Sunday, November 30, 2003

Absolute Total Hell:
A little while back, I wrote about a condition in which my computer was randomly locking up. I thought it might be a virus, or a damaged hard drive, or something else. So, when Suzanne and I ordered our videocamera as an early X-Mas present to ourselves, I decided to upgrade: Got a 120 GB hard drive, planning to use it as the new base drive.

After a tortuously long attempt at installing said hard drive, which wasn't helped by a manual for another hard drive that turned out not to be my old one, we finally got the jumpers set right and the master/slave thing worked out and the whole thing up and running. Except: It still locked up at random moments.

Oh, how I miss the halcyon days when that was my computer's only problem.

Through a series of misadventures involving reinstalling Windows XP, changing display drivers and other such things, I eventually found myself with a computer that wasn't even remotely working. Desperate, I called Computer Nerdz here in Austin, they sent someone out, he gave me peace of mind by assuring me that he would have done the same types of things I was trying but much less peace of mind when he couldn't fix the computer any better than I could, at least not without a big huge tech support bill that I couldn't afford.

So it was decided that I would do a clean install of Windows XP on my old hard drive, use the new one as a slave. Except that now the computer was locking up every time I tried to load up Windows, such that it took over two hours just to get it started on the installation. I went to work, hoping Suzanne would be able to keep resetting until eventually the computer would fail to lock up and Windows XP would install.

It did, but then Suzanne ran a virus scan (understand, I'd had McAfee for as long as I'd had this computer) and found a virus. Which might also be the cause of the random lockups. Long story short, my computer is now practically useless. It has Windows XP on it, but it goes about 5-15 minutes between locking up. It has either: A) a virus B) bad memory C) a bad motherboard or D) all of the above. Frankly, I'm at a complete loss. And speaking of loss, somehow the computer managed to lose all of my saved email and my copious address book, neither of which was backed up as most of my data (which it *can* still find) was.

Now I'm working on my (much slower) laptop until I can figure out what to do. One thing's for sure... I'm looking much more seriously at getting a Mac the next time I buy a computer.

Monday, November 24, 2003

The Many Sins of ABC Chapter Six-Hundred and Twelve

Everything that is wrong with television is encapsulated in this story about ABC and Karen Sisco. They plan to change up a critically-acclaimed show by changing one of the very things that made it so interesting (they're going to ditch the hapless, Elmore Leonard style bad guys for something more "dangerous" i.e. "ripped from the headlines?"). I want to give them credit for not giving up on the show, but when the article ends with "We don't want to do anything without everyone being enthusiastic about it" it's hard not to be a bit cynical.

Really? Anything? Yeah, that's definitely the way to create edgy, must-watch television, by making sure that everyone is enthusiastic about every single thing you do.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Karen Sisco:
So AICN is reporting that Karen Sisco has been yanked by ABC. Supposedly, they're going to "relaunch" in March in a new timeslot. Which will no doubt conflict with something else I'm watching.

The only good show to come out of the new season is now gone, 24 is hugely disappointing in Season Three, no new Shield until January... man, it's a good thing I don't have enough free time to watch much TV anyway.

Although I am still *loving* Alias. Wish it wasn't on ABC, given that they've killed so many good shows before their time. And the last two episodes of Angel (the Mexican wrestling episode and Wes's dad) have been pretty good, with my biggest complaint being that I still hate Spike and don't want him on the show.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Las Vegas:
So I went to the Las Vegas Comicon and Diamond/Alliance Retailer summit last weekend. The Con was a bit of a bust, and I would have been pretty pissed if I'd spent my own money on the plane (as opposed to just blowing the cash for the hotel.) It was a good effort, but the organizers wanted to be too big too fast, and it felt very much like one of those "done in 10 minute" small Cons. Still, I got to see a lot of folks who I might not have seen if I went to just the retailer summit, including Bendis, Eric Shanower, Alex Robinson and Kristen Siebecker (of BOP fame), Chris Staros (of Top Shelf), and the Diamond/Alliance summit itself was really well done, even if you did have to walk an enormous distance to get from registration to the events themselves for no readily apparent reason.

Oh, and I got to see several of the water shows at the Bellagio, which were pretty impressive.
I Hate My Computer:
For a while now, my computer has been locking up in miduse. Locks up, won't respond to anything from the keyboard (not even control-alt-delete) and has to be rebooted using the reset button. Which, at least twice, has wiped out information on programs I was running at the time, most notably erasing the contents of my Inbox twice. Pretty annoying, especially this last time, when I had about a dozen messages saved that I needed and hadn't responded to yet.

So the long and short of it is... if you emailed me in the past four or five days and didn't get a response, I might have lost the email, so send it again. And if anyone out there has any ideas how to fix this (I'm running Windows XP, updated regularly, and I have McAfee anti-virus software, also updated regularly, but I'm beginning to suspect it's a virus) I'd appreciate a hint or two.