Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mostly Griping About My Computer

Okay, so I just finished editing Chapter Three of Mages, which was my computer's cue to lose communication with the new keyboard for the fourth time today - or was it the fifth? I closed down the programs and told it to restart, but it didn't even try to shut down, so I had to use the on button to turn it off for the fourth time today - or was it the fifth? Sixth?

Yes, this computer is dying, I think. Last night I unplugged all the USB cords from the two hubs and the computer itself, rearranged everything, and plugged one of the hubs back in to the power strip, which I hoped would solve my problems with mouse and keyboard and such. It didn't. And this morning the e on the built in keyboard decided that nothing would stop it from typing endlessly - not the removal of the cover, cleaning around it, manually pulling up the mechanism, removing the center plastic thingie, bending, prying, holding it up, slipping something underneath - nothing. That was the first or second instance today in which I had to forcibly turn off the computer.

The newest version of Norton, which I bought in May, doesn't seem to have anything like Disk Doctor anywhere, nothing at all for fixing computer problems. Spyware and virus and password checks, yes, but not the basic function for which I buy the program every year. Norton 360 also has a function for backing up files online, but I don't think it's worked for me yet. Nor does the computer seem to have anything like Check Disk or whatever it's called any more - not at start-up after an improper shutdown, and not on a menu anywhere. And of course I can't reload software or operating systems from a CD, because the CD drawer is broken.

Oh, and while I was trying to explain to John just how hopeless this computer has become, and that I really do need a new laptop and am not just being greedy, a bird pooped on my head. Nice.

But I got eight audio sermons posted to the St. Michael's news blog and sermons pages, all formatted and pretty, which took many hours because my only HTML composer, Netscape Composer, is a) about ten years old and b) highly uncooperative sometimes; and because Blogger didn't like the fast and dirty way I posted it at first, and punished me. Netscape told me that for an "unknown reason" it couldn't edit the page I made. Blogger refused to switch the post to HTML mode, probably because I'd pasted in headers and footers that marked ends and beginnings of entries where none should be. I found a workaround, spent several hours compiling a table with the right sermons and the right links, and reposted the sermons. But when I went to post the raw HTML into Composer for the Sermons page, which was the only thing Composer would let me do, the pasted material appeared as a line of blank space. It turned out that it didn't like the lack of line breaks that Blogger prefers. So I spent another twenty minutes highlighting bits of text to make it appear, and creating line breaks that somehow made the shorter lines visible. What a lot of work! But the Sermons page is now done, and so is the Announcements entry, and so is the updated Schedule page. I can stop feeling guilty, at least about that, at least for a while.

I was going to write about taking a friend to see the Harry Potter movie today, and about the BBC Stephen Moffat series Jekyll, and an exciting announcement about "Later This Somewhere," the Jace and Sandy sequel. But I think I'll settle for telling you that my friend Sarah will be collaborating with me on "Later This Somewhere," vastly improving the story's potential due to her expertise on the subject of theater. And now I'm going offline. Good night.


Astaryth said...

Are you looking for chkdsk and and defrag? I'm assuming you are using Windows XP, so here goes.

Click on Start, then all programs. From there, click on Accessories, then system tools (will probably be the last thing on that pop-out menu). Now you are in the right place. You want to use Disk Cleanup and Disk Defrag.

Hope that helps, but it sounds like your computer is definitely headed south :(

Becky said...

Even easier...just open a My Computer window and right-click on your C: drive and select Properties. On the first tab you'll see a Disk Cleanup button next to your handy Capacity pie chart. Then there is the Tools tab for error checking and defrag. Hope it helps!