Mar. 4th, 2010


Besides my mother and brother sending me some clothing and a DVD*, my sister and brother-in-law sent a gift card to Amazon, and my father sent a gift card to the Apple store. Problem is with the latter, I don't really need any computer stuff right now and the Apple Store card doesn't work on iTunes. I don't even really need to upgrade Photoshop or something.

I guess I can pay to soup up the RAM on my desktop** and buy the connector that lets my laptop hook up to the projectors at work***, but that still leaves me a bit of money. Maybe a game... I barely play the Sims any more,but Civilization or Fables might be fun. (Not getting World of Warcraft -- I have enough addictive sites in my life. As fun as hanging out with you folks on WoW would be.)

* Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala.

** The laptop doesn't need it (4 GB is a lot) and the only upgrade I can buy for it costs $800 to change 4GB to 8GB -- at which point, I'll look around for cheaper ways to get that.

*** I have a list of things that Apple does badly that annoy me. One is that over the past six years, they have changed their video plug format three times, and it still is different from the one standard on Windows machines. It's getting so whenever I get a new laptop, I should just buy the converter and keep it in my computer bag.

Jan. 12th, 2010

I am a Computer God! Or at least a minor Computer Spirit...

Lesson learned today: Next time I have to buy a desktop, I am springing for the more expensive Macs, instead of an iMac*, if only because iMacs are a pain and a half to take apart because all the bits are built into the monitor. Let me run you through the adventures of getting a new hard drive:

1. Take off the piece of glass covering the screen. It's held on by magnets, so you need special suction cups.
2. Unscrew the case and take the front off.
3. Remove the LCD screen itself (and the cables attaching it to the rest of the computer)

And now I can finally get at the hard drive and most of the rest of the computer innards. Things like RAM upgrades are easier, since Apple assumes that anyone can change RAM, but I think Apple assumes that all the hardcore computer nuts will get a higher-end computer, and the people who buy iMacs aren't the kind of people who do it themselves.

But, still, I triumphed, and right now my external drive is transferring the files back onto my iMac, which now has a working 2 TB drive. I feel nerdy, but also competent.

(Next project is converting my old Powerbook Laptop into an external hard drive -- which means levering off the keys on the keyboard to get into the laptop guts. At least with the laptop, since the backlight to the screen is broken, I don't care if it goes back in one piece -- I just figure a perfectly good hard drive shouldn't go to waste.)

* I could get a PC, except most of my software is Mac-stuff, and work stuff is better done on a Mac or Linux machine, and most of my play-stuff for which the OS matters** is art stuff, rather than gaming stuff, which lends itself to Mac.

** By which I mean, ignoring 'goofing off on the net' and 'writing' and 'watching DVDs'.

Sep. 7th, 2009


Today was a hack of a day. In the sense of being full of minor irritations.

Events of my day:
-- For some reason, I have turned into my mother/grandmother WRT sleeping. Grandma used to sleep in her recliner, rather than her bed, and Mom does that now too if she's not sleeping well*. Recently, I've taken to going to sleep on the couch if I can't sleep in my bed, then occasionally moving in the middle of the night. I don't know why this happens. Anyway, it meant that my sleep patterns have gone all to hell.
-- PMS consisting of feeling unmotivated/weepy (two feelings that go together), acne, and in having the headache from Hell carry over from yesterday into this morning. (Seriously, yesterday I was pretty much on a regular dose of acetaminophen and rest every four hours. Suddenly the sleep patterns art partially explained -- I tend to nap while waiting for the stabbing pain in my temple to go away.
-- My laptop screen backlight is broken. This means the screen goes from 'dim but visible' to 'black', depending on the ambient light. Since the laptop is five years old with a battered case held together by duct tape and a CD drive that makes funny noises if I hit the enter key too hard, and that overheats if it runs for more than an hour, and repairs will cost around $300 plus time to get parts, it may be wise to just buy a shiny new Macbook and ask for help to get my data off the thing and wipe the hard drive** before I send it to the Great Recycling Pile in the Sky. Good thing Shoshe asked me if I wanted to do some grading for Dr. Squyres's course, because that $1,000 will go a long way towards a nice laptop.
-- Lost my keys. Spent an hour looking for them.
-- PMS apathy meant I didn't get much done besides emailing folks and getting the important stuff off my laptop so I can work from home until I can get a new one. I'm going to vent to my counselor tomorrow about the apathy -- some of which is because I need to have the 'where am I going?' discussion with my adviser.

And I bet Mom will ask me about the computer, since I mentioned it on Facebook. The only reason she hasn't yet is that it's Labor Day, so she wouldn't be at work.


* She also needs some type of bland background noise. Her normal choice is the Home Shopping Network -- apparently voices hawking jewelry at the edge of her hearing helps her sleep.

** I read news stories about people who buy computers off of eBay and get information off of them. The hard drive is getting reformatted before the computer leaves my possession.
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May. 27th, 2009

Catch-up Post

I sometimes wonder if I should keep cards of my favorite causes in my backpack. Inevitably I run into missionaries while waiting for the bus. (Strangely enough the campus is empty of them -- perhaps because I avoid Ho Plaza and the Arts Quad, where all the undergrads are. It does mean I miss things like DASH's Valentine's Day same-sex kiss-in as well.) Then instead of just taking their stuff, I can offer to trade.

Of course, considering anything I get from missionaries tends to end up in the recycling bin -- sorry, Church of Latter-Day Saints, some how I don't think a lesbian tea-addict agnostic secular-humanist is going to mesh well with you -- it probably would just mean twice as much wasted paper.

Anyway, other than that I'm mostly well. Monday I realized I forgot my meds over the weekend, which explained why I was so antsy by Monday and meant that I spent Tuesday in a side-effects haze. Lexapro does wonders for my anxiety, but it makes me incredibly sleepy when I don't take it regularly. Thankfully, when I do take it regularly, my body manages to re-calibrate the internal 'go to bed' meter.

I'm having some computer problems. In that my external hard drive (used for making sure if something horrible happens to the desktop and laptop, I am not out of Important Files) jumped off my desk and died, and I'd feel better if I had a new one. I also suspect my laptop needs a new fan -- it is being loud and prone to overheating at work. Given it is four years old and has a reputation at work for looking like it was on the losing end of a war, I probably should bite the bullet and buy myself a new one. Only they are so expensive. Plus, the whole 'need hard drive' thing.

The whole laptop overheating thing is handicapping work, since I can't run serious code on it. And when I try on my desktop, I get crazy lists of errors when compiling. If anyone knows C++ and is willing to help me troubleshoot, I will acknowledge you in any papers.

Next week I go home! To see my parents and siblings and Kim, and Sara, and Jennie and Zanne! I am excited and happy.
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Mar. 18th, 2008

State of the Becky

Sorry I haven't posted much.

News here: I got a new computer. It is very shiny. The monitor is also bigger than my TV screen (this is not really an achievement) and it can run Photoshop without making weird fan sounds. (Unlike my laptop) I also got Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and a copy of Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced, which is going back to the store, since it doesn't work quite right. I need to actually play the games I own, though -- recently it's mostly been mindless Harvest Moon playing. (Damn it, I have Phoenix Wright games I should be playing.)

I also might be going to my first conference as a grad student -- the deadline to submit abstracts is Friday, and my advisor has me working on one. I have the second draft open now. I also need to renew my membership to the American Astronomical Society, and get travel arrangements to the conference. It's in Boulder, Colorado, BTW.

I'm starting to think I need to be like [info]limyaael and make a Things I Did Today post to remind myself that I work harder than I think I do.