Thursday, January 03, 2008

Not Wordless Wednesday

Hmmmph! Because I started this year the same way as I did last year... i.e. without my trusty laptop, I guess there won't be a Wordless Wednesday post this week, and probably not next week either. At least this time the laptop went in for a physical repair. The hinge broke and needed to be sent in for repair. I dropped it off Sunday evening. I had at first planned to use G's laptop to check e-mail, read blogs, etc, but I decided to pull out the Sony that used to be his and see if I could resurrect it and make it useable... at least for the short period of 2 to 4 weeks they said my 'baby' will be gone.

Issues that needed to be addressed to make the 7 year old laptop useable included (but not restricted to):

1. The power cord. The reason that we retired the laptop this summer and got G a used Dell was because of an issue with the power cord. Since this laptop is so old the battery doesn't even try to hold a charge, it must be plugged in to work. Somewhere along the line G did something to the cord (or the spot it plugs into) that causes it to disconnect if it is moved wrong. Basically wear and tear from sitting on his lap. If this happens too many times and the computer shuts down without exiting programs correctly, then eventually you get corrupt files and have to do a clean install and start over. It was when I was doing this for like the 3rd time in as many months that I had decided that G needed a new (used) laptop for his birthday LOL!

I overcame this problem by simply placing the laptop on the table and then I just don't move it! I wasn't sure if this would work, but so far so good

2. Missing stuff. It had a fairly recent reinstall and it had already shut itself down a couple of times while I had been trying to get everything it needed downloaded before the decision to trash it.... I borrowed G's wireless Internet card and set about downloading a free virus program, a free firewall, and a couple of adware/spyware programs. Once these (and the windows updates) were installed, I also popped online and picked up FireFox. I now had a good browser and a fairly safe computer.... which hadn't yet shut itself down. It was now Monday and I was starting to feel a little more confident I could make this work!

3. A Wi-fir card.... I couldn't keep stealing G's wireless card (my laptop has built in wi-fi, so I don't have a card). O.K... I could keep stealing it, but he was going to get grumpy LOL! My solution: When we bought G's Dell the girl gave him the wireless card that she had been using since her new laptop came with it installed. We had never used the card because it was a 'b' card and G's was the faster G protocol, as is our wireless network.

4. Missing Driver. After finally finding and then plugging the card into my laptop, I found that I needed a driver that I didn't have. An hour looking about on the manufacturer website (Microsoft) and not coming up with anything, I finally googled the name and part # and finally found a driver. After installing it and a restart I had Internet access all on my own. Woo Hoo!

So, with just a few hiccups I have revived this poor thing and I'm kind of glad I did. This means that we now have a 'backup' in case either of our computers are out of service AND a laptop we can let someone use if they are visiting instead of having to let them on one of ours. Pretty much a win-win.

5. Final problem/hurdle is that all of my programs for photo editing and keeping track of photos is on my 'normal' laptop.... I contemplated downloading something like Gimp, but decided that it wasn't enough of an issue to bother.... G suggested loading my Photoshop Elements on here and I cracked up. That program gives my brand new, fairly robust machine a run for the money... It would choke this poor thing right down! Bottom line? Expect a couple of 'wordy' posts, maybe with an old picture I already have online, and a return of posts with new pictures in the near future.

Last note: G just mentioned to me that I had been playing with the idea of experimenting with Linux on his machine since he really only uses it to access the Internet and nothing else. He thinks I should turn this machine into the 'experimental' Linux box to see how I like it.... That actually sounds like a pretty good idea, and I think I may actually try that after my laptop returns. Hmmmm.... sometimes there is  silver lining! Besides, worst case scenario is I can't get it up and running and on the network using Linux... I'll just reload WinXP back on here and reset it up like it is now. No harm, no foul!


DesLily said...

ok, be truthful now.. do you really think I understand what you said?? huh? huh? huh? heh!

but glad you have SOMETHING working!

Becky said...

You might wanna try some duct tape on the power plug to keep it in place. It isn't pretty, but it works. :-)