Nov 14, 2007

A doctor is his own worst patient.

I have a school district that has been having connectivity problems on the video network. So, I try my usual troubleshooting techniques and get no where fast. It turns out the local telephone company is the fault-bearer on this one (something about the OSPF or OSFP or OPSF or whatever). That is all well and good except it doesn't get my folks online for classes! One of the providers calls the school and suggests connecting their video system to the data network as a workaround. Well, duh! It wasn't all that long ago that *I* was the one who even thought of that, and here I was totally spacing out and not thinking about doing that! Yeesh.. Well, it's good to know that someone in the state caught on to my idea.. :-)

So, they are on the workaround until the Telco gets them fixed up (which supposedly will be by the end of the week - uh, huh, right).

My Aunt called me last week with a computer problem at her work. She's in PA and I'm in AR. I thought about sending a bill to her boss, but the long distance alone is enough to make his head spin, I'm sure.. :-) Reason #1435 why I'll never be a millionaire - I'm too nice. :-)

She has a Dell and it keeps throwing a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). So, we walk through a few things, and low and behold, I am pretty sure Windows is hosed. She has to order an XP CD from Dell....

Days pass, she gets the CD and we boot into setup so that we can the repair console (leave it to Microsoft to make you run SETUP in order to REPAIR...). We do a CHKDSK and it's taking a while, so I tell her to call me back. During lunch, I get a text message that says someone sent me a picture (my work cell phone is circa 1985, I'm pretty sure, so the fact it even does text is a wonder). Anyway, once back at the office, it's a photo of the screen showing 25% complete on the chkdsk. Ouch, that's never a good sign. Then, the phone rings.

The chkdsk quit at 50% with a "critical error" type message. Crap. That is never good... Bad hard drive. So, she calls Dell, and they will send someone to replace the drive the next day. So, today, dude comes to replace the drive.

Did you know that the subcontractors that Dell uses are given specific tasks? This guy came in, swapped drives, and left. When my Aunt asked about reinstalling Windows, he said, "Sorry, not my job. I don't do that." He doesn't DO that!? How in the blankety-blank do you replace a hard drive and NOT reinstall the operating system!?!? So, Shar calls me back to tell me all this and I walk her though reinstalling Windows XP.

For whatever reason, I have been blessed with the gift of Polaroid Memory. It is not quite photographic - the images kinda fade in, and the longer they are exposed to light, they fade back out again... Walking people through various steps over the phone without me seeing what is on the screen can be difficult sometimes. This isn't one of those. I've done a zillion XP installs, so this was easy. We hung up once the GUI was being set up and she called me back when she had her "pretty blue sky and green grass."

I told her to reinstall her apps, and she had to order the Sonic CD burning software from Dell, since they failed to send that along with her other system recovery discs - go figure...

After work, Mom asked me to come look at her computer because email from my Aunt was being deleted automatically. I knew the reason, so I checked the spam filter, the message rules, and finally the blocked senders list. Yeap, there it was. Somehow, my Aunt's address had been placed on the $hit list. Fortunately, a simple click of the "remove" button, and she was no longer blacklisted. :-)

You've now reached the reason for today's title. I got my SATA cables in, hooked up the DVD burner, and started burning DVDs... Well, that's as far as I got - starting. For some crazy reason, the drive would START to burn a disc, but it hangs at the "write-out" phase. That is the LAST thing it has to do! UGH! I searched for possible solutions - a Microsoft KB article here, a forum post there... Nothing seemed to fix it. You know, I can fix just about anything wrong with anyone ELSE'S computer... Mine?? Nope. Like usual, this will most likely end in a complete re-install of XP. Stupid. This also means, there is a good chance my other DVD burner is perfectly fine... (sigh)

On a much more positive note: C.C. Sabathia (pitcher) and Eric Wedge (manager) of the Indians both won AL awards!! C.C. was awarded the AL Cy Young and Wedge got the nod for AL Coach of the Year!! SUH-WEET!!!

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe Mr. Techie has all the bells and whistles for his computer and his phone is an oldie but a goodie!!!