I have to buy another disk! But he says XP is no good, it is being phased out, there is no support, get Windows7 -- and it's cheaper too. wtf? So I end up buying Windows7, which I really did not want to do. Damn that Bill Gates!

Okay, the installation went smoothly enough. Then the drivers (at least most of them). But I have to start from scratch again... all the bookmarks are gone, all my saved programs I had installed, all gone. I haven't tried hooking up the old drive with all my files... he said I can do it once I get this all installed. I will do that tomorrow. Luckily, much of my emaill is web-based, so I didn't lose anything there. I had a lot of my OTR and movies put on disk (just in case) and I'm glad of that. But I still don't have sound!

I finally found the right spot to plug in the speakers, and got sound working. The mic is not recognized -- I have to work on that. I will need that for the Thursday chat. I need to get everything back to the way it was -- I just don't like change!

I had made a promise to myself the last time I had to get a new computer (almost 6 years ago) that the next one will definitely be a Mac. I'm sorry I didn't follow through on that. I think it would be so much better if I did. Next time for sure. Maybe even before then.


Mel said...

I'd be interested to know what you think of the screen brightness in Windows 7. I just installed it on my laptop as a dual boot with Ubuntu, and it is striking how much darker the screen is in W7, even on maximum brightness, compared to Ubuntu. It puts so much strain on my eyes that I couldn't imagine using it as a sole OS, especially if I were more presbyopic (already starting to notice some very mild changes on that front).

Crafty Gardener said...

We inherited lots and lots of OTR radio shows from a friend when he passed away. They just sit in my garage awaiting a day when I'll do something with them.

Crafty Gardener said...

Hi there, I saw your comment on my blog, but I also can't find an email for you. You can contact me at crafty.gardener at yahoo dot ca

Alwen said...

Last year we had a severe thunderstorm that took out the power for three days. What I really missed was being able to access the online weather reports and the radar!

But real life was still around waiting for me, what a surprise.