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I got my strap, and I got a battery for the Lappy…

October 21, 2006, 6:21 PM

My strap and the Lappy’s battery came on the same day. First of all, thank you to everyone who made suggestions regarding both items.

Interestingly, Mom intercepted the package for the strap before I got home, and was wondering about the fact that I’d ordered from a scuba company. After all, I’ve never expressed an interest in scuba diving, nor have I even so much as mentioned it in passage. And then Mom sees this package, a nondescript brown box, addressed to me, with “scuba.com” as the return address. So it caught her interest. And so I explained the whole story, as I already explained to you here, ending with, “And no, I’m not planning on taking up scuba diving.”

I still find it amusing, though, that the only place where I could find a replacement strap was through a scuba place. Of all places, a scuba place. That just doesn’t make sense, but I’m like, sure. At least I got a new strap. And the bag rides like two inches higher with the new strap than it used to, and I have no problem with that. So all is well on that front.

And meanwhile, we scored a direct hit with the Lappy’s battery. We got an exact replacement, and it snapped right in, and now it’s charging peacefully.

So once again, all is well!

Categories: Computer, Family, Products

The only thing wrong with the Lappy is…

October 16, 2006, 2:45 AM

…the battery. I checked the Lappy out from top to bottom, and the only thing wrong with it is the battery. I got only ten minutes of life out of the battery before it started screaming for its AC adaptor. It went from full to zero in a very short time. I did a little research on it, and I’ve determined that during Mom’s time with it, she made good use out of the battery, and it basically won’t hold a charge anymore.

I’m going to Charlottesville on Monday anyway to get a new shoulder strap for my camera bag, and so I’ll probably swing by Batteries Plus or somewhere like that for a new battery for my Lappy while I’m at it.

Also, I’ve determined that the new notepad cover that I discussed here will be just fine for logging Metro trains. I took it with me on my most recent DC trip, set the paper up with the proper columns to be my transit log, and stuffed it in my bag. And all in all, it worked. The pad that came with it holds only ten trains per page, down from fifteen on the old notepad, but it works for me. Unless I have something like the fourth of July where I rode 23 separate trains, two pages per trip will work just fine. In my DC trips since July 4, I average 14.5 trains per trip. So in short: no problem. So my search for a notepad is over. Thank goodness.

Categories: Computer, Shopping

Scroll buttons and the Lappy, together at last…

October 14, 2006, 12:36 AM

Now this is an interesting way to compute. I’m sitting in my recliner, going tappity-tappity-tappity away on the Lappy, which is now very much customized to my own needs. I installed Firefox on here and imported my bookmarks, I put a nice background on the desktop, and arranged everything the way I like it.

Yes, the Lappy is going to make a great mobile workstation. I’ve even set it up to print to my real printer via our home network. Just hit “print” and the document is waiting for me at my desk, ready to pick up. That makes my life quite easy, and also puts that printer/scanner/copier that I paid ninety dollars for to good use on not one but two computers.

Right now, though, I’m just tickled that I can compute from anywhere…

Categories: Computer

If you ever wanted to know what a BSOD looks like on a dual-monitor configuration, here it is.

October 9, 2006, 1:46 AM

In my nearly two years of having a dual-monitor configuration, I believe that tonight was the first time that I’ve had the Blue Screen of Death. And I was surprised to see how it went. Take a look…

"Blue screen of death" on dual monitor configuration

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Categories: Computer

I have taken possession of the laptop…

October 3, 2006, 7:58 PM

I’ve officially taken possession of Mom’s old laptop, which means that I will finally have a mobile station with a wireless card for whatever. Think about when I take a really long-distance trip where I take a photo set, like when I went to Breezewood in May (and I’m embarrassed to say that five months later, still no photo set). I would be able to review my shots while still on site, and start that ball rolling early – perhaps re-shoot some photos that came out poorly before leaving. It opens the door to the possibility.

But first, I have to fix it all up. Mom wouldn’t let me format it and start with a clean slate when she was using it. Now I’m reformatting that puppy. It’s all getting redone from scratch, since she always had issues with that thing. Now that I’m moving in, it’s going to run like it’s mine.

Then once that gets done, I’m going to temporarily move in completely in order to do some work on my real computer. It’s not the second rehabilitation that I’d spoken about before, but I do want to redo some stuff.

Categories: Computer

And another piece of computer equipment bites the dust…

September 16, 2006, 10:47 PM

Yep… sad to say, after I spent a whole lot of time working with my Hewlett Packard 930C printer, I’ve come to a conclusion: It’s broken.

So last night I bought a new printer. I didn’t truly realize it until last night, but the straight inkjet printer seems to be going extinct. Everything is either specialized for photos, or is an all-in-one printer/scanner/fax/copier. Since I generally don’t print photos, I don’t particularly need something specialized for photos. For the amount of times I print photos, it’s not worth it. I also already have a scanner that works just fine, so I didn’t particularly need a new one. However, due to the lack of choices in straight inkjets, I bought one of those printer/scanner/fax/copier ones.

I ended up getting an HP PhotoSmart C3140, mainly because the scanner surface is about the same size as my present scanner, which is an HP ScanJet something or other. I’m going to be sad to retire my scanner, which is in perfectly good condition, but there is a perk to this: I can consolidate my setup. I no longer have to have the printer off the desk and on a side shelf. I can put it front-and-center on my desk, where my scanner currently resides. So that’s a plus.

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Categories: Computer, Shopping

New compy or second rehab?

September 12, 2006, 7:14 PM

First of all, hello from Pentagon City Mall in Arlington.

With my computer at eight years old now and with its last rehabilitation more than five years behind us, I’ve started toying with the idea of going for MORE POWER once again. Thus the question becomes whether I want to just get an entirely new computer or do another rehabilitation on the one I’ve got. A second rehab on it would likely see a new motherboard and CPU, plus more memory, if nothing else. In the last rehab, I left the original motherboard and processor in place.

The reason I’m even contemplating a rehab vs. just replacing the whole thing is because I really do like my current box. It’s a full tower, has loads of expansion slots, and has three drive bays on it. I’ve not found a new PC to match it. That and I’ve grown rather attached to my present system, and I’d hate to part with it.

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Categories: Computer

Don’t die… just don’t die…

September 1, 2006, 2:31 AM

My printer went on the blink this evening. I’m sad. I was in the process printing off a resume and cover letter for a job I’m applying to in DC when all of a sudden the thing ate several sheets of paper and made some loud grinding noises. I just beamed the documents, however, to the Internet and downloaded them on my father’s computer, and printed it on his computer. So all is well there. All I have left to do there is to go fax them tomorrow afternoon.

Now I’m just worried about my printer. I’ve had it for about six years, and that includes time in college. It’s endured five moves in and out of the dorm, and its primary duty lately has been to print off my work schedule for the parents and for my own pocket copy. Very glamorous, I know. But with everything being on the Internet anymore…

But here’s the thing: I do NOT want to have to spend money to replace my printer. I have an HP Deskjet 930C, by the way. Nice printer, and the front folds up when it’s not in use. I bought it on Amazon.com back in 2000. I got a nice deal on it, too. However, that “nice deal” was wasted when I decided to get overnight shipping for it. That cost a pretty penny.

Of course, if I do have to replace the printer, I’ll just go to Wal-Mart and get one. But that is the option of last resort. Maybe one day – soon – when I have more time and don’t have important documents I’m trying to print, I’ll fiddle with it and try to get it to work.

But right now, I need sleep.

Categories: Computer

It could only happen to me…

August 24, 2006, 11:13 PM

This one falls under that heading of stuff that could only happen to me. I went to visit Mom after school today. I was wearing my fire alarm shirt. First thing’s first, though. Being the first week of school, I asked Roxie, one of Mom’s teaching partners, “Did you all have one of these yet?” and pointed to the Wheelock 7002T on my shirt. Answer was, yes – they had their first fire drill this morning. And it’s sad – SDMS has broken with tradition entirely. It used to be that the first fire drill of the year was always on the third day of school at 9:30 AM. Not so this year. This time, it was on the fourth day of school, and closer to noon than to 9:30.

But anyway, what could only happen to me? I was describing something to some of the other teachers in the room at the time, and using Schumin Web to illustrate my point. I clicked a link, and I got this:

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Categories: Computer, Fire drills

Working to combat the problem of “e-waste”

August 20, 2006, 11:59 AM

We have a minor dilemma here that has been forced upon me by Mom while doing her annual clean-up-the-college-student’s-room thing (she did this to me as well all four years at JMU). It’s the safe disposal of an old computer monitor.

This monitor was actually my original “second monitor”, which initially came to the house when my father got a little old computer for his own use in the house. When he bought himself a new computer, I got to scavenge the nearly-new video card from it, and I got the monitor to go with it. Thus, the second monitor. Then when I got the flat-panel last December, my original 19-inch monitor went up on the lift as the “second monitor”, the flat-panel became my main screen, and the older monitor was removed entirely.

I put it in Sis’s room for storage, and as it turned out, she used it while at home from Virginia Tech rather than mess with her real monitor, since it was already there and all.

This was all well and good, until it unexpectedly died in July. Sad. So Sis put her real monitor in place and plugged it in, and all was well for her.

Of course, now we have the problem of what to do with this dead monitor. Dad wants to just put it out on the curb for the garbage men to pick up. I consider that to be a bad idea, since computer monitors do contain hazardous materials that would not be environmentally friendly in a landfill.

So therefore, the question boils down to this: Where in the hell do I take this thing? That’s the million-dollar question. And doing so before Dad takes matters into his own hands and it’s out on the curb and gone before I know it.

Categories: Computer

I went to Roanoke yesterday…

June 14, 2006, 7:38 PM

I went to Roanoke yesterday, and it was an interesting trip. I don’t find Roanoke to be nearly as fun as Washington DC, but it was still pretty good.

The trip down was via the Blue Ridge Parkway for the most part, taking Indian Ridge Road (a local road from Stuarts Draft to Greenville that roughly parallels US 340) to US 11 to US 60 at Lexington to the Blue Ridge Parkway at Buena Vista. Then I took the Parkway down to US 460.

I took my iPod with me on this trip, and it did fairly well. The iPod’s battery lasted all day, and all was well. However, my FM transmitter didn’t do quite so well, as I had to change the batteries on it twice. I think I need to get a car adaptor for it, since I burned through four AAA batteries over the course of the day.

The Roanoke Star seemed to be having a rough night, though, as two sections of red went out.

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Cheers to Mozilla Firefox! Jeers to Internet Explorer 7 and AIM Triton

May 19, 2006, 5:08 PM

As you might be able to tell from the subject line, I tried out some new software products today.

First of all, I finally took the time to download and install the Mozilla Firefox browser application. I was quite impressed with the way Firefox operates on my computer. It has all the things that I like about IE, and isn’t afraid to look like a computer program. Plus it has tabbed browsing, which keeps things neat and tidy. I was an instant convert to Mozilla.

I also upgraded my Internet Explorer to the newest version, which was IE 7. IE 7 also offers tabbed browsing and such. However, it was so “heavy” that it slowed my computer down (my computer is eight years old), and the interface was confusing. All I have to say is that if this is the future of Internet Explorer, I’m jumping ship. I was not impressed.

Then there’s AIM Triton. Like IE, it was somewhat “heavy”, and the interface was hideous. Most of the handy features that I liked about AIM were gone, and it was pretty bad overall. It also came with AOL’s own Web browser, which was not welcome on my computer from the outset. The one nice thing about it was that it didn’t install over my old AIM, so going back to the old version was a snap. It was still there and waiting for me. So I just uninstalled AIM Triton and that was it. Sometimes there’s no program like an old program, after all.

And I’m just glad to have finally discovered Mozilla. What a lovely browser.

Categories: Computer, Internet

That’s one project completed…

January 16, 2006, 7:22 PM

I have burned EVERYTHING in my image collection to CD that was taken between August 18, 2004 and December 31, 2005. To give you an idea of what a project this was, I burned 29 CDs to accomplish this. But it’s all on CD now, which frees up a lot of space for other projects. What does this leave on the actual hard drive? It leaves my January 4, 2006 trip to Washington, and my trip to the Outlet Village on January 12.

And this was a project I was determined to finish as quickly as possible. I set my away message to “Burning about a year and a half’s worth of images to CD…” and vowed not to take it off until I was done. So there you go.

Otherwise, after not only that one IM that I told you about previously regarding something on Wikipedia, others have contacted me through Schumin Web to discuss Wikipedia. This has led me to put this on my user talk page:

Please do not contact me via The Schumin Web, Email, instant messenger, or any other private communication venues for matters regarding Wikipedia. I will be happy to discuss issues related to Wikipedia with you on my Wikipedia talk page, or any other Wikipedia venue. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

I don’t think it’s that much to ask that what happens on Wikipedia is discussed through the discussion channels that Wikipedia provides, as it adds to the record for Wikipedia, and allows others to help in the collaborative effort, since everyone’s supposed to be there for the same reason – to create an encyclopedia.

Some people, though…

Food for thought

December 4, 2005, 5:14 PM

First of all, some food for thought regarding the war in Iraq that came in the form of a letter to the editor in the Staunton News Leader, printed here in its entirety:

If the United States military stays in Iraq 10 more days, 10 more months, or 10 more years will the outcome be significantly different? – Tom Long, Mount Solon

I wonder that as well. I personally lean very strongly towards saying that it was never our business to invade Iraq in the first place.

Thought I’d share that.

Meanwhile, I can’t believe I didn’t hear about the protests against global warming until I read about it in the newspaper this morning. I was like, wow. Not much happened for this one in DC from what I could tell on DC Indymedia. I did, however, find the new Climate IMC site. This is an Indymedia site specifically for climate-related news.

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TWO monitors!

February 5, 2005, 10:08 PM

Look at this!

Dual monitors on my computer

Yes, I have TWO monitors now! One and two. The big one is my original 19″ monitor that came with my computer back in 1998. The second one is a HP monitor that I inherited from my father when he recently got a new computer. I actually got the whole computer from him, and I scavenged it for parts. So I took the video card out of it and also hooked up the monitor.

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Categories: Computer