Computers Suck | Mon 1st to Wed 10th Aug 2011 — Ned Martin’s Dot Org

Monday 1st August – eBay

Afternoon

Drove to Bronwen’s parents’ place to check out what had gone wrong with her Mum’s monitor. Ended up buying a new one from Umart, and staying for dinner. During dinner Bronwen’s Dad got word that his father had been taken ill, and Bronwen and her Dad drove up to the coast to see him. I drove to Maz’s, where I didn’t stay long, and then home, where I searched on eBay—and eventually bought—a charger and some 18650 batteries to go with the P-Rocket XM-L torch I bought earlier today, along with a few RCR123A’s. Then, somehow, it was very, very late and I went to bed—perhaps something to do with finding Flesh Field’s new (and final) album freely available on their site; it is impressive.

Tuesday 2nd August – Computers Suck

Day

I didn’t get up early. I had lunch for breakfast, then, in the evening, drove over to Maz’s—picking him up from work on the way—and watched Top Gear. I also swapped the RAM around in the not-booting media centre, and now it boots. Computers suck.

Wednesday 3rd August – Captain America: The First Avenger

Morning

Having been woken from a pleasant sleep by his back-stabbing alarm clock (who cares for no one), Ned slept in until Bronwen and her Mum arrived back from the coast several hours later. Feeling embarrassed and mildly guilty—in the same way that he always feels as though he’s done something wrong when driving past a police car, even on the occasions he hasn’t—he quickly got up and began his daily duties; the walk to the lounge room, turning on his laptop, reading his email, complaining that he hasn’t been made a coffee, whinging about the absurd and suspicious amount of un-fruity substance in his “fruity” muesli (which, he is happy to report, was subsequently removed by Bronwen—tacit admittance of guilt if ever he saw it).

Afternoon

After breakfast Ned sat down for a while to watch “The Big Bang Theory”, stopping for lunch. He then received the bad news that his 18650 battery charger purchase from eBay—which, ideally, needs to arrive before the batteries and torch it is for—was delayed due to a lack of stock, and he had to rush from the couch to the nearby table to use his laptop to buy another one.

Evening

After so much excitement, Ned rested for a while, chatting online to Maz and procrastinating-ly making a list of tasks he needs to do.

Night

Having recursively completed the first task in his task list—writing a task list—Ned drove, with Bronwen, to the other side of the city, picked up Bronwen’s Mum, and drove to Halim’s for dinner. After dinner Ned and Bronwen rushed to South Bank and watched “Captain America: The First Avenger” in 3D, which—while not what one would call a thinking Man’s movie—was an enjoyable, albeit horribly American, action movie.

Thursday 4th August – HP Suck

Day

I had a quiet day at home. Bronwen’s Mum dropped past on her way back from picking up hundreds of dollars of monogrammed balloons for an upcoming family reunion, and Bronwen went back to her place with her.

Evening

The census dropping off and later collecting man visited and dropped off the code required to do my e-census. And they say Google is intrusive?

Night

I drove to Maz’s—via the city, where I collected Maz from his work—and swapped out the awful Broadcom wireless card in the netbook for a new Intel 6200 one. Unfortunately HP, in their wisdom, have a “whitelist” of accepted hardware—of which the new card was not—so the BIOS politely informed me that the wireless card was unacceptable and would not boot. A short while later I had installed a hacked whitelist free BIOS, and re-swapped the wireless cards. Unsurprisingly, the drivers from Intel’s website didn’t work—not in any useful way, they just pretended to install and did nothing at all. After borrowing a USB CD-ROM drive and copying the provided drivers off the CD that came with the card, I managed to get it to turn up in Windows. I then found that the old card provided Bluetooth, which the new card did not, and that the new card wasn’t supported—in fact, didn’t even show up—in Backtrack, though I have an old version so hopefully it’s supported in the new version. Then, after booting back into Windows, the card wouldn’t turn on… though a reboot fixed that… and my Bluetooth dongle didn’t work… though once home I swapped it for another one, which did work… until it BSOD the machine… so I swapped it back to the non-working one, which so far seems to work…  To cut a long story short, computers—and anything made by HP—suck.

Friday 5th August – Boring

Day

Bronwen wasn’t here—having gone off to a family reunion in the Gympie area—so I had a boring day alone, doing nothing of any consequence.

Saturday 6th August – eBay Sucks

Night

In yet another reason not to use eBay, I found out that the wireless card I had got off eBay was an “engineering sample”, and not a production model. This would probably explain why the downloaded Intel drivers didn’t work and I had to use the specific ones that came with it… and also explains why it won’t work in Linux—the Intel microcode specifically checks for valid firmware, of which this card doesn’t have, and then fails. Unfortunately in this case, Maz bought it off eBay for me, so there isn’t much I can do about it.

Sunday 7th August – Sunday Live

Morning

I had a lazy morning, lazing.

3pm

I drove to the ABC’s Ferry Road studio and watched Nicholas NG, Jing Jing Lu, and Wade Gregory play erhu (two-string fiddle), guzheng (21-string zither), and a Steinway, with Raymond. Afterwards I drove to Bronwen’s parents’ place, where they—and Bronwen—had recently arrived back from their family reunion.

Night

Bronwen and I drove back home and spent the evening relaxing.

Monday 8th August – Killing Bilharzia

Night

Despite being ethically opposed to my tax being used to fund what I’m calling “the census for telemarketers”, which for unknown reasons—in the so-called computer age, where we’ve had effective postal systems for millennia, not to mention ultra-efficient spam-and-pizza-vouchers-to-your-door-delivery systems—is hand delivered at great cost and effort—and in my case, in the dark in what I’m sure is—despite my insurance disagreeing—a terribly dangerous suburb (it’s near where Kevin Rudd represents, and he’s now in hospital)—I have now completed my census. It turns out most of the questions go away when you have no income, have not looked for work, and aren’t doing anything.

Bronwen, of course, filled hers in incorrectly even after we argued at length about the meaning of the questions. I can only worry what the rest of Australia, with their lower intellect, is going to write. I imagine we’ll end up with a school for low-income Jedi in the now-bankrupt tunnel once they’ve done processing the data.

Later Night

After dinner, rushed to Bronwen’s parents’ place to take some photos of her grandfather over. Bronwen took Bilharzia tablets first, then felt sick, so we rushed home and I took mine—all six of the huge, terrible tasting things.

Tuesday 9th August – Not Climbing

Evening

I drive into the city to take Bronwen climbing, but none of her climbing group are there, so we head up to her parents’ place instead. After having pizza for dinner with them, we head to Maz’s, and stay there late.

Wednesday 10th August – Getting Fit & Staying Thin

Evening

Bronwen and I go for a walk through the nearby forest in the gathering—and soon, gathered—dark as part of our get fit/stay thin campaign.

Late Night

Bronwen and I drive to her parents’ place so Bronwen can print out what she’s going to say at the funeral tomorrow.