tigris: (Sexy Kitty)
Have I mentioned before how much I hate FRYS Associates? I have? Well, good.

So the motherboard with the malfunctioning center RAM slot went back to Frys last night. They pull out their playwood computer, where they lay down the mobo, plug in video card, processor, power supply, and a ram stick, and turn it on to see if it works. Of course it worked - he was using a GOOD RAM slot, and only one stick, just like I've been doing for the last two weeks. He then told me he had no problems with the board in the same attitude as one would say "You stupid little girl, you are such a filthy liar." I told him to try two sticks, and he'd see the problem I was having. He refused, insisting the board was fine. What a JERK!!!

But we swapped it for a more expensive board that A. had no returns on the shelf, and B. [livejournal.com profile] shaunpup suggested to me as being a good one. It's the A-bit NF7. I had had some reservations about the increased price and the fact that I just RETURNED an A-bit, but the ECS in the range I needed was all sold out, and the Shuttle brand boards were the brand I just got DONE with the IDE and everything else dying on. Installed the board, XP couldn't handle the hardware change, so nuked the drive, and reinstalled XP. We'll see how the driver reinstallation goes tonight.

Laundry tonight or tomorrow night. Gone this weekend on the private car trip to Reno. Craving Sushi again, ARGH! Down, down foul sushi cravings!!
tigris: (Default)
Prerequisites: 128 MB DDR video memory, NVIDIA, 5200 model or better, must be $100 or less.

Compusa.Com: $99.99 (PNY)
Buycomp.Com: $87.49 (PNY)
Amazon.com: Not Found
Pixelusa.com: $78.00 (ASUS)
Computerwarehouse.com: $86.05 (Aopen)
Computerwarehouse.com: $83.35 (eVGA)
tigris: (Default)
No improvement. I was so tired by the time I got home that I wasn't up to even taking up Tanan's offer of going out to dinner, and fiddled with the PC for a while as I chatted with [livejournal.com profile] shaunpup over ICQ trying to fix it, came to the conclusion that my brand new ATI video card from a few months ago has gone the way of all the earth, and must be replaced. That's an unanticipated $100 expense, and 3 days (minimum) of downtime for the machine. I am heading to bed early out of frustration.

It's possible that Horizons burned the video card out. I played the game fine for hours on this machine with [livejournal.com profile] aayrick last night, switched for the larger monitor so I could use higher resolution, and that's when it started to lock up and BSOD. Put the smaller monitor back on it - lower resolution - and it kept doing it. After that it seems to be have been toasted, because even turning the resolution back down didn't help. The ATI Radeon drivers are up to date, and there are countless forums talking about people having trouble with ATI Radeon video cards and the game. At least that's the best I can figure. Shaun will have to take a look himself on sunday when he comes down. I'm really tight on money so this will have to be a really cheap new video card.

Bed now. Maybe tomorrow my luck will improve. I can only hope. *sob*
tigris: (Default)
You know, the reason I hate PCs really has little to do with Windows. Yes, windows is crappy, but MacOS has bugs too. You wanna know why I hate PCs?

*points at her PC* THAT'S WHY!

I've replaced the motherboard - TWICE - gotten it new processors, new video card, new sound card, new drives, new RAM... It's not even the same machine anymore!

AND IT STILL WON'T WORK!

Even with the updated video card, both motherboards boot into newly installed win98se and immediately panic reboot. This panic reboot cycle will continue infinitely, or until you unplug the PC.

If there is anyone out there - anyone at all - who knows anything about PCs, help!
tigris: (Default)
My mission this weekend was the try and fix the PC. I just want a machine to play games. Is that so much to ask? I got a new video card - an NVidia GeForce FX 5200 with 128 MB of DDR VRAM on it, and I wanted to use it so much... but the machine refused to work.

New processors to put on chip's board (2 CPUs: Pentium III 1GHz), two heatsinks = $274.96

Still no joy. Locks before the 'start' button appears. Repeatedly. Lots of troubleshooting.

New motherboard to replace chip's board which didn't seem to support the processors = $129.99
(((I think they charged me for other things I didn't buy on that occasion...)))

Still had no luck (windows installs now, but locks up immediately) until I tried loading windows ME, installing the MB drivers, but not installing the video card drivers - using an old old matrox video card for PCI - and patched the HELL out of windows before I tried anything. That finally worked.

Conclusion: I have finally hit the watershed point. The motherboard, processors and everything are pushing the limits of a 5-year old operating system (98se - 3 years in the case of ME) and in order to just play games, I will be forced to do the thing I hate and dread.

Upgrade to Windows XP.

As it currently stands (with ME) I have a working PC, but I can't play games - the video card is too old to support it. I still don't understand why the NVidia card drivers (for both my new and old NVidia AGP cards) cause the OS to become unstable and die. More testing is required. However, one thing is for certain. I've replaced almost all the major components of the machine over this project - Hard drive, CPUs, Motherboard, video card, sound card - so it's essentially a new machine now. I have removed the name 'ARIEL' from it, and was thinking of calling it 'TAK' from Invader Zim, but then I had a revelation. Not 'Tak' - 'Tek', in reference to the queen of the unicorns and Jan's mate from the Firebringer trilogy.

TEK
===
Processor: Pentium III 1GHz (2 CPUs)
Motherboard: TYAN Tiger 2507 running at 133 Clock speed
RAM: 1 GB PC133 SDRAM (in four 256 MB units)
Video Card: Matrox Millenium (TEMPORARY)
HD1: 40 GB IBM
HD2: Zip 100 IDE
Ethernet: DLink 10/100 full duplex
Sound: Soundblaster PCI128
CDROM1: CDROM 52X
CDROM2: CDRW 24x4x
Current OS: Windows ME

Last night I talked to a ex-reporter friend Beth Mitchrony from Martinez about the book Leva and I have been struggling over. She wouldn't even look at it, citing my works from 2-3 years ago, stating I needed a refresher course in style. Needless to say I was hurt. Kenny Mitchroney (comicbooks and storyboarder) says that Leva and I need an agent - that no one will take us seriously until we do. In the meantime his ex-roomie Steve Boyett fired his agent when his agent read Steve's new book and went 'I don't get it...' We won't ask him about agents right now.

I am bound and determined to print this book, even if collecting reject letters becomes a hobby.

In good news, we signed for the new car yesterday.

In the meantime, there's newer MV writing getting posted (still very rough and mostly dialog).

I'm now a paid honest livejournal user now.

I'm off to work now, making $200 less money a week than I was at Brocade...
tigris: (Tia Cheryl)
After spending days trying to get a win98se installation on the PC that would work, all it would do was freeze on bootup and would only boot into safe mode. Frustrated, I plunked down the $250 for the two Pentium III cpu and $125 for a new video card, and tore my old PC apart, installing the new equipment and[livejournal.com profile] chipuni's old motherboard. I was only in for more frustration. The PC seems perfectly workable, except that whenever 98se or ME reaches the point where you can click 'start' and actually do things, the machine spontaneously reboots before you can do anything.

All I want to do is play the PC games I already own. Is that too much to ask?
tigris: (Gargess Eden)
While in the middle of doing something, the PC starts having problem accessing the hard drive. In frustration, I pulled out one of the three optical drives, and moved everything onto the PCI expansion IDE controller card in the PC to try and keep that stupid piece of crap alive.

It was able to boot from the hard drive once on the PCI IDE card, but now I had a whole series of unexplainable lockups. I only use the PC for gaming, and now it looks like none of the games will work because they lock up during loading. So, once again, I am incensed and infuriated at the stupid PC, and have turned it off to let it sit neglected and unwanted for a while as I attempt to calm down and be less angry at it.

It just knows that I’m biding my time before I get my dream mac tower — a machine fast enough to run windows emulation software under Mac OS X, so I’ll be able to play windows games on the mac and never need the PC ever again. *KICKS THE STUPID PC!!!*
tigris: (Default)
Okay, I went pricing replacements parts. Ariel (the PC) works... occasionally. Sometimes it sees the HD, sometimes not. It's really bizarre. It's like there's a flake in a chip on the MB. I'm researching around places looking for the best deal/best unit/etc. Having looked at what's out there, here's what I'm looking for:

Motherboard: Slot A - AMD Athlon/Duron with 3-4 IDE chains, 3-4 DDR RAM slots (PC133 slots are nice too), sound, USB, and ethernet on board would be great, but I don't need old-style serial ports, MIDI port, or parallel port. I don't need an AMR slot. AGP 4x-8x is fine. I don't need any more than 4 PCI slots. I want the MB able to handle 1.2 GHz to 2.0+ GHZ clock speeds (my current is 1.2 GHz). My price range is around about $100.00.

Processor: Slot A - AMD Duron or Athlon - above 1.2 GHz. My price range is around about $50.

RAM: DDR at the bus rate of above motherboard, at 512 MB (Min)-1 GB (Max) RAM. Price range is around $70.

*hits the net, looking for stuff* I can't afford to buy anything yet, but that doesn't mean I should do my homework early...

In other news - my laptop died. I was sitting in bed, with Tanan, chatting with people, and then it started going wonky and is now unusuable. Tanan will take it to work tomorrow to have the pros look at it. I suspect it's something to do with the fact I dropped it on thursday on the pavement. I'm amazed it worked for two days after being dropped. Since it's down, I can't access my email until it's fixed.

So right now I'm running Jade (the G4 cube) and that's my only machine. Jade runs fine, so I can't complain. I just hate iChat. It keeps disconnecting my in the middle of AIM conversations. Revar recently cleaned up a lot of the bugs from Trebuchet for OS X and so it doesn't crash on my all the time. It still won't drop to the dock, but at least it doesn't crash now.

T'Layna asked me about the name of the PC - Ariel. Some people name their cars. I name computers. That way when I mention machine named 'BLAH' Tanan and I know exactly which machine I mean. It's interesting - we have two high-density switches in the house network, and we've got enough machines and other stuff to max them out. It's not all machines either. I normally have three, and Tanan normally has three. Tanan got a new machine recently - Arthur - a nifty new flat-panel white 'plunger' iMac running at 800 MHz G4 (the equivalent of about a 1.6 GHz Pentium III) making it the hottest machine in the house. So now Tanan has four machines, but one is old and being phased out. The switches are both full duplex and auto-sensing, so the connection rate is good anywhere on the network.

Tigris's switch: 8 port
1. Jade (G4 cube, 500 MHz - the equivalent of a 1 GHZ Pentium III)
2. Shelly (700 MHz G3 laptop - currently DEAD)
3. Ariel (1.2 GHz PC running win98 - currently DEAD)
4. Kittyvixen (network appletalk printer)
5. Vixennet (wireless network basestation)
6. Router (connection to the internet)
7. Ricky 2.0 (Redhat 7.2 box that's acting as a firewall/DHCP server/file server)
8. connection to Tanan's switch on the other side of the room

Tanan’s switch: 5 port
1. Arthur (G4 iMac, 800 Ghz – equivalent of about a 1.6 Ghz Pentium III)
2. Noodle (400 Mhz Pentium II PC)
3. Garlic (333 G3 ‘tooth’ – being phased out)
4. Nameless Cube (G4 cube, 450 Mhz – the equivalent of a 900 Mhz Pentium III)
5. connection to Tigris’s switch

The interesting part is that, when we got these two switches – we though we’d NEVER fill them up. Ha ha. Now we have to take something off the network in order to add something new. I’ve looked at mebbe getting a 16-port full duplex auto-sensing switch, but those run $75 and up. No way in hell! We’ll get by without…
tigris: (Default)
I know I'm beating a dead horse about this, but the saga with the PC continues. I boot up the PC this morning, and it's unable to find the hard drive - and this is with the new drive! I threw out the old drive! I think it was actually perfectly good! I'm thinking the motherboard is bad. Which means I may just let the PC die here and now. I am so tired of spending hours and and hours making the damn thing work. The only reason I keep it is for gaming, but Alice I got the mac-only version which works out pretty well.

I what know C-mage's first comment will be: "If you were running XP this wouldn't happen." Well, no, it would still happen because this is a hardware-level problem. XP is software. If it can't find the hard drive, how is XP going to have anything to do with it?

Anyhow, if it is a motherboard issue, I can't afford to replace the MB right now. The one I have uses PC133 RAM, and all the new stuff uses DDR RAM.

New Motherboard: $100
New Processor: $200-300
New RAM: $200
Total: $500-$600 that I don't have.

In other news, I saw Erin from Brocade last night. She seemed pretty social and the fact that Brocade were being blockheads never came up - I was good and never brought it up. However, she still didn't have my recommendation letter she promised. I'm starting to think that I never will get it. We'll see what happens Thursday.

I sent messages to all the FC staff mailing list management addresses that I wanted to be unsubscribed from all the FC mailing lists, and either the lists have all gone quiet, or they've finally (two weeks later) taken me off them. I still don't want to be a part of FC next year, because I'm sick of being their unappreciated secretary. I felt unappreciated at Brocade, and at FC - I'm no longer at Brocade, well I don't want to be a part of FC anymore. The only person who thanked me for all the time I put into FC last year - getting up early on saturday mornings and sitting in meetings that lasted all day long until 5 at night - was ChipUni. And he wasn't in charge of anything last year - except FCTV. I'll attend the firing party on saturday - to stick it out until the end - but I will be very honest about how I felt. I'll certainly attend FC in the future - I've never been to AnthroCon or ConFurence, but FC is the better of the cons I've been to. I won't go to ConFurence - not after Darrel Exline's recent stupidity on the newsgroups. I'd like to go to AC, but the reason I don't go to AC is the same reason I can't go to Gargcon this year (which I really really really really really wanna go to!), in that it's on the east coast. I just can't afford to fly out there.

Playing Alice easy difficulty through several times to get more practice in, because on normal difficulty I start getting clobbered right around the Pool of Tears. I'm amazed how much better I've gotten at the game. I can play all forty levels through in a day (8 hours). I've perfected my rope climbing and steam gliding skills. Just working on melee combat. That's where I seem to get weak. The jackbomb doesn't really work like I want it to, but the Eyestaff toy is surprisingly effective for it's will cost. But you don't get that until late in the game, meaning the jackbomb and jacks are my main toys.

I've been looking for ICQ/AIM alternatives for Mac OS X and haven't had any luck so far. Crissa suggested Trillian (PC only), GAIM (can't find the Mac OS X download), and FINK (directly conflicts with the antivirus software). Having them in one program would be nice, so I'm not running iChat and ICQ on the mac at once. iChat is really really flaky software, because it keeps disconnecting in the middle of a conversation. I've been looking for an iChat feedback page, but haven't found one yet.

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