[pnpgm] Update...

Scott Adams longshotgm at netzero.com
Fri Dec 23 18:24:45 CET 2011

Looks like Unali says no on illusions.  So I can move on now..more or less...for the less part see below...

If don't want to hear about my computer issues ignore below..

        The woes that be me...

        So computer update...I'll recap..

        After 12 years I finally got new computer.  To be frank
        Win98 and my old clunker did fine.  Up till about 2 years
        ago it was a good 350 mhz system.  Then something happened
        likley lightning damage or just died.  My printer would not
        work unless I was in dos not windows.  My TV card would not
        come up with a failure that couldn't be fixed even after
        reinstall.  And my sound card died.  So I had no sound and
        no tv or printer.

        I had put in plans to get the new computer really 2-3 years
        ago.  But things kept getting in the way.  Distractions and
        frankly no time to go looking.  I've never been a hardware
        person so the research to me was tedious.

        Finally this spring decided to get off my butt and get it
        done.  So this summer did research for a month or two.  I
        had always liked mom and pop stores.  My first computer
        was from Port Four a nice computer shop run by a nice
        guy.  He wes very friendly and didn't cheat you.  I even
        got tons of free stuff from him (including some software
        I've yet to open).  Then another store when PF closed
        Jaguar Computers.  But it was a bit far drive.  I knew
        the ownr via friends.  But he retired so new owners and
        didn't want to drive out.  There were plenty of such
        places but setting up one and hoping they wokr out is
        tough as most stores know the business by now.

        After research I debated a computer guy from a friend
        ofa friend who sounded right.  He did a quote and we talked
        via email.  But just bit of some trust issues with a new
        guy we don't know. So decided to go to large chain - Compusa.

        So I went in back in july and spent 2 hours with tech going
        over my list I ironed out.  Turns out 95% of what I wanted
        was top of the line so did well in research.  

        Then brother had said he'd get a set of CDs (software)
        I needed.  It was a choice between buying the CDS (very
        expensive), gettng it from the friend of a friend computer
        guy or bro's contact.  Well bro as usual stalled and
        forgot few months.  So finally decided to go with compusa.
        After I found the same software in Open style format (free).

        So finally 11/10 get to store and buy stuff.  I spent 2.5
        hours with a very nice and decent sales rep that didnt'
        push at all in fact went to find the best deals.  With
        my list of items we talked about the good and bad things.

        After 3,000$ I had a top of the line machine.  But after
        12 years I figure it is worth it.  IT sounds high price
        but the computer guy quoted me only 200$ less. But I
        did take out lengthy warranty and minor stuff as well.
        Based on website snd my research it was also within the
        same price so wasn't cheatd really.  Think it was a
        fair deal.

        Few days later went into to finish up after computer
        was ready and got the screen and printer so another
        500$ or so. So in all 3,500.  Since i could afford it
        its the only big purchase I've done in years.

        All in all it seems a good ssytem.  3.5 ghz (from
        a 350 mhz big change) which goes over 4 ghz with
        clocking.  16 gig ram, SSD 120 gb, 1 TB regular HD,
        2 TG backup drive, 24" screen, decent but still
        B&W multifunction (scan, print, fax) printer.  Of
        course the usual keyboard, mouse, dvd player, external
        3.5" drive, etc.  Chunk of the $$ was software (win7),
        warranty so might be 700-800$ just in that.  i7 quad
        core system, etc.  When you live with 12 years of one
        thing anything is better.  Cooler system (not fan),
        custom designed setup so special tower bit $$ as well.

        I went and splurged to get a tech to come out and
        install it all.  OF course now that I see how easy
        it is with the wires its pretty easy.  But he did
        have trouble with the TV card taking him about 25
        min to get it working.

        So he leaves and start to install stuff.  Play with
        and tweak things.  Originally I paid for CA anti-virus.
        CA is semo respected so why not  But the GUI was so
        sucky I hated it.  I'm sure it was good software.
        So I removed it and upon Alex's suggested went with
        MS Security Essentials and Malwarebytes spyare (I
        alwas used Spybot).

        Over the next few days I noticed on boot up it
        was coming up with a boot driver header issue.  It
        wasn't stopping anything but looked like a odd error.

        Originally I used my old speakers from this computer.
        They were nice and expensive back then.  But it
        didn't work. Further info that maybe when this
        got hit or surged it affected the speakers.  But
        I had my dad's old speakers from his machine. They
        worked fine but noticed they didn't have a headset
        jack since I listen to TV on the computer via
        headphones not to be loud.  Then as my luck got
        going the gaming keyboard I bought was just too
        bulky.  It had keys on the left side (function
        keys) to the left of the normal keys (ie tab,
        escape that side).  I couldn't use it as kept
        slipping the keys due to wrist.  So went to exchange
        it.  A few days after it.  Keep in mind the store
        is in a place that is hard to get to due to traffic
        at a mall so luck laughs at me again trying to break
        my neck getting there.

        So get new 101 keybaord and new speakers.   I go
        home and then sound not working and brand new
        setup.  I played as much as I could with the
        win7 stuff.  Still nothing.  So tech said he'd
        comg back at no choice as he was very friendly
        as well.  So a week after install he is back.
        He has to fiddle with the speakers and the
        win7 audio stuff and finally get it to work.
        Some weird fluke in win 7 that even if it detects
        the speaker it may not work.  But after toggling
        this and that it did.  So sound is back.

        He also spends a bit of time on the odd header
        issue after running repair and such.  Normally
        in old days I'd just use norton disk doctor to
        fix this stuff.  But I've not gotten such
        software yet.  He fixed it and left.

        About two weaks later I'm still installing stuff
        left and right.  Sadly my time running out in
        terms of vacation time. Still no time to even
        play a game or just relax.

        So luck laughs again and fate kicks me.  I
        insert Avalon Hill's Axis and Allies iron blitz
        game which is old but I still enjoy and figure
        me and Alex might evnn play it again.  It
        was a decade old game but worked fine for many
        many hours here on this computer.

        So drive goes and then POP.  Panic.  I turn off
        computer immediately.  After some deep praying
        I turn it back on.  All works fine.  but cd doesn't
        pop out.  Now I've had drives go bad.  In fact
        this machine has a cd-rw and cd-rom drive. The
        cd-rom works so so and not full 100% for a few
        years.  So its the drive.  The cd=-rw worked
        great all these years.  I couldn't get it open
        and tried a manual eject and software eject
        but stlll nothing.  So I figure a easy fix the
        shop cna replace in 5 min.  So go to work on
        something and Win7 says to update the printer
        driver.  No big deal.  So I do this and install
        the new driver from website.  

        I reboot and a alert comes up saying a DLL missing
        and ok but after OK nothing.  A piece of winder
        frame of one software was shown that comes
        up automatically.  but no menu like I could
        just drop out.  I reboot and same thing for
        SAFE mode.  After I kick some dwarves I grumble
        and can't figure it out.  If I can't even get
        to safe mode then can't fix it.   At the time I
        forgot about command line maybe I could just go
        in and remove the Dir.  But forgot.  So unplug
        and take to the shop.

        Couple days later, about a week ago I think, I
        get the newly reinstalled win7 with some of
        the stuff the tech reloads.  He tried to
        make a backup of the Email software as that
        was the only real thing I needed to keep.
        But he didn't do it right figuring a backup
        of the shortcuts and stuff was fine.  I didn't
        give him more info so my fault.  So I go and
        redo the address book again this last weekend.
        Lost the old emails but it was only a week or
        so so no big deal and I was getting some copies
        here on this machine.

        Dvd player brand new and Murphy shouldn't have
        a problem with it.  Seems the same Iron Blitz
        CD also blew up in a billion pieces for Alex and
        for another guy in 2007 on the web.  So AValon
        Hill must've had a batch of crappy CDs.

        So this past weekend I learned my lesson. I
        do a windows backup but it fails on the system
        image at about 70% for some reason.  Tech says
        win backup is like that and so not to use it.
        I rigged up a system repair CD just in case
        of another lockup.  I installed the tape backup
        software and did backup.  It was fairly fast
        and did it no problem.  So had a backup on
        Sunday or so.

        So spend Monday doing reimport to email and
        bookmarks.  Then last couple days redoing
        software and reinstalling games (they
        were there but lost shortcuts and Reg info).

        I did have some issue over weekend getting
        TV software again to work.  Wouldn't scan
        the channel until I worked ab it.  After
        most of Sat afternoon finally near end of
        my straw I got it working

        Today I finished installing Diablo 2.  I
        was doing some web work and relaxing a bit.
        Then Win7 Home Security pops up talking about
        some issues.  Sadly it wanted to be paid to
        use as didn't seem to work without it so
        couldn't fix it.

        I had run MSE and MWB over weekend.  But ran
        MWB and sure enough.  It found a exe trojan
        shell virus.  It was also found on the system
        image made over weeekend.  So I get MWB to
        remove it (it had a reg key to fix ss well
        from the virus).  So it removed it fine.  But
        then said yes to reboot.

        I rebooted and all was fine.  Till the software I
        load up like Trillian (chat) didn't load.  I was
        getting some dialog saying to Open it as... file
        type now known.  So if it was an exe it didn't
        know what that meant.  I click on a few others
        and same think.  It seemed as if the shoftcuts
        or links all screwed up.

        Going back to the CA antivirus when I removed it
        and rebooted I had this but it was with only
        3 links for some reason.  Later on I ran CA's
        pc tune up and it fixed that problem and the
        driver header which came back up (and never
        came back after that).  CA Pc tune up was actually
        fairly nice and from a 33 second boot time did
        go to 26 :).  It also fixed the shortcuts.

        So I figure why not check out pc tune up but of
        course its link was gone.  So I try others like
        Calculator or even a simple dos shell but those
        failed as well.  I could at least do control
        panel stuff (big deal).

        Well tech said to bring it in.  I had only a shor
        while before they closed and didnt' want to lose
        a day so rushed and did it.  If I could've done
        stuff in dos or work I could've probably done
        a system restore.  But Murphy was laughing.

        In the past Spyware got rid of the 33 or so malware
        that came up when I did scans and fixed it. Never
        had a serious virus on this machine ever aside from
        the old Stealth B which got on floppy drives and
        took 1024 bytes only as its effect.  That was
        no big deal and easy to fix.

        So not sure why if MWB fixed it that it would still
        screw up things.  Sometimes so called progress sucks.
        I may be broadband rather than dialup on this machine
        but sometimes progress means more issues.  Sigh.

        So its back in shop.  Hopefully a day or two at
        most. Once he can get rid of the virus.  I hope
        he doesn't have to reinstall it. If at most doing
        a system restore from backup will only mean a
        loss of a week's worth (well 4-5 days).  Mostly
        games and bookmarks.  If this was a year into it
        I'd be fare more upset.

        So this is my luck.  CD explodes, kills drive.
        Software crash can't recall.  Win7 reinstalled.
        Sound and HD driver issue but resolved.  Now
        virus screwing up links.

        So in a span of a bit over a month odd issues.  Lucky
        it was in warranty (drive) and free tech work. But
        its frustrating.  In one month all these issues
        compared to 12 years on this machine no major issues
        ecept lst couple so a decade.

        So I was going to work on update tonight.  But with
        frustration and it being an hour till bedtime no
        update tonight.  which is probably best as I might
        call a player "Win7" and decide to kill it.

        Happy Christmas to all!

        Sadly next week is it for me.  My last 3 weekend
        so if I have to reinstall such again that's a week
        I lose and there goes any relax time.  Then just
        the normal weekend time to play a game or so.  Sigh.

        Stay tuned for the next update...when I can....

        I think tonight might be my fault as I don't think
        I had MSE active 24/7.  So some website probably
        got me.  I dunno.  I've just not had TIME to sit
        and stufy the software as was installing other stuff
        so I could relax.  But win7 is a learning curve and
        will have MWB and MSE constantly active now.

        For the gurus out there...

        1.  Anyone using a Hauppaage TV Tuner card?  I'm
            using a HVR 1600.  I liked the old ATI all in
            wonder card and no issues. Though it was
            limited on channels (due to splitter) I
            didn't get all of cable then.  Now via splitter
            I can get it all from the cable box.  But if
            you use this or have or know of others got some
            quirks with it like to talk about.  The ATI
            had no real issues.  But the HVR seems to not
            show TV normally.  It will show a scene but
            not live TV.  I can go into full screen mode
            and its fine.  I go back out to smaller window
            and its fine.  But just odd.  The ATI any size
            wasn't a issue.

        2. Alex recommends MSE and MWB.  I used to like
           Norton and comes with Comcast I think. But
           doing the new version on this machine my god
           it was resource mad.  I've heard issues with
           the new versinos being bloatware and heavy
           as well. So how does MSE/MWB compare in terms
           of catching stuff?  Will MSE if I turn it
           on this time, catch stuff on websites as I
           load pages like Norton or do I need to scan
           after browsing?  I need to study the software

        3.  Though too late now any tech idea on why the
            shortcuts wouldn't work? As if it didn't know
            it was a type to Execute or such.

        4.  Win backup did have a issue with system image.
            It failed but the backup drive software did
            not. Now I learn tonight that Win has an
            automatic backup/restore without me doing
            anything.  Learn something new.  Wom7 is
            a learning curve for sure.  If I had known it
            and could've accessed the menus I could've
            run the restore.  But too late now.  If Win
            backup is sucky should I trust it in the
            future in terms of restores or my backup drive

        5.  My backup HD is 2 TB Free Agent Seagate Goflex
            software.  It seems it is detecting the auto
            run on the backup drive nad autoplay pops up
            each time I bootup.  I tried to configure
            the auto play options but is there a way to
            set it JUST for the F drive to not show up?
            Its a annoying thing but not big issue.  Should
            I just delete the goflex drive software to
            stop it from popup or will it mess up the
            data?  So guess I'm asking anyone use a Freeagent
            goflex drive? :)

        6.  Amyong using Trillian? When in ICQ I'd go to Invisible
            mode to avoid random msgs.  I might get one every
            4-5 months at most. I'm  inviso in Trill but still
            get a random chat msg with the stupid porn urls
            at least once a day.  IF trill user any suggestions?

        7.  Any odd ball Win 7 stuff I should know about? :)
            Didn't realize the auto backup.  I didn't even
            know the Win7 Home security was running.  I gotta
            figure out how to disable it or make the MWB or
            MSE the default program.

        That's about it.  No need to watch soap opera.  This
        week is one.  Not including a serious family issue
        going on.  hope everyone has a good holiday season.
        It haen decent but frstruatiog. I figure it is
        a month old so not like I'm losing 500 gig of programming
        or emails.  So can deal with it.  Just hope no more

        I know its annoying to wait for updates...

        Too tired and frustrated to spell check..so sue me!

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