Posts Tagged ‘computer’


Posted: November 6, 2008 in computer
Tags: ,

I am so thrilled to tell anyone who cares that I am actually typing this on my new computer. A brand-new computer! Finally, finally, finally! No more “Can I use your computer?” or “Are you done with my computer, Dad? . . . I have homework.” No more sitting at my desk and brooding while doing the daily crossword and waiting for my turn.

This is the first computer I have ever purchased. My old machine was put together by my former brother in law with scavenged parts from other computers; A hard drive from here, a modem from there, a sound card from one discarded computer and whatever else from who knows what or where. Even though it was sort of a Dr. Frankenstein type computer, it was a marvel of ingenuity that mostly worked flawlessly for about six years even while having gone through many operating system changes and even getting busted at one time for running a pirated version of XP Pro.

I am now the happy owner of a new clean machine.

Some time ago I found that my D drive will not read CDs anymore. Just as the insane do the same thing over and over again and expect different results, I keep sticking discs into the machine with hope that it will somehow work again.

So . . . after it didn’t work again I took the disc out and put it away (for later). After that, I forgot to close the tray. Several minutes later I rolled my chair sideways toward the wastebasket and crunched the tray perfectly sideways. I now know just how even the tray and the seat of my chair are. It made a horrible cracking sound and when I looked at the tray it was at about a 10-15 degree angle.

I wasn’t concerned about that as much as I was about what else might have been damaged. I would check that out but first I had to get the damned tray back inside the box. As expected the button was not pulling it back inside. This was probably not the best idea but I forced it back in with my thumbs. An equally bad idea was to push the button again to see what would happen. Needless to say it did not budge and then started making very scary sounds as it was fighting to get back out.

When that ended I went back to the keyboard to see how some other functions were working. I typed in a search. That worked but when I clicked on a link the Windows default mouse click sound immediately started going off at a rapid 4 clicks per second until I closed everything. I went to this blog and clicked on a link and the same thing happened. I definitely had a problem.

I decided that I had to get the tray out. Somehow. I used a pair of needle-nose pliers to pop off the covor of the tray: The one that says “DVD”. I then used a butter knife to pry out the tray while pressing the button. It came out enough that I was able to pull it out by hand. Now that it was out I tried a link again. It was the same rapid “clickclickclickclickclick . . .” Now that it was out and it was just a bare tray without the front cover, I wanted to see if it would slide in on it’s own. I pressed the button and it did! Apparently the the cover was what was keeping it from going in and out.

I tried a link again and the same thing happened. Then I noticed that my sound had automatically gone to mute. I unmuted it and tried another link. Still the incessant clicking. I resorted to the only thing I could think of and whacked the computer with the ball of my palm. The only thing that did was make the sound go back to mute mode but still clicking. I whacked it again and then unmuted it. Now the clicking was twice as loud. I gave it another whack with a little more force and then the sound tripled. This time, however, it wasn’t clicking, it was making a sound like a cheap alarm clock at the same intervals (4/second).

The sound could also be described as a security alarm. I was seriously worried now. The only thing I could think to do was give this old computer one last good old-fashioned fist pounding. I did so by bringing the ball of my fist straight down on top of it with twice as much force as before. When I did, that blood-curdling sound stopped immediately. My sound is fine and the tray slides in and out easily only now in sort of a zig-zaggy motion. Maybe now it will run discs.

No sound for you !

Posted: April 21, 2008 in computer
Tags: , ,

No! No. No, no, no, no . . . Why this? As far as I know I’m not considered a whiner. At least no one has told me so. The people who really, really know me have described my negative side as grumpy, pessimistic and sort of angry with society but I don’t ever remember being described as whiny. If I am, please tell me now and I’ll stop that immediately. But only after this deliberate exhibition of foot-stomping whinery.

It looks like I’ve completely lost my audio device on this computer, meaning I will never, ever hear another song for the rest of my life. Also, I will never, ever be able to fully understand what’s going on in any videos that are sent to me for the rest of my life.

I hope that was dramatic and whiny enough. This does piss me off though. I don’t usually listen to music but when I need to hear a song, I really need to hear that damned song. This happens frequently and a simple system restore has always solved the problem. Not this time though. I system-restored the shit out of this computer over the weekend and still never got it back. I finally gave up on that approach and emailed one of the Houston Chronicle’s tech columnists. I was very surprised that he answered me in my inbox within an hour. I didn’t know how he responded to questions. My assumption was that if you were lucky he would address your question in his column. He must be one hell of a busy guy. From his response I learned that I am screwed. His advice was to visit the computer makers web site and re-download the audio driver. I don’t know who the hell made this computer. My brother-in-law put it together with scavanged parts a long, long time ago.