Archive for March, 2005
My cat was seen snacking on a mouse yesterday.
Today I was gone most of the day, and Pusur didn’t get as many hours outside as he thinks he deserves. He’s very perturbed, and very insistent that he wants to go outside again.
I see a definite shift in his psyche, towards being a predator.
I swept a toy on an elastic string along the floor (about the size as a big stripey mouse), and his attacks on it were very predatorial, and also acrobatic.
He’s doing backflips as high as his slightly corpulent body can manage. This from the homebody who could hardly be bothered to chase a feather a few weeks ago.
Spring fever is here…
This is an actual case.
A guy had an older laptop with about a 6 gigabyte hard drive.
He phoned me and complained that his machine had crashed, and as it was rebooting, it checked the hard drive and found errors in the File Allocation Table. I guided him through that.
Then he told me that he couldn’t open mails in Outlook Express.
Since it had crashed while he’d tried, I played it safe and told him to close the computer and NOT use it anymore until I could have a look. Just in case the computer had locked up on one of the OE files. You see, he hadn’t done a backup in five years…
You know, he WANTED to install adaware, and thought that was why his computer was so slow…
So he asked me if he could do a backup to another laptop, this one with a slightly larger hard drive. I told him to forget about it, he’d have the same problem with that one (if not right away, then surely after a while).
I told him a laptop has a finite life. The first to go is usually the hard drive. Because of the mechanical jolts a laptop will experience throughout its lifespan, the hard drive WILL stop working at some time. And recussitating it is not an option if the heads go out of alignment, which happened on a few I’ve seen. It’s way too expensive.
During all this, he mentioned that he’d downloaded pictures from his digital camera unto the laptop (turns out it was about a gigabyte worth of pictures), and I was pretty sure of what was causing his immediate problems: Not enough space on the hard drive.
I must have mentioned the possibility of using a separate hard drive. He’d never thought of that, but a local electronics chain had one of those with a discount, so he went there to buy one, happily. You see, this meant he could extend the life of the computer.
By this time he didn’t trust himself, so I did the honors. By that time he’d deleted the cache and tmp files (in c:\windows\temp), so he was up from 40 megabytes to about 60 megabytes of free space.
And the mailbox he could list but not open mails in, weighed in at 407 megabytes.
So tell me, you expect a mailbox measuring over 400 megabytes to work on a machine with 40 megabytes free space?
Rule of thumb: For a windows 98 machine, you need at least 500 megabytes free space on the main hard drive, otherwise it will grind to a stop and crash frequently.
No buts about it.
You know, his USB CD-burner had stopped working, you’d think that would have tipped him off? It requires much more than 500 megabytes free space to work properly.
So if you’re in the same situation, think about getting a separate USB hard drive to load some of your pictures and whatnot on to, then deleting them off the hard drive.
You’ll see the speed of the computer will perk right up!
The reason I’m writing this out, instead of not saying anything, is that I expect this story to be VERY common. I think a lot of people don’t understand why their machines are crashing and unreliable and slow. Yes, spyware can have a lot to do with it, but NOTHING helps if your machine doesn’t have enough free space. It NEEDS that space, especially since older machines (especially laptops) frequently don’t have enough internal memory to avoid swapping to disk.
I’ve had a Muvo MP3 player for quite some time. I wanted a new one though. One with a display, random play and recording. But I had the old one…
But I lost the battery compartment lid on the old one, and came across a discounted new one - and splurged.
Came home for easter, and asked my mom if she wanted the old one. She said YES! I didn’t think she’d get that excited…
I’ve removed the noisier tracks, kept some of my favorites and loaded up some decidedly tame ones. Taught her to use it, and expected her to turn it off, saying ..later.
But no, she’s sitting in her recliner, listening with a contented expression. My absolute favorite track went straight home with her, and she’s relishing the thought that she was given a teenager’s toy. Never mind that she’s topped sixty…
She does a lot of walking, so it made sense to her to use this one, small as it is.
I just had to share…
What was really nice, was that the new player had a plastic holder that fits over the battery compartment. The players are the same size, so I swopped the holder, and now my mom doesn’t have to worry about the battery falling out or dirt getting into the compartment!
I’ve been thinking in terms of FTP servers before. But if you’ve got a number of interested parties, in a relatively short time frame, then BitTorrent is more bandwidth effective. My DSL line is narrow for uploads, but with BitTorrent I wouldn’t be the only one uploading.
I’ve been wondering about Pusur’s undercoat for some time.
He’s probably 1/4 Norwegian Forest Cat. Don’t know about the rest.
To look at, he’s pure Norwegian Forest Cat, until you get closer.
His undercoat is wavy!!!!
Which means his tail is the fluffiest I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t have much of an overcoat, but what there is of it is straight and shiny. Like it’s supposed to be. But there’s so little of it, he gets soaked to the skin when he’s outside in rainy wheather. He loves being rubbed with one of those really absorbent towels for dogs. Will roll over so we can get at his other side.
And of course, his nose has a little bend on it.
But where did he get that wavy undercoat? I really want to know?
There’s also a darker spot under his chin, that darkened with age. As though there’s some Himalayan in him? His behavior is typical NFO, though. Heavy and not too fond of heights.
Also, his coat doesn’t get mats. He’d have to roll in tree sap to get mats, it doesn’t happen on its own.
I got an entry in my error log today.
Someone had tried to access the awstats script in the cgi-bin. Only there’s no awstats script in the cgi-bin.
The explanation is that older versions of the scripts are vulnerable.
Shame on you, hacker:
Today as I was turning the computer on, I didn’t have access to the internet.
So, what’s wrong?
My DSL line is up, I have sync. But no internet.
Hmm, do an autodiscover on the router. VPI/VCI has different values. Hmmm.
So, what if my new ISP switched the cable between one DSLAM to another without telling me? So I’m on the horn to the new ISP, who I haven’t heard from since I told them I’d be switching. I had about three months left on the old one, so no need, right?
Turns out they don’t know anything about anyone switching any cables. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Could have been someone from the phone company that just did mine even though it wasn’t time yet.
Sooo… I’m waiting for new DNS server setup and some other configuration details I need to get online.
Meanwhile, I’ve got the laptop and I’ve hit the road to find a friend with internet access…
Should be online soon again, though…
But I just have to say, this is very weird. Sort of Mickey Mouse operations. Nobody knows what’s going on…
Just have to test something. Not sure trackbacks are working on my other blog. So test spamhuntress