Help Me Decide Upon a New Computing Machine

I have decided that, even if the maclargehuge HP laptop could be resurrected, it’s time I got a desktop anyway. A laptop can’t give me the computing power I need going forward in mah bidness. I need something that can handle streaming movies or music whilst also running Photoshop or Corel. I need something that doesn’t mind me having twelve gajillion tabs open while all that’s going on. And the computer repair dude I chatted up at Staples told me that if I want a Windows 7 machine, I’d better act now, because they soon won’t be an option. I do I DO want my Windows 7. I bloody hate Windows 8 with a burning and enduring passion, but I loves my Windows 71. [Read more…]

Computer-Savvy? Great! I Need Your Advice

My computer needs you, my tech-savvy darlings. It won’t boot. The fan runs, and the capslock light slowly blinks, but that’s it. I’ve tried resetting as the HP website advises by removing all power, holding down the power key for 15 seconds, and then plugging back in. No result. It’s not beeping or anything. I suspect a CPU problem from what the HP website says, but I’m not positive.

Of course the last backup failed, so I have a lot of files I somehow need to rescue.

Does anyone know a solution, or the best place to take it in order to get the data recovered? Thanks in advance for your help!



Any Thoughts on Speech Recognition Software?

You may have noticed a bit of a drop-off in in-depth posts round here lately. Part of that was ye holidays, part of it’s the seasonal blahs (when the sky’s gray for the billionth day in a row, productivity drops and brooding rises), but there’s also the fact that when the weather makes an abrupt change from dire to delightful, the wrists don’t react well. They want a break. I don’t want to give it to them, because there’s too much interesting stuff to write about. Luckily, these days, they can have their break without mucking up the blogging. It only requires finding the proper speech recognition software.

That’s where you lot come in. Some among you must have favorites. What should I get as my software secretary, my Archie Goodwin or Ms. Lemon, the software that will efficiently take my dictation and (hopefully) set my brain free? Of course, software probably hasn’t achieved those heights yet, so I’ll settle for something that doesn’t make me want to strangle it every ten seconds. Thank you in advance for your recommendations, my darlings!

Technical Difficulties

Some of you have contacted me via the blog or email regarding technical difficulties. See? This is why you should follow me on Twitter: you’d know what’s going on, in real time!

But I know not all of you have time for Twitter, and you missed Ed’s notice, so here’s the deal: we had server issues. We’re fixing those. Our tech guy’s working himself into a lather (everybody say “Thank you!”) to get the site running better, and very soon we’ll have a snazzy new server that should take care of many of the problems you’ve had loading the site. He’s also working on some issues with commenting that have been brought to my attention – continue to let me know about those through Twitter or Facebook or even email, yahoo’s got me down as dhunterauthor.

We know it’s not perfect here yet. We’re working on that. Well, more specifically, they’re working and I’m egging them on.

This is a young site, and there are going to be a few rough spots. I know it’s going to be frustrating. When you’re experiencing issues, so am I, and believe me, when you have a tiny window of time to write in and can’t do it because the site’s down, it hurts. But it’s gonna get better. Stick with us, and we’ll get there.

Thanks for your patience!

Fighting the Trojans

So, three nights, now, I’ve been doing battle with the Trojans. Where they came from, I don’t know – probably one of Microsoft’s infamous security flaws, coupled with the fact that one of the buggers seems to have been clever enough to knock out McAfee. (Rather reminds me of the guard dog I owned once. She actually got stolen. That’s one pathetic guard dog, and McAfee’s one pathetic program, although it worked fine until now.)

Thanks to you lot and your help with me stepmum’s computer lo these many months ago, I knew just where to go: Spybot Search and Destroy. I tried Ad-Aware, too, but it requires someone who knows what the fuck they’re looking at. So does Hijack This. Spybot’s been fighting valliantly on the front lines, all by its lonesome because McAfee apparently has decided that Virtumonde isn’t adware. The thing about Virtumonde is, when you remove one bit, it’s already seeded itself elsewhere.

Enter Avast.

Avast is awesome.

Aside from their hideous sounds – I mean, for fuck’s sake, is it really necessary to have some fucker screaming “Virus!” at you while sirens wail? But that’s easily disabled. And I’ve been watching it play whack-a-mole with Virtumonde all night.

It doesn’t just quarantine, it kills.

And it appears to have been made for novices such as myself. It’s not quite as mindless as McAfee, but it doesn’t require much effort to understand and use. And it doesn’t seem to suck quite as much memory, which is nice.

Between SpyBot and Avast, I don’t think the trojans stand a chance.

Motherfucking Recalcitrant Electronics

Just in case the internet crashes again and you guys wonder where the posts went, here’s an explanation.

My computer has been remarkably bitchy tonight. Firefox refuses to talk to my playlists. Internet Explorer is running like an elephant on hallucinogenic tranquilizers, but it’s at least willing to discuss the idea of streaming music. And then, just when peace begins to reign in the Hunter Household and some serious blogging could be done, fucking Comcast has started having service issues. Again.

I went two years with Cox, and had one outage. One. Uno. 1. I’m about to move back to Arizona, put up with the heat, the Cons, and all of the other bullshit I fled for, simply because I will at least have reliable internet service.

So there may or may not be actual content in the cantina tonight. Fair warning.

Calling on the Computer Gurus

My stepmother’s computer could use a diagnosis, if anyone’s so inclined:

Seems like I am constantly getting the little grey box stating Microsoft has encountered an error and must shut down, blah, blah. Then my internet window will just disappear. Then if I am not on the internet, no window opened, a “voice” will come over my speakers, some ad. If I open Internet Explorer, I right click to start without add ons. It seems that is the ONLY way I can stay on a site without it closing. I have compressed, de-fragged, removed unnecessary programs, spyswept, and virus scanned constantly and I have no virus’, no spyware that is not quarantined and I am still having problems. I still have 89% space on my computer, so it is not as if that is a problem, but if I have more than 2 applications running, then I have a bubble that shows up that says my virtual memory is low and to close not needed applications. The guys who built my computer state that my Norton Systems works uses a lot of memory when in use but my computer should handle it. What a pain.

‘Tis indeed. Any ideas? I wouldn’t ordinarily beg like this, but damn it, she can’t send me photos of the kitten, and he’s growing fast. The situation is critial. This is the last I saw of my baby brudder:

Need more kitteh. Help!

Muchos gracias in advance!