Thursday, February 14, 2008

Things I would like to fix.

This is list may seem odd to some, but the deal is as such: I am a student, with no income, busy schedule, and bad sense of humor. I live on enough, I eat enough, and I sleep enough. One day however, I will eat things I like, buy gifts for family/friends on holidays, and repair things that break. This is a short list of the items in my life I will at some point repair.

10. The Lights.I know most people never really stop and think about it, but how dreary is it to be in rooms alone, with only the hum of electronics? Several people who know me right now are probably choking on their mustaches to read this, but I enjoy being able to find my glasses at night. As of now, there are 9 bulbs with burned filaments in the apartment that I know of.

One very rarely realizes the importance of flicking a light switch and seeing. Its a comforting action that you may preform multiple times a day. Flick, and the room a-glows with color and (in my case) a very beautiful mess. But when you press that piece of plastic, and the room stays dark, and the walls seem to melt into the floor with shadows, those are the times when one wishes for a candle of some sort.

However, like the wise Mr. Scrooge advised, Darkness is cheap.

9. The Kitchen.The corner of the kitchen, between the sink and oven, is of poor construction. I can't fix this, and of course do not wish to become blamed for such a situation, but it is true. Holes are visible, when a closer inspection is held, and both the oven and dishwasher are obviously recent additions that did not quite fit in their new homes. This corner of the apartment will probably always have a slight chill.

I won't say I am surprised by this, who would be? Water and heat damage probably. There is no easy fix, and any attempt to do so would be expensive, and disable the area for food preparation. Even if I had the funds, it would be easier to find a home, or a different apartment than try to fix the many, small issues it possess from a lifetime of use. Windows with broken storm shutters, that leak air, have been covered with plastic for now.

We keep the doors closed, and do not set the thermostat too high. It is a temporary fix.

8. My speakers.For my computer, one of the only items I possess that is valuable to me. The computer has had a long life, a hard one, and I have kept it alive. The speakers on the other hand, are of low quality. Cheap, bought on sale, the lowest of the low, the best I could afford.

The LED's are dead, the sound quality varies between fine and horrible depending on the wire's integrity. The Bass speaker was long since discarded as over sized, underpowered, and badly designed.

7. External Hard-drive.
This one hurt a lot. My family had a tight year, and none of them could afford what they wanted to give one Christmas. Still, they managed to find a 500 GB hard drive, external, and a good brand as a plus. It was very touching, especially since they don't love electronics the same way I do, and that they realized I was having problems really made me feel good.

Unfortunately the hard drive was flawed. It possessed a tiny fan in the back of the case, which was installed slightly off center, allowing metal to scrape metal. The fan was loud, annoying, and ineffective. A fix was too costly, and I would never part with it (I still have it ^_^), so I created a temporary solution by inserting a small object to stop fan flow, allowing the heat sync metal body to disperse the heat.

It was a good fix, and with a little monitoring I made sure it stayed cool enough to be safe to use for a long while. However, one day the stand it was situated on popped off, and it fell sideways while on. This damaged the hard drive. It is no longer able to spin the disk internally. All data was lost.

I do of course regret the loss of my data, but it is still valuable to me as a gift from my family.

6. Monitor.Ah, the SyncMaster 150mp. 15 inches of 1024x726 beauty. It includes a tv-tuner and inputs for other electronics (VCR, etc). I was given this as a gift when I first entered Birmingham Southern college, way back then, and it was the monitor I used as I became a computer scientist student.

Unfortunately, the world of OS's are moving along, and desktops are rapidly growing larger than what my screen can handle. Also, if you are not able to use certain resolutions, you won't be able to offload your work to the video-card as easily, as the processor will try to do it instead.

It is old, it is beaten, and the remote at one point was used as a hammer (A good one at that). Still, even when I one day replace it, it would be very hard to let it go.

5. Chair.This was given to me by my Grandmother, a wonderful woman whom let me choose most of my furniture from her house when she moved into assisted living. My desk, table, couch... almost anything I have is thanks to her generosity.

However, I am not a small man by anyone's standards, and this device is failing. Tilting back, forth, side to side, this wood/metal hybrid is close to death. The other furniture isn't exactly grand either, but they are all well appreciated.

It would be nice to have a good chair, maybe with armrests that I could lay back in without falling. Of course, it is not vital at all.

4. PS3's Hard-drive.This one isn't actually broken. I don't have access to it right now, but when it comes home I plan to upgrade it's 5400 RPM 60GB hard drive with at least a 120GB 7400RPM notebook hard-drive. It should decrease load times, give me enough room for my shows so I can share them with my family when I get to see home, and allow me room to try out the various things that Sony releases.

I hear that sometimes the PS3 still gets to be played, so I am glad it is not just in storage right now.

3. Car.This one is also not broken (yet). It is a mostly reliable car that starts when I ask it to and stops when I hit the brakes. I can see out the windshield, and it can reach highway speeds with little effort. There are lots of tiny things wrong with it, from the cloth coming off the roof to plastic bits coming off, but nothing large.

The only reason I worry is that if something goes wrong I will be in serious trouble. Other than that, the car is very low on my priorities.

2. PSP.I was once the proud owner of a Hacked 3.30 OEA playstation portable. I had designed everything manually, from the custom icons and text to the sounds and intros. Tracy had designed a background just for my theme, and it was good. This game system could play all nes, snes, game boy, game boy color, game boy advanced, genesis, wonder-swan, atari, and ps1 games I wanted, in a small portable package.

It's screen broke. I can not fix it for now. It is missed.

1. My Computer.My baby, my child, my creation. A horrible combination of parts, slowly upgraded part by part using anything given or bought. I fixed this thing across over ten operating systems, from the ground up. I reinstalled it hundreds of times, in dozens of different ways, and I slowly learned what I needed to make a good computer.

And just as slowly, I realized I had a problem.

My motherboard can not support a good video card. It has neither a PCI express nor AGP slot. There is no manner of hacking and pleading I can do that would enable this machine to come with me into the future of computers.

From the ground up, I need a new machine. And it hurts to say that, due to the history that I have had with this machine. It was my first semi-informed purchase, done at the beginning of my computer knowledge with the help of a couple of friends and family. It has been with me through two colleges and all my hardships, and it has been a way for me to connect with people around the world.

My system can not be upgraded. It can not handle a 64 bit processor, more than 4 GB of ram, or a dedicated video card and sound card. It won't die out, its not a poor computer, but it can't continue to be improved. and that hurts. I will probably turn it into a server of some sort using a linux OS later in life, but I want a computer that can continue to grow as I do.

So, when/if I can ever get out of the situation I am currently in, I plan on replacing my HP a1120n computer. One without a "goldfish 3" motherboard, that can hopefully handle a linux Bios. One that can have a dedicated Video Card, and with a multiple core processor.

And I plan on making it something to be proud of.

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