Saturday, September 11, 2010

No Rest for the Wicked

I'm pretty tired tonight...kinda numb. I spent a good portion of the last two days futzing with computers. Not recreational futzing mind you, but the "hope you can recover from this" futzing.

In the past month, my new dream machine started acting up. The previously faithful quiet Super Computer that I took delivery of in March was acting like it had a "bug". First it was the fans...even when it got to 80°F in my room at the Ancestral Digs the fans rarely came on, and then only for a minute or two. In the past couple of weeks the fans started running a lot more...and for a lot longer. Then the machine started rebooting without provocation from me. I was seeing the "Blue Screen of Death" on a laptop that's barely six months new. I never saw the BSOD in the six-plus years I ran the old laptop.

I started paying extra attention to every little thing I did on the laptop, trying to keep the workload down to a dull roar. I became hyper-vigilant...Anything to avoid the crash-avoidance blue screen bummer.

I ran all the scans...Antivirus, Spyware, Windows Updates. Results: Negative. I kept a bare minimum of tabs open in Firefox...still the crashes and recoveries came more often. Today the machine said Enough! and I had to go back to a restore point and start over.

It worked. The little Dell is purring along again like nothing ever my eternal relief!

Earlier in the week, I offered to "do the maintenance" on SturgeUrge's desktop, and I've been grinding out that chore a few hours every afternoon. That's like pulling teeth because it's an "Entry Level" desktop running Windows Vista with a Celeron D and only 512Mb of RAM. OK...I'm spoiled by my Dell running the i7 Quad Core CPU and 8Gb of RAM!

Somehow there are almost 60 programs that load on startup, so it takes a good 20 minutes to boot up...or restart like I have to do every time I remove some unused or unnecessary program. Three restarts is a solid hour. I can't tell you how smug I feel because I waited for Windows 7 to be released and de-bugged for six months in the wild before I sprung for the new Dell! I totally understand why business never bought Vista. Windows 7 is an upgrade from my beloved Windows XP.

Resting Up
So, after a hard day slaving over hot silicon, I retired to the easy chair and fired up the DVR. I watched the Friday afternoon Formula One practice from Monza, Italy before I grilled dinner on the BBQ.

After dinner, I settled into the Giants vs San Diego Padres game from San Diego. A fine pitching duel unfolded before a crowd that was at least 20% Giants' Fans. A lot of orange wearing baseball nuts were enjoying a fine evening of September Baseball, which is to say a Pennant Race!

The Giants won 1-0 and moved into a tie with San Diego for the NL West lead. Game on. I haven't enjoyed September Baseball this much since 1962!

The laptop performed flawlessly through the whole game, and through the Post-Game and some CableNews I tuned into after the baseball coverage ended.

This was part of the problem...I began seeing a lot of tweets from folks on the East Coast. 9/11 Memorial Tweets of the Never Forget/Pray For... variety. I didn't need this tonight. I was already tired.

I won't pontificate. Say a prayer as necessary. We're Americans...we'll keep moving. Game on.

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