What a (Long) Weekend!

Like a true American, I stuffed myself silly on Thanksgiving Thursday. On Friday, I went to the post office to fetch the CPU I got through ebay. Installed it that night, too. But, as usual with such things, the bios page told me that the speed was the same as before. Clearly, I had to set something in my ‘jumperless’ motherboard to make it understand that this CPU had more umph. Well, at least it worked. I slept on it.
The next morning, I fiddled a bit with the options and got this Linux box to recognize the new, improved speed. Neato! I’m zooming along, surfing the net for the better part of the day with no problems, always mindful of the warning that if I choose too fast a setting for the front side bus, it’ll crash on me eventually. But it’s reporting the speed correctly.
Hours later, I repair to the living room for dinner.
I return to a crashed computer.
The scream was heard for miles.
So I rebooted and poked around and – what’s this? Instead of the 512 Mbytes of memory that I know I have installed, I have, what? 96 Meg? Huh?
I sighed heavily, whimpered and whined like a puppy and, saint that she is, the Astrowife sent me to purchase more memory for my ‘free-and-made-of-spare-parts-machine’. An hour and a half later, it’s installed, and…
It doesn’t boot! Three short beeps, a long beep, and nothing. Oh wait – I know what that means. I had inadvertently knocked loose the graphics card, which sits uncomfortably close to the memory that I had just installed. I fixed that.

And the machine stays up for exactly three minutes before it freezes on me. PANIC!
And it won’t reboot. And it won’t reboot again. And it…
Reboots! Ok I can breathe again.
Until it freezes once more, and in frustration, I just pull the graphics card, re-seat it firmly, and…
Whew! Seems fine now. No more crashes, and it starts in the morning.

But the next morning, Sunday at 7:00 am, the AstroWife tries to boot her major, almost state-of-the-art, all-parts-factory-new 2.4 MHz Windoze2000 box, and IT WON’T BOOT!

This must be something in the air.

Well, at least her box tells me something – like “THERE’S NO HARD DRIVE HERE ANYMORE, DUMMY!” That’s interesting. It was there when we went to sleep…

After repeated attempts it does boot, temporarily, enough to be frustrating and get the AstroWife to lament that she’ll loose all her wonderful graphics. So I went to mass, and thought about it a bit, and I pull a single, solitary rabbit out of my hat. I attempt to repair the installation from the install disks, guessing at the choices that MicroSoft provides.

The first time, the process bar stalls. The second time, IT WORKS! The box stays up for her to burn CDs and back everything up. The data is saved. Better, she has waiting a brand new 120 Gig hard-drive (new, improved size, new, improved manufacturer) for me to install later this week.

Man, I didn’t realize how much we both have come to depend on these machines. Two of them, no less, in one household. Seems ridiculous, but there it is.

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