IMPORTANT: The following journal is intended for the use and viewing of approved persons only and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. Any dissemination, distribution or copying of this work is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word ‘absquatulation’ has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the creation of this journal and a minimum of Microsoft software was used. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards.

Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Friday 19 December 2003 (Day View)

19.12.2003Friday 19 December – Cooktown and Computer Problems

Mum and I drove into town, where, after picking up Sarah and checking my mail, I broke my fast, and almost my belly, with a caramel milkshake. Feeling bloated and sick, I bought a 50¢ Lions fizzy lifesaver thing, to offset the creamy milk, which I ate. Now feeling fizzy, bloated and sick, I bought a can of Solo, to wash away the rest with its sharp, aerated lemon tang. It didn’t work of course, but such is life.
It poured down for a little but just as we were driving out of town, and the windscreen wiper broke. Upon closer inspection, some dim-witted person had fitted the wrong sized blade to it, so we had to go buy the right sized one and put that on, along with a lot of un-squeezing to get it to fit where they’d bodged it up to hold the smaller blade. Not exactly exciting, but that’s what happened. Mum got a few DVD’s out too, “Lantana”, “Charlotte Gray”, “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “Beware Greeks Carrying Guns” – along with “The Fast and the Furious”, which I got for Ella.
Jade’s Computer
Jade’s computer won’t connect to the Internet anymore, so I drove over to see why. Her problem was easy to fix, the new version of Kerio’s Personal Firewall, which is sadly much worse than their previous version, doesn’t support running as an internet gateway in the free version – but it did for a day or so before the “demo” part expired, so much for being free. With the firewall uninstalled, everything worked – for a while.
Ella’s Computer
Originally, it wouldn’t run stably at all, rebooting at random and having numerous blue screens of death. When he swapped the RAM with RAM from a friend’s computer, it seemed to work, so he sent the RAM back for warranty replacement. This is where I come into the story. My task was to go around and install this RAM, along with a satellite transceiver. After installing the RAM, the computer would automatically reboot just before it would get to where the Windows XP login screen would normally be. I reinstalled XP (Professional), during which I had some random rebooting problems, but eventually managed to get it to boot properly. I then noticed that there were graphics problems. Little lines would be drawn at random on the screen and certain images and windows would be garbled. Turning off “write combining”, cursor, and bitmap accelerations seemed to fix these garbled graphics problems, and I even reset the FSB and DDR pulse back to their original full-speed settings without any problems. Everything seemed to almost work well, the computer only randomly rebooting once when I went to install something. It then ran for a few days without any problems – until I went over today, installed WinDVD, and attempted to play a DVD. WinDVD starts, then the monitor blanks momentarily, then WinDVD appears all white and frozen, then it begins to play – but with severe lines and artefacts, before either resetting the computer or causing a STOP error. I then installed PowerDVD, which runs, and plays, but did eventually cause the computer to reset, although it worked for a while, and didn’t seem to have any weird drawing problems.
I’d thought to replace the motherboard – which is a bit hard to do as I’d have to send it back to Brisbane, 2000 kilometres away, and probably over the Christmas break while they’re closed, but I don’t want to do that and then find, a month later when I finally get the new motherboard, that it has the same problems. Someone mentioned doing a disk scan to see if there’s any corruption on it, and that’s about all I’ve been able to come up with, apart from trying to install something entirely different, perhaps Windows ME, in case it’s some sort of driver problem. The motherboard is an Albatron KM18G PRO nForce2 with an AMD XP2200+ processor (running at 1.8GHz) and 256 MB of DDR RAM (running at 333 MHz). Any ideas?
I might try to get an early night in. I’ve had reasonably bad hay fever all day today, which makes me tired. I hope it goes away.
Comment by DM – Saturday 20 December 2003, 1:15 AM
  My only suggestion for the computer problem is that I've heard that some recent motherboards have been having trouble implementing AGP 8x too well. I've got no idea if the computer's using that at all, but as the problems all seem to be graphical in nature (and the comp is resetting when displaying DVDs:- most DVD players write 'directly' to the video card, so it's something a bit out of the ordinary), it could be something worth checking out. If the computer's using 8x AGP currently, try forcing it down to 4x in the BIOS, or something like that.
  Also, I really enjoyed Lantana. Thought it was a great local (read: Aussie) film.
Comment by Ned – Saturday 20 December 2003, 1:56 PM
  Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve tried disabling AGP 8× support, but I’ve a feeling that it only applies to add-in AGP cards, not the onboard solution. Either way, it didn’t seem to make any difference. I saw Lantana a while back – when it was on at the cinemas I think, but I don’t fully remember it now. Mum hasn’t seen it though.

Add your comments

You may leave a short comment, not longer than 800 characters.

Be Amused

Printed on 100% recycled electrons
W3C CSS 2.0