Hey there, guys. Another lengthy delay since the last post. Some stuff has happened, making use of my computer difficult. Apart from some small amount of study, as well as learning about craft and watching TV, most of my time recently has been spent dealing with computer issues.
The last few weeks have been pretty hectic due to both of our computers crapping themselves. Hubby’s machine had been dying since a major storm a few months ago, but the power supply finally gave up the ghost. He used a 450W to cover him for a week or so while a sizable order came in. He’d pretty much decided that given his numerous issues with hard drives and whatnot that it was time for a computer replacement. He asked if I wanted a new computer as well, and given the performance of my own clunker, I informed him that I wanted a new one as well. It was just as well that I did because a few days later my own computer had issues of its own. I had installed a Windows 10 update that caused a PCIE conflict with the SSD that I had the operating system on catching a BSOD watchdog error. Some further diagnosis indicated that we were unable to download relevant drivers for the drive to potentially sort the issue due to incompatibility with the older motherboard (at least seven years old). He ended up removing my old games drive as well because it was apparent that it had been on its way out for the past month, and installed Windows 7 on another hard drive until the parts arrived.
The parts arrived after some major annoyances with the folks that we had purchased them from. The told us some parts weren’t available and at least one of the motherboards that we’d ordered was unavailable because the second one sitting in their warehouse was damaged. We changed the order to incorporate a different motherboard and told them to send the second motherboard separately when their new stock arrived. Problem is that in spite of our request for them to send the main order right away, they didn’t, instead sending the motherboard first. We’d prompted them on numerous times to just send the damn order. Finally, we had a sales rep put us through to the warehouse to put a fire up their ass. The chap on that end had no clue about our order apparently (this is actually quite likely given the sending of the motherboard earlier), and sorted it that same day, refunding our postage on the order for the annoyance. We had pointed out that we have spend tens of thousands of dollars with them over the years for various builds for ourselves and friends, and he didn’t want to lose our business for an avoidable cock-up. We still aren’t happy, but we at least have our machines rebuilt now.
The builds made use of only a few old parts. Hubby’s build went smoothly until he tried to turn on the machine and it immediately shut down for some reason. He went to bed at 6 AM feeling devastated, but managed to sort the problem. The issue remains a mystery, but the computer is at least working now. I am now using hubby’s old CPU watercooling system, a new thing for me. It was a pain in the ass installing it onto my old tower as there were some clearance issues on the top backside of the case. That took several hours to sort. My own build took the longest due to that CPU cooler, and we had to do a run over to Sarina to get some thermal gel. [For those that are unaware, thermal gel in this context is a gel that acts as a barrier between the CPU and cooling to avoid the CPU from overheating. It is essential if you want your computer to work. New coolers usually comes with a small amount for your install. Don’t put on too much though or it will squish onto your motherboard and kill it. There are several companies that sell tubes of the stuff separately, some of which are performance gels that make your machine run slightly cooler than less expensive products. We got a run of the mill gel that is good enough for what we need it for.]
We then went about checking integrity of hard drives, trying to save (unsuccessfully) drives with issues and transferring files onto stable swap disks. Bad drives, of which there are at least three (hubby lost 2 and I lost my games drive, with my old 750 Barracuda to be dumped soon as well even though it still works as its been slowing down over the last year or so) have been put on a pile, though I am unsure of what hubby intends to do with my old SSD, though I suspect that it will be added to the pile given that it can no longer be used due to the Windows 10 conflict. We intend on getting new drives over the next few months (budget restraints, hence the wait), and will be building a spare computer on top of our own to cover us if one of ours packs it in again. This computer will be hooked up to the TV and will be used to stream from our computers. It looks like we will be using hubby’s old motherboard and will make use of my old clunker of a cooling rig.
As for my Windows install, that ran okay, but the following day a watermark on the screen saying that it was not activated caused a pain for me. I was feeling put out by the experience as their recent update had created the issue with my old SSD leading to the new build. I searched online for solutions for dealing with my OEM re-install. After several hours, I felt crappy because it appeared that I would need to wait on a phone for an extended period of time. Then I noticed an article talking about the Windows “Contact Support” app. With hubby’s prompting, I gave it a shot. I was in a one-on-one chat with a Ma.Leah, a cool lady that sorted my issue using remote access. This was my first experience with remote access, and I was initially concerned after hearing a horror story about one of hubby’s former workmates having his computer screwed over by a chap working for Telstra. She dealt with my problem within 30 minutes, the task made longer because of time spent waiting for clarification and typing to each other. Her assistance made a previously crappy day awesome, restoring my faith in humanity.
I am slowly reinstalling games and other software, though I am guessing that it might take some time to get back to normal. Its been stressful, there’s no doubt, but it also brought to light how much I rely upon my computer. I have considering ways of dealing with this reliance upon my desktop in particular, and I am seriously considering getting a laptop with touchscreen sometime in the not-so-distant future.
I have trying to get into craft and sewing over the past few month. I have been spending much of the time that I would have spent playing computer games looking at tutorials as well as researching tools and materials for my sewing and craft room. OneNote has been pretty neat in organizing my wishlist, with a number of websites offering repositories of free project plans. And of course, Pinterest rocks for finding new projects, tips and ideas.
I managed to snag the beginnings of a sewing kit (sewing box, pins, two scissors, measuring tapes, and seam rippers) to go with some thread and needles that I already had. I still have some way to go, but these items have opened up some options for sewing projects. I intend to make some tablet envelopes and some hanging organizers when I finally decide on material for the tasks. I will need to get some material though, as well as elastic, velcro, clips and several other materials. Eventually I hope to get a sewing machine, but I feel that I am lack some knowledge ahead of such a purchase and do not wish to waste money.
As for the craft-y stuff, I snagged some Bostick glue for half price at Woolworths on Monday. The two types of glue will make some difference, though it is basically all that I have for the craft kit apart from some recyclables. I have already been making some dividers for cans. They act as reasonable pen holder, but aren’t particularly attractive at present. As such, I will be decorating them as soon as I have some materials and appropriate glue for the task. Also, the little buckets that I made by cutting up plastic milk bottles came in handy when we were pulling apart and building our computers. Hubby seems to be a bit less annoyed with my increased interest in craft as a result, but is still mildly skeptical.
FILM & TV
We’ve started watching Grimm, which I am happy to say that hubby seems to enjoy. Grimm is an odd series but goes about telling the story of a detective that is monster hunter by genetics that awakens to find that he can see monsters, and that his family imparted stories of their own dealings with monsters via the Grimm stories. He befriends a palates, beer and music-loving werewolf that often helps him out in his investigations. He has to make sense of a tricky world where monsters are not always the bad guys, with the foreshadowing that a big bad is on the way. I like the show, though my hubby often pokes fun at the shoddy police procedure.
We finished the anime series Demon King Daimao, which was freaking hilarious. The world-building in the series is pretty neat, with a large matrix determining who does and does not get science, as well as the nature of that magic. The main character, a young man raised in a religious-based orphanage, finally gets into a prestigious magic academy, and is told by a chain-smoking destiny-determining Penguin construct (like the hat in Harry Potter), that he is the Demon King. This is a pretty big deal as it puts him in the eye of numerous assassins, at odds with the cute girl that he befriended on the hover train ride to the academy, and desired for the machinations of various figures. It is a funny if sometimes pervy story about a good-natured if somewhat mistreated hero, his friends, an auto-erotic necromancer witch, a pet dragon, dodgy programmers and a war-mongering government. This is for mature audiences due to the adult content.
We’ve started watching a neat supernatural comedy anime called Noragami. Noragami is the charming story of a Japanese War God named Yato who is trying to get followers and therefore fame. He now calls himself “Delivery God Yato” and sells his services to the few that don’t fall for the charms of more popular deities. After the first battle where we meet him, his Regalia (a spirit that can turn into weapons or other objects when called upon) decides to leave him. During a search for a cat, a teenage girl gets hit by a bus whilst trying to save a young man that she believed to be in danger. Because of the incident, it becomes apparent that she has a spirit leakage problem and she asks him for help in fixing it. He now has to find a replacement regalia to continue his work, but is constantly pestered by the girl who is becoming increasingly concerned by the regularly occurrence of her spirit falling out of her body which places her in genuine danger from evil spirits. It is a pretty cute show so far, with some decent world-building that makes use of some existing mythology.