5.4.05

Broken fantastic



Because of this little gizmo - the system fan - I am relegated to using my steam-powered laptop. The beast (as I my PC has come to be known) has recently begun acting up again after several months of good behaviour. This morning when I switched it on, it switched itself off again. This battle of wits continued for a few minutes, then I decided to leave it, go have a cup of coffee, then come back and kick the living daylights out of it.

Instead, I switched it on, and it started sort of behaving itself, except it kept on telling me that something was wrong with the Star Office suite - which was unfortunate, because that is the program that I was wanting to use. I tried to repair it, but I was told, in no uncertain terms, that because I hadn't installed an optional plug-in it would not be able to repair the installation, and that I would need to download it again. It is a big download which, even with my 1Mb link, takes about 25 minutes. Aha!, said I. I had the foresight to save the installation files from the last time I downloaded this program. Aha!, said I, as I cursed myself for not labelling my CDs. After the 10th or 11th CD drew a blank, I decided to bite the bullet and redownload the whole lot - including the 'optional' plug-in that allows running repairs to be done when the original installation is corrupted.

The only problem I could envisage was remembering my password for the Sun download page - so I dedided better to copy my work files over to the laptop where at least I have Word. Miracle of miracles, I remembered my details and began the big download (Zak, if you had to do it, it would take almost 11 hours), and commenced with the transfer of files across my desk.

Just as I started, the Beast began making one hell of a noise, before as a small piece of plastic hit me on the leg. I cautiously peered into the gubbins, and traced the noise to the fan over the heat sink. One of its blades had come off - and that was the bit of plastic that hit my leg (my bad one at that). I put up with the noise until the download was complete, then switched everything off and ripped the Beast's heart out. Fan removed, I phoned PC World to see if they had any in stock - they didn't. I managed to get a new one on the internet - the postage costs more than the fan, but they promised to deliver it tomorrow - so that sold me.

Liam spent the whole morning standing sentinel at the living room window watching for the postman who, he believed, would be bringing his newly purchased game. Thank God that the postman brought it, because Liam was really beginning to drive me up the wall asking me if I thought the postie would have it, and what if he didn't??? So that was Liam quiet for the rest of the morning - shame I couldn't say the same about the Beast

through some of these computer hardware store websites got me to thinking about building my own PC. Well, actually, move all the gubbins from the existing case into a new one. Maybe the change of surroundings would make it a happier PC - I could get one of those cases with all the lights, and make my study look like a 1970s school disco. Modding, I think they call it, and I don't think it has much to do with fishtail parkas and Lambretta scooters, either. I'd better not, though, because I'd just break something. I'll just get the new fan, install it, then cross my fingers and hope for the best.

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