Archive for the “computing” Category

    Cleaning up your C drive

    Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

    I had a pretty major crash last week on my C drive, there I was happily playing Half Life when the game freezes and after a restart I get a BSOD even when trying to start in safe mode. It just so happened that next week was going to be the first ever backup of all my photos and everything on the hard drive. Well backups are what you tell people they should be doing, not something you do yourself, right? I managed to get the data backup up onto another PC and scandisk seemed to fix things but I reinstalled Windows from clean anyway. It feels much better to have a nice clean system now – its like going from a room with clothes and stuff all over the place to everything being neatly tidied away. Very cleansing.

    Its amazing how many programmes you build up over the course of a year, I won’t be reinstalling all of them but I still have quite a few to go. I’ve not yet go to that file that you forget to make a copy of before you wipe the hard drive, so hopefully there won’t be one this time. Worryingly I’ve had a few crashes already, but at least things are quicker to load now!

    Skype phones

    Sunday, October 15th, 2006

    I was browsing through Amazon and found a few interesting phones. I first heard about them last year but they are starting to come on to the market now. Its like a mobile but it works using wifi connecting to Skype. In the US it would allow free calls to any phones within the country or free calls to anyone who is logged on to Skype, as long as you are within range of a wifi network. The local councils here are trialling free wifi across some cities here in the streets so it could turn into something very useful.

    I’m thinking of giving it a go, could be very handy for keeping in touch, especially combined with a Skype-in number to let people call a local UK number. Here’s the Belkin model, and the Netgear model. Netgear also do one on the UK Amazon, but at a higher price.

    Internet connections

    Monday, June 5th, 2006

    I’ve been having a lot of connection problems recently. Last weekend the router stopped working for 4 days because of settings on the modem, I don’t know why the modem decided to change its settings but it succeeded in frustrating me for a long weekend. I was so relieved when I fixed it and then Friday evening the line went down for a couple of hours. I tried to log on to watch the England v Jamaica game on Saturday (having woken up at 5.45am to do so) and found that the modem stopped working again and would work even with a restart. I spent the entire duration of the match on the phone to Verizon which ended in them telling me they’d send me a replacement modem. I thought I’d try resetting the modem today and it all seems fine, I do hate the modem though.

    In other news my free copy of the new Tomb Raider game has arrived (its a bundle with my new graphics card) but I can’t install it yet as it requires 10gb of hard drive space. I remember when Doom 2 was released it was regarded as a huge game at 12mb.

    Oh and its hot here, really hot. As in 95-100 degrees every day. Looks like summer has arrived just in time for the World Cup – only 4 days to go!

    The end of dialup

    Saturday, February 4th, 2006

    Good win for England this morning, managed to see it via webcam.

    I’m almost out of the dark ages with the internet – I’ll have my very own 3 mb broadband connection next week if all goes to plan. In the meantime I’ve had to get AOL as my previous ISP trial ran out and AOL being as difficult as they can won’t let me send mail from my freeserve account. I can still receive it but I won’t be sending much this week so no-one gets confused and replaces their address book entries as has happened before when I’ve used temporary email.


    Friday, August 19th, 2005

    I had fun the other day going round a few stores with a hand held scanner, scanning everything that caught my eye. We were making a wedding gift registry so they gave me the scanner to go round the store rather than write everything down. I’m easily amused.

    If anyone is feeling generous and wants to help us out in getting started with stuff for our new place (once we get it!) then we are registered at (under ‘gift registries’) and (under ‘wedding registry’). We already have a few things thanks to Brenda’s work colleagues who threw her a surprise bridal shower – we now have 2 George Forman grills! Usually the registry works though so you can see what others have already bought.

    Got myself a new printer – Epson Stylus R200 for about £50, prints out photo quality so am really impressed with it. My behind the wheel driving test is booked for next week, from all I’ve heard it involves a 5 minute drive around the block in an automatic and then you can drive away in a manual truck. At least once I have a California license I’ll be allowed to drink at Dave & Buster’s – they don’t see a passport as an acceptable form of ID!!


    Thursday, July 21st, 2005

    I’ve got round to buying myself a new phone, the Sony one that lasted me a year and a half got too annoying – sorry to those who have been recieving half a text followed by the full thing, or even empty texts. It seems to send a text whenever it feels like it so my bill should be ridiculously high this month with all the extras.

    I’m now on Cingular, which I believe works with O2 & T-Mobile for texts at the moment and hopefully they will have the full range soon. If I don’t forward the number to you just send me a nudging email. Got a reasonable discount of $100 off the phones, the guy I bought them from reminded me of Spanish market sellers who don’t let you leave until they have halved the price and got a sale. It is slightly disturbing that we have a “his & hers” set of phones – Brenda has the black Razr and I have the same one in silver. I suppose this is the kind of thing that happens when you become an old married couple.

    Still, it looks the part anyway….

    A link to the outside world

    Thursday, July 7th, 2005

    As my brand new shiny PC has arrived I thought I should start a blog to keep in touch with those back in the cloudy country.

    Here’s a pic of my chosen method of communication to get things started – I’ve never tried one of these things before so let’s see how it comes out………