Archive: May 7, 2005

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As the laptop turns - episode 1

Saturday,  05/07/05  10:32 PM

While I was out, I had some laptop trouble.  The tale unfolded in email; over the new few days I'm going to post them...  Here is episode 1:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ole Eichhorn []
Monday, March 07, 20051:37 PM
Subject: As the laptop turns (seeking sympathy points)

Feel free to ignore this email if you’re busy :)


This is a cautionary tale which ends badly.  Read it and be forewarned...

So when last we left our intrepid road warrior (me), he had just discovered a loose connection in his laptop’s display screen; wiggling the screen caused the picture to wobble.  Okay, so call next day support.  That’s why we have it.

So I didn’t get next day support, I got three-days-later support, but at least a guy showed up with a new laptop display.  He installed it, and I asked him to wait while I checked it out.  He was a bit grumpy about this – why is it techs always want to leave immediately after they fix something, they’re just going to have to come back if it isn’t right? - and unfortunately the display had a bright line running down the right side, always on.  No good.  Okay, we need another display.

Next day a different guy shows up with another display.  He replaces the display.  Again I ask him to wait while I check it out, again he doesn’t want to.  So the display looks fine, but the loose connection is still there; wiggling the laptop cover causes the display to wobble.  He says I need a new motherboard!  What:0  I don’t believe this – I think it is a loose connection – but whatever.  So he orders the motherboard and says he’ll be back the next day.

Well the motherboard was backordered so it really took three days.  But anyway this morning first thing he shows up with the new motherboard to install it.  I’m going to make a long and painful story short by saying now I have a fried CPU and a cracked laptop case to go with my new display and new motherboard.  (I secretly believe the original display was fine, and the original motherboard was fine, and this was just a loose connection.  But what do I know.)

So now we have a dead laptop, and a new CPU, new heat sink, and new laptop case on order.  I’m not really sure  if there’s going to be anything left.  Stay tuned.

Of course there is one original part – the disk drive.  You would think with all my experience I would have made a FULL backup of my laptop before this all began.  And I had the best intentions – I even went to Fry’s Saturday and bought a new 250GB drive for my server, so I could perform a FULL backup.  But, well, to make another long and painful story short I spent all weekend trying to get a third IDE drive which is bigger than 128GB  to run, and I did, finally, but it took all weekend, and I didn’t have time to do the laptop backup.

    { By the way, Fry’s has a special on Seagate 250GB drives, $125 with a $50 rebate.  Such a deal. }

Did I mention the tech showed up first thing this morning?  Yeah, I let him destroy the computer before I had a chance to do the full backup.  Bad Ole.  Really really bad Ole.

So now I’m going back to Fry’s so I can buy a 2 1/2“ USB drive enclosure so I can attach my laptop drive to my server and do a Ghost backup.  I am dumb but there is a limit to my dumbness.  (Please don’t contradict me on this :)

Stay tuned for the next installment...


Continue to episode 2, 3, 3.5...


Saturday,  05/07/05  10:38 PM

Man, we had quite a day today.  Thirty+ eight-year-olds running around and screaming, jumping in the jumpy and splashing in the pool.  Whew.

Profiting from Obscurity; Tom Standage examines the long tail in the Economist.  "Perhaps the most profound implication of the long tail, however, is its impact on popular culture.  As choice expands and people can more easily find niche content that particularly interests them, hits will be less important: so what will people talk about when gathered around the water cooler?"  [ via Chris Anderson

Tom Coates discusses his vote in the English election.  "And in the end, everything has worked out pretty much perfectly. The country's swing towards the Liberal Democrats was enormously significant, and should give the government a clear sign about where the centre of the debate has headed."  Prior to blogs, how could you possibly get this kind of insight about the politics of another country? 

San Francisco was chosen as the headquarters location for California's stem cell initiative administration, beating out San Diego.  I'm afraid San Diego lost because of the political turmoil there, but truly this choice was a mistake.  San Francisco has a huge bureaucracy as well as very consensual, liberal approach; San Diego is much less bureaucratic and must more business-oriented, as well as the biotech center of California.  We'll see how it all works out, I guess, but it would have been a better start if San Diego had been chosen... 

Jason Kottke: The Sony Libre.  The future of books.  Really.  Maybe not this device, but a device like it.... 

Greg London considers Copyrights and Patents in the wild west: Bounty Hunters.  Kind of long but the points are solid.  It is just so weird that ideas can be owned. 

Advanced Imaging discusses Video Data turns into Knowledge.  The only thing harder than pattern recognition in 2D images is pattern recognition in video, which is essentially pattern recognition in 3D.  Fascinating.  [ via Radar O'Reilly

Russell Beattie posted a great discussion about The Mobile Web.  "The mobile web sucks right now.  Why is that?"  Seems like an intelligent HTML proxy would make the web on cell phones usable.  Right now, most of the time, it is basically in the "dancing bear" catagory; it is cool that it works at all, but it doesn't work well enough to be actually usuable. 

Does anybody really know what time it is?  Well, here's The Official U.S. Time.  [ via Ottmar Liebert ]  You have to love Indiana, where some counties are on Central Time, some on Eastern Time, some observe daylight savings, and some don't.  People in Indiana talk in terms of "fast time" and "slow time", and in some cities you could hear things like "I'm meeting him at 5:00 fast time".  There's even a town called Santa Claus (not making this up) where some businesses are on slow time part of the year, and others are on fast time.  Most of the time "fast time" is an hour ahead of "slow time", but there are times when they are equal.  Whew. 


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