Our first holiday in Camber sands

Computer upgrading

So I have been upgrading my computer recently, the main reason for this being that I spend a lot of time playing SecondLife and I thought it would be nice if I could run it in its prettiest mode. So this is what I have been doing:

  1. First up I had to figure out what sort of motherboard I have. I am sure there is an easy way of doing that, but I couldn’t figure it out, so I popped the box open and read the serial number off it, how technical of me.
  2. One of the key things I wanted to do was get a better graphics card, so I had to familiarize myself with them, turns out I have an AGP slot, which is being depreciated in the future, ho hum. Anyway I found a half decent card on OverClockers, I went for the Radeon 2600 XT 256MB GDDR3.
  3. I also wanted more RAM, you can never have too much, well actually you can, but I still wanted more, so I bought a Gig, bringing me up to 1.5GB.
  4. Then the waiting began. Then woo it turned up, then sigh, the fools had sent the wrong graphics card, they stuck the PCI-E one in instead of the AGP version, is it really that had to pick something off a shelf?
  5. Then comes installation time, RAM – easy just slot it in, well actually had to take the 512MB out and put the Gig in the first slot, so really just unslot slot slot. Graphics card – not so easy. This is the first graphics card I have owned that needs it’s own power supply, so I had to jump it off the hard drive.
  6. I had also decided to rebond my heat sink as my CPU had been getting to about 90 degees, so I took it off and cleaned it up with some surgical spirt (rubbing alcohol for all you Americans) and cotton wool buds. It was covered in the bubble gum type stuff that’s really messy. It’s amazing how clean you can get it with a bit of patience, see….
    my clean processor
  7. Add to this a longer cable for my keyboard and legal(!) copy of Norton and I am done upgrading things for now.

So there we have it, it’s now running much faster, cooler (more like 60 degrees) and it makes things look so pretty. And I have learnt never to buy anything from Overclockers again. Trouble is now I am thinking that I could do with a bigger hard drive, and a better DVD-drive. Oh and I could do with some more USB ports……

Car crash

On Sunday we went to drive to the shops to get some food when the unthinkable happened; that little red warning light came on on the dashboard. So around we turned and came home. The car was really starting to judder a lot by the time we got home. Now it isn’t the most useful of warning lights, the handbook said it is a generic warning light and we should contact our dealer as soon as possible.

We got the car to the garage today and they had a look at it. It turns out the onboard compter was having issues! There are many sensors in the car that monitor many things, this lets the onboard computer compensate for anything untoward as much as it can. So they think it got confused and then compensated in a stupid way, making the car judder. They did a restart (I’m going have to find the Ctrl-Alt-Del keys) and now it seems to be working.

As you would expect with these things, the automatic error logging that it should do failed, so the mechanics (we really should start calling them IT support soon) couldn’t tell what caused it. I blame cosmic rays, damn you cosmic rays……

Three days in a cupboard and other new years’ things.

So I have spent the best part of the last three days in one of our kitchen cupboards. I kid you not, you see when the builders put our kitchen in they took the covers off two vents and installed a cupboard in front of it, the upshot being freezing coldness in the kitchen. So to fix it all I had to do was to pop the back out of the cupboard, squirt some builders’ foam into the holes and put the back back in. Pfff why can’t life be as simple as Becca?

First up; the back of the cupboard fits EXACTLY in, so it can’t pop out, and there are wires behind, so I can’t jigsaw it. I ended up spending about three hours carefully breaking the back off enough so I could see where the wires were. THEN I went at it with a jigsaw, which is the scareiest powertool I have EVER used.

Then to fill the holes; well builders’ foam seemed the way to go, that stuff is wierd. It expands to twice its size overnight and it sets from the outside in. So when I went to cut it down to size the next day I ruptured the wet stuff inside and it slowly oozed out making lots of farting noises, it really was one of the strangest things I have ever seen.

Then to putting the back back, well the old one was distroyed in the great battle of jigsaw, so I had to fashion a new one. And to cheat to put it back I braced it with lots of long screws behind it.

All in all it was a pretty professional bodge up I think.

I also put a fancy pants new shower curtain up (that took me about a day too) which is so solid that it is probably considered load bearing now 🙂 Now just the kitchen flooring to see to.