Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Celebrating 600 followers on Tumblr!!!

“Now run along to my housekeeper, ‘LADY Julia’, and ask her nicely if she wouldn’t mind you helping wash the dishes - then you can go scrub the scullery floor…”

 Yep!  Just had my 600th follower on Tumblr!  Why not help me make it 1000 for this new year of 2016?  Sign up now!
So – I decided to fix my non-working monitor (one of two I use) before the computer,  which I left running so as I could look up circuit diagrams and so on.  The faulty component was obvious once I’d got the thing apart (no easy task for a fumble-fingers like me!) – a blackened, charred capacitor in the backlight circuitry, which crumbled to carbonised dust at a touch – but its role in the scheme of things, and more importantly its value and spec, was more difficult to discern and needed the aforementioned diagrams and service manual.  The value and specification in particular seemed closely guarded secrets.  But finally it became clear what was required was a capacitor of 22pf, 5%, low ESR, high working temperature and 3KV working voltage…So, I’ve now ordered the part for the princely sum of £1.20 including VAT and delivery (actually I’ve ordered 4 at 25P each + VAT), it has been dispatched, and it should be here tomorrow or Friday.  But whether I can actually get the bloody screen back together again is another matter entirely!!!
So, that having been done, and having updated Pinterest, Tumblr, Deviant Art and knocked out this little offering (just to cheer myself up).  I’m signing off until such a time this machine I’m presently using is back on its feet (which might not be until the middle of next week if I’m unlucky!  It all depends on how easy it turns out to be to restore Windows off my external drive setup once I’ve installed the new hard drives – and there’s a LOT more to THAT than meets the eye, since Windows cannot boot directly via USB (well Windows XP can’t anyway – coz it tests the USB ports as it boots up and thereby cuts itself of from its own source.  It also can’t copy itself either – but that’s a separate issue; and one somewhat easier to overcome).
I’ll still be contactable via email, using my smart phone (since both my laptops have ‘issues of their own) and will be regularly tweeting (a New Year’s resolution).  
Bye bye for now.  Fingers crossed – and wish me luck… I’m turning off...right...now…
Best Wishes.
Garth....

11 comments:

Mike Smith said...

I hope all is well with your technology and data!

Toyntanen said...

Oh God no! I'm presently blundering from one disaster to another! I successfully changed the faulty component in the monitor but managed to damage a connector on the circuit board whilst disassembling it...but then found a cheap replacement in my local CEX store (a sort of tech secondhand store); LED backlit too; no more horrid highvoltage cold cathode jobbies! But the computer itself has been a saga all of its own...what a bloody nightmare!!! ...continued...

Toyntanen said...

...continued... Despite all symptoms initially pointing towards impending disk failure, as discussed and hinted at in the main post (above - posted 6th Jan) there appears to be a major motherboard problem. I've swapped in and out different disk drives, different RAM boards in different configurations, changed the 10 year old BIOS (CMOS) backup battery and even re-flashed the BIOS from a floppy disk backup. Pretty much the only thing (other than the CPU itself and the BIOS chip) I HAVEN'T changed is the PSU (coz I don't have another). I CAN get it to boot (after several attempts) but only by running everything at around three quarter speed - and even then, as soon as I plug anything into any USB port it freezes... Luckily a kind soul out there has let me have a machine he's had laying around which (NO thanks to DHL - of which more another time)I have now received and which, surprisingly, seems actually faster than my old box, even with its 10,000 RPM Raptors. There's still lots to do to retrieve my files and reload drivers and software and so on (I'm writing this off my smartphone - pretty much the only 'tech' I still have working) but I hope to be up and running shortly after this coming weekend

Mike Smith said...

Sorry you have had such extreme tech problems but your fanbase looks forward to future posts and new books once you have things settled down.

Toyntanen said...

I have to say it DOES feel as if the forces of evil (or should that be 'reason', considering the stuff I write) are conspiring against me at times. What with two laptops, a desktop computer and a monitor screen all down. Even today I've settled to work in a coffee bar using a friends notebook machine I 've been lent for the day only to find after a few minutes the battery warning message flashing up...AND a problem with the charger!!!

Toyntanen said...

AND - would you believe it? There is a problem with the files I hastily backed up when all this started kicking off. Without thinking it through I created a clone of my hard drive, intending to simply change the disk drives and restore to the newly fitted disks. But of course that cannot now happen in that simple way. Trouble is, the clone has overwritten my previous backup files created a few weeks previously - and since it IS a clone, ie a complete snapshot of my entire system including the operating system,and I had created three separate accounts, each with its own set of restrictions and permissions, copying the files across to the new machine is not a simple task because I keep running into "you do not have permission" statements. I have thus far managed to retrieve the files I have in the 'My Documents' area (as far as I can tell) but am struggling with those folders I'd created directly in 'Desktop'...Oh blimey!!!

Mike Smith said...

Oh my god. What a mess!

petika said...

To avoid those permission problems, make a Linux live usb, boot from it, than copy the files you need, where you need them. For future backup slution, i can really recomend Veeam endpoint backup. Its free and works very well.

Toyntanen said...

It sure is, Mike! Amd no sooner do I get one thing fixed than another rears up (see next reply - below).

Toyntanen said...

Thanks for that, Petika. Yep I was at one time thinking of making the thing dual boot, but I have to admit I hadn't thought of booting some flavour of Linux from USB - nice idea!

Actually I'd managed to change ownership in Windows (Windows 7 Ultimate edition) but messed somewhere when it came to my desktop folders in my account (the other half and the kid's accounts I transferred no problem at all). So I have around 75% of my stuff, and hopefully your idea will help me retrieve that last 25%. But now I have another problem, which perhaps you or someone else can help me with...

Toyntanen said...

...Until this morning I hadn't had need of the CD/DVD drive. But last night while putting the finishing touches to my installation I came across a bunch of old CDs. A lot (including a whole heap of floppys with my old PhD data on them) I just chucked, but a few CDs had enigmatic labels suggesting some possibly interesting backup stuff from old computers I've owned or used. So this morning I thought I'd work through them while having my first cuppa or two. So...the CD/DVD drive shows up in 'my computer' ok. I click on 'eject' and the door/tray duly opens...so far, so good... I stick a disc in and close the drawer/tray... And the CD/DVD icon promptly disappears, the computer denying all knowledge of its existence or that it ever HAS existed unless I close down and reboot, at which pont it once again admits to owning said optical drive...Any ideas? Anyone???