Not a very good week for me I’m afraid.
Well, the most cataclysmic event in my week has been my computer breaking in a slow and distressing manner over the past few days. It has been a little like watching a beached whale slowly die whilst trying my hardest to save the old brute.
When I first encountered problems we thought it was a hard drive problem. So far as we could originally tell the old hard drive was slowly dying with both my windows and xp installs crashing on/some time after the OS loads with majority of crashes being where all forms of input stop working and the screen freezes (as opposed to the normal blue screen crashes). Well, this was not the greatest possible problem I concluded. Goblin has a spare hard drive and after installing it everything was back to working again without any of the crashing problems we had on the old one. Fun times!
All seemed to be going well and I refrained from ordering my own new hard drive for a few days to give the computer some stability testing time just to double check that the real problem was the hard drive. Oh thank god that I didnt spend £100 on a new hard drive when after waiting a few days the crash problem we had returned with a vengance. In short the computer is now crashing virtually immediatly on loading the OS with my primary graphics card installed. With my spare one and the onboard card it crashes before the OS even loads. Frankly this is looking very much like the death calls of a very old computer (most parts being 2-3 years old). Its getting to the stage where I’m going to have to make some tough choices. Option one is to replace a few parts (mobo is top of the culprit list) and see what progress I can make. Option two is to pack it all in, accept the fact that the computer is old and probably getting to the state where its simply worth replacing the entire thing.
Neither option is looking particularly fun.
At the moment I’m using Goblin’s netbook (as he is using mine for WoW) and its not going too badly. I have plugged in my 22″ monitor, my Razer Tarantula and Lachesis and I’m basically using it like a normal computer, no shitty touchpad and small screen for me! So its not too bad really. Its nice and quiet, it does all the basic internet stuff that I need. I can keep up to date with my podcasts, hell, it even runs spotify in wine. So life really isnt all that bad. However there are a few problems which I’m currently working my way through to try to make things a bit easier for me.
Thats right, its not very big is it.
List of current netbook problems and potential solutions
1) Blog related issues. Right, wordpress was never really designed to work properly on a netbook me thinks. The old site design (Bueno) is gone. Probably forever. After seeing what it did to people browsing it in anything lower than 1680 x 1050 I have concluded that it falls under the category of eye rape. Considering that a majority of people do not browse in very high resolution I think this change is a welcome one.
The new theme is a much more reasonable one. Overall its alot more streamlined and whilst stuff like featured articles is gone the overall contrast and readability has been improved and the general organisation remains the same. Marking this as problem solved but might come back to this in the future to see what other options are available for making the site look and work a bit better.
2) Internet related problems. There is something wrong with the way that the proxy settings on this netbook are set up. Everything looks fine at first glance but there are a few under the bonnet problems. One is that I cant figure out how to setup divx. Iplayer is also not working at the moment (getting a “content not working” error) and after attempting to install opera (which I considered might solve the browser issues as the current firefox version might be an old one) I have come across the problems with the software install and update services. Will get Goblin to have a peek at this but at the moment these issues are not majorly problematic, just annoying.
3) The final problem is with writing posts in wordress. The backspace key has a tendency to lag quite a bit which can be rather annoying. Using my razer keyboard so doubt that the problem is there. It might just be the crappy browser being problematic again. Oh well, another small problem to my list.
Here is a screenshot of the UI on the netbook, its actually not that bad. Generally stuff is working pretty well on it. Spotify is working like a dream so thats a major plus. Will make a post later with a few nice playlists in it. Generally wordpress is working okay. Aside from the backspace key lag its totally possible to write on this hardware. Browsing the internet and generally watching films is also fine. They need to be downloaded first (streaming is a big no-no with this sort of processor) but aside from that its all fairly decent. Audio quality is of course decent as well. So for a netbook its doing fairly well.
So will there be another World of Netbookcraft?
Unfortunatly WoW is completely out of the question on this machine. Not only is it running linux but its also on a SSD hard drive of about 12gb. The only way it really functions as a proper computer is with an extra 12gb additional SD memory card and 8gb usb memory. So I couldnt even install WoW even if I wanted to try. Add to that the processor which is a measly 900mhz and you can see the problems. Goblin is using my netbook which is a intel Atom processor with fairly decent hard drive and ram. Its a pretty big difference between the two in terms of hardware.
So for the time being its all a bit boring. I cant really play WoW at all, doing virtually any task on this current setup is long winded if possible at all. But at least I have Iain Lee’s podcats archive to cheer me up!
Oh and if you havent heard of Iain Lee then go to his site on Absolute Radio for much fun. He does a radio show and all that malarky and has some right nutters call up and harass him.
Clicky here for Iain Lee