13 April, 2010

Twelve games and a drenching

A ‘new’ old adventure

I finally tracked down a copy of “Command & Conquer - the first decade.” I’ve been looking for a while for this version, rather than the original Command & Conquer game that doesn’t work on Windows XP (or it doesn’t for me, anyhow). This collection is the first twelve "episodes", i.e. C&C, Red Alert, Tiberian Sun, Generals, the expansion packs, and so on. I’ll let you know how much fun I have. I wasn’t having much luck finding it until EB Games had themselves a sale, and finally brought some in. The last time I saw the collection was over three years ago, and I had to turn it down at the time because I didn't have the money—nearly $90. Thankfully I didn't pay that much today, due to the special, I only paid $35.00

The key to future typing

Anyhow, I’m typing this on a new cheap keyboard, because somehow my keyboard got drenched in tea when my teapot overflowed onto it. It feels quite different from my keyboard, so no doubt it’ll take me a while to get used to it. I had to go for a bargain keyboard, and I can feel it. My finger memory will need to be retrained as my previous keyboards were a different feel, with keys in slightly different places than this one. The Enter key is flaming huge in comparison, and the pipe symbol ‘|’ and backslash ‘\’ are down beside the right hand shift key. I haven’t had a keyboard like this for years!

I had a bit of an adventure when I bought the keyboard though. I need a PS/2 dongle to connect to a KVM I’m using. The first keyboard that I bought didn’t have the dongle in the package, so I had to take the keyboard back and get another one that had the PS/2 dongle. Now I’ve got it home, and it works well aside from the squashy keys. Let’s hope that this keyboard doesn’t have another spill, though the price is at least cheap enough to afford a replacement in a reasonably short space of time. I know I’ll hang onto the dongle though, so that I don’t have to go through the hassle of buying a keyboard just for the dongle.

Repair of an older computer’s OS

Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. Someone I know had one of those days recently. They got given a computer by their boss, that had Windows XP installed onto it, but nothing had been updated since. They requested that I come over to help them as they couldn’t get email or the Internet going. When I got there, I immediately pulled the USB cable out of the DSL modem, which at least fixed the Internet problem, but only in part. I even managed to plug a printer in, plug a digital camera in, and print photos, all without issue. But I got stumped on the email, so I left it for the owner to talk to the ISP about. Yesterday, they spent most of the day on the phone to the ISP, trying to sort out the email problem, with the eventual decision by the ISP that the computer must be somewhat broken. That’s when I suggested they bring it over here, so I can work on it at my leisure. So far, it's got to me with these symptoms:

  • Updates won’t install onto it, due to the OS being not patched.
  • Google Chrome can’t be installed on to the OS, as it hasn't been brought up to SP3
  • Service Pack 2 won’t install on the OS, claiming it can’t be installed on this version of the OS
  • The web browser won’t go to Skype.com, the browser sits and waits, but doesn't go any further. The same thing happens when the user clicks the “webmail” link on the ISP’s home page—the browser simply sits there and the progress bar moves up to about five bars, then seems to stop.

Frankly, I smell a rat, and no doubt I'll be spending a fair amount of time just getting the computer to “do email”—I’ll let you all know what luck I have.

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