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Video Burnout

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Ron
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since 05-19-99
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Michigan, US


0 posted 10-25-2002 08:44 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I typically have two computer systems sitting on my desk. Isis is my main machine, an older Pentium 3, and Xena is a newer Pentium 4 that I use for testing and which will one day become my main machine (if I ever find the time to configure it and move all my data). Two days ago, this past Wednesday, Xena up and died. I was busy, so my only immediate reaction was to curse a bit.

Yesterday morning, after answering my email and making a few responses in the forums, I decided I best resolve the problem before starting my usual work day. Powering down the machine, then bringing it back up, resulted in the faint whirring and clicking that indicated the hard disk was loading Windows, but there was nothing on the monitor to indicate I had a live computer. Maybe the monitor, a ten-year-old NEC, had died? Thinking that would be easy to test, I powered down both systems, then swapped the monitors between Isis and Xena. No joy. Xena still whirred and clicked, but refused to give me a screen. "Well," I said to self, "It's obviously not the monitor."

I was wrong. I discovered I was wrong a bit later, when I tried to bring Isis back on line and got nothing but the same black screen I saw on Xena. When I moved the NEC monitor from Xena to Isis, the problem had moved with it, and that's exactly the kind of behavior you look for when troubleshooting hardware. But, uh, even though the problem moved with the NEC monitor, it didn't leave Xena. And when I reconnected the good monitor to Isis, I still got only a black screen.

The NEC monitor was the problem, as a multimeter soon verified. But it wasn't a blown tube or nonfunctioning electron gun, which are the more usual failures. Rather, the output signal was about twice the standard voltage. When it died, it fried the video card in Xena almost instantly. And when I swapped the monitors between my two systems, I gave it the opportunity to fry the video card in Isis, too.  

I confirmed my guess by swapping an old PCI video card into both computers, replacing the fancy AGP cards, and both came up immediately. I only had 16 colors, at 640 by 480 resolution, but I was 99 percent certain my guesses were correct. I needed to buy two new video cards ASAP. Of course, I had spent most of the day reaching that conclusion, and the nearest place to buy computer parts was Kalamazoo. I figured an hour to get there, ten minutes to buy the cards, an hour to return home, then maybe thirty minutes to get the machines back together.

I think I hate gamers.

I know the computer industry has changed a lot in the few years since I entered my Walden phase, but no where has it changed as much as in the arena of video. I found cards that had more memory than my computer, cards that would display two different screens on two monitors simultaneously, cards with S-Video and RCA jacks and, I swear, I think I saw one that had a built-in cappuccino machine. I spent close to two hours, at three different stores, learning about a whole new industry, pushed to the cutting edge largely by those who love to play video games. Thoreau never had to deal with this kind of crap!

Thursday was wasted through absolutely no fault of my own. Everything I did, I felt, was a reasonable reaction to the whims of fate. Friday, however, can be blamed on no one but me. Had I simply bought two new video cards, I probably could have been back on line last night. But I already had the skins off the computers, I was already at a computer store (three of them, in fact), and it just seemed to make sense to perform a few "other" upgrades at the same time. I definitely needed a new CD unit to load the video drivers, because the one in Isis was so clogged with dirt after three years it could hardly spin. More memory. A second hard disk. A 10/100 network interface card to replace the old 10 NIC. A USB hub. About the only thing I didn't buy was a monitor to replace the NEC that had started all this. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one with wheels and a tow bar, and that was about the only way I'd get one home in the Miata.

So, I spent all day today playing surgeon. I never did get Isis to recognize the second hard disk (not even as a primary), and I don't know if that's because the HD is a new standard my old computer doesn't know about or because the HD is bad. I'll try putting it in Xena latter. Since I don't yet have a monitor for Xena, there's no big hurry to get her off life support. Soon?

All of which is to say that if you've emailed me in the past two days (as about 600 of you have), please be patient while I do a little catch-up. With my schedule, making up two lost days could easily take a month.


serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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1 posted 10-25-2002 09:00 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"All of which is to say that if you've emailed me in the past two days (as about 600 of you have), please be patient while I do a little catch-up. With my schedule, making up two lost days could easily take a month."

Until I got to that part, I was looking for a translator. But then, I'd only need a tutor...thanks for making thing clear!


Nan
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Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


2 posted 10-25-2002 09:11 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

... You should've bought a new one when you broke your other one driving over those bumpy roads in Chaos Manor
Want me to send you my extra monitor?
You remember it
The one that changes pretty shades of blue to nice lavenders!...

I sure hope you can read your email soon!
Put mine at/near the top of the list, all righty?
Thankya muchly


[This message has been edited by Nan (10-25-2002 09:27 PM).]

Kit McCallum
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Ontario, Canada


3 posted 10-25-2002 09:34 PM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

ROFL @ the cappuccino machine!

Oh boy, Ron .... now that's a bad day.

Where, oh where did the simple days go?  
(I think you just gave me an idea for a "dominoes" smilie, lol.)

Hope the ladies are back together again soon
Poet deVine
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Hurricane Alley


4 posted 10-25-2002 10:02 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

When you're done your ladies will both be brand new! And they'll hummmm when you turn them on.

I can imagine your surprise though. It's like owning a 1956 Edsel and going into town for a new spark plug only to find out it's really 2002!! LOL
Sunshine
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Listening to every heart


5 posted 10-26-2002 07:21 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


I'm putting this one in my library, hanging it in the bathroom, and putting it under my pillow.  The next time I think I've had a bad day, I'll come read this.  But only if you send the Cappuccino  machine.


[This message has been edited by Sunshine (10-26-2002 07:24 AM).]

Nicole
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since 06-23-99
Posts 1896
Florida


6 posted 10-26-2002 03:37 PM       View Profile for Nicole   Email Nicole   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Nicole

Rarely do I actually laugh OUT LOUD when I read a post...  

I'm shaking my head - oh I so feel your pain.  And you reminded me of when I went with my younger brother to upgrade his video card.  I had no idea.  *chuckling*  You know you're in trouble when the heat-sink on your video card's processor is bigger than your cpu's.  

Have fun!
Marge Tindal
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Florida's Foreverly Shores


7 posted 10-26-2002 04:50 PM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

Ron~
Don't get the one with the 'built-in cappuccino machine' ...
I've got it and it's not all it's perked up to be~

My e-mail is surely somewhere in there too ... as in 'also' ... almost as good as 'soon' ?

*Hugs*
... oh, yeah ... there's one that comes with *those* too~
~*Marge*~

~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~
       noles1@totcon.com       

Christopher
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since 08-02-99
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Purgatorial Incarceration


8 posted 10-26-2002 07:30 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

ouch. did this not too long ago - thankfully, I had to do it a couple of years ago as well, so it wasn't quite the shock!

however, we should also be thanking the gamers too: a 64M video card goes a long way toward easing the grief of running programs like Photoshop, AutoCad, and anything coming off a scanner. So, despite the fact that the heat sinks are bigger than your CPU's (rofl Nic), as long as it fits in the case, you're actually ahead.

Too bad for the frustration though (you'd be better off if you bought an SUV Ron, you know that, right?)
Ron
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9 posted 10-26-2002 08:30 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Does SUV stand for Super Ugly Van, Chris? 'Cause that's what I bought two weeks ago, for situations exactly like this (and so I can haul plants and trees this spring). Trouble is, I bought it from a neighbor, and I've been too busy to drive to the nearest DMV to get tags on it. Looks cool in the garage, though, especially the way it towers over the Miata.

It appears video cards aren't the only innovation I've missed in the past few years. I guess it sort of makes sense, though. If you're going to take out a 30-year mortgage to pay for a video card, I guess you need a Suitable Monitor to go with it?
Poet deVine
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10 posted 10-26-2002 08:37 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Good lord! Strap some wheels on that thing, cause for that price, it would have to take me to work!! Geesh! (as I squint into my 15" monitor - besides size doesn't matter!)
Nan
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Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


11 posted 10-26-2002 09:25 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Um.. Ron?.. You can get one of those FLAT monitors for a heck of a lot less.. AND... It would fit in the Miata!!..
Sunshine
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Listening to every heart


12 posted 10-27-2002 12:53 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


Gads...I just choked on my coffee reading the bumper sticker....ahem....

if you can do it, them more power to ya!
Mysteria
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since 03-07-2001
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13 posted 10-29-2002 03:24 AM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Now that was funny - free shipping in October - who are they kidding it should come with a service technician for that price.  Well if you are going to do something - do it right and a flat screen is sure the way to go.

I am sooooo glad my son owns a computer business, because when I have problems I am never offline, I just ask the secretary to send me a new computer by courier LOL, Nan will vouch for me on that one.  I love my monitor it is a Viewsonic - whatever that is, and adjusts itself colorwise - it is very cool.

Poor you Ron, what a day you had. However, I am still trying to get over there really is a place called Kalamazoo, and you have no idea the images that come to my mind when I think of it and now you got me laughing again and humming that dumb song, "I got a gal in Kalamazoo."
Acies
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Twilight Zone


14 posted 10-30-2002 10:33 AM       View Profile for Acies   Email Acies   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Acies

I think we guys need a video card with a urinal
takes too much time to get up and go to the bathroom

l o est mon amour?
donde est mi amour?
wo ist meine Liebe?
Nelly Furtado a menina a mais bonita no mundo largo do todo.

Midnitesun
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Gaia


15 posted 10-30-2002 11:04 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

ROTFL, Ron, I can buy two complete systems and a used car for that OPT monitor (over priced turkey)
That is outrageous. Only Sharon could afford that one! Sharon, can I have a new PC too? LOL, I just bought a reconditioned Sony RX670 Digital Studio VAIO, and a recond monitor, including S/H for under $1100. It works great, and it's a 17" flatscreen monitor. Alas, it does not know how to cook or clean house, and sometimes writes bland mediocre poetry.

[This message has been edited by Midnitesun (10-30-2002 11:05 AM).]

Ron
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16 posted 10-30-2002 12:08 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Acies, if it wasn't for getting up to go to the bathroom, I wouldn't get ANY exercise. Fortunately, the way I drink coffee, I get plenty.

The disk problems we experienced on the web server delayed the operation on my personal machines, but I finally got them back together. The hard disk that Isis refused to recognize worked like a charm in Xena, so I've got an extra 60gig that I badly needed. Unfortunately, I haven't replaced my dead NEC monitor yet, and Xena on a 15 inch screen is pretty sad. The LED thin screens were tempting, but still too limiting, so I'm going to stick with a CRT. After a lot of research, I decided on a 21 inch monitor by Viewsonic, but haven't been able to find it locally. I'm heading into Battle Creek this afternoon, on other business, will probably pick up a cheap 19 inch monitor to tide me over. It snowed here yesterday, if only briefly, so I'm feeling a need to get everything necessary to hunker down for a few months.
Midnitesun
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Gaia


17 posted 10-30-2002 03:21 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Ron, I just purchased a factory reconditioned Sony 17" flat screen CRT  Trinitron for $165 from overstock.com (Utah). They only charged $2.95 for S/H and I got it delivered in two days, by Fed Ex, who delivered it at 7PM on a Saturday night right to my door! It sure beats the price of a new one, and I didn't have to haul the monster upstairs. (Not to mention not having to pay Denver area's average of 7.2% to 8.5% sales tax!)
 
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