Magnum Opus

Excerpts from An Ordinary Day: Tips and Tricks to Survive Electric... Electricity Allergy Actually Caused by Sound, and Something About Windows XP Stupidity

2005-10-29 Grey weather yesterday, today, tomorrow...

People complain that I write to little about my day to day life as an artist, so let me ent... bore you to hell with this, and you'll see why I just put in the goodies in my blog instead of writing about everything that I stumble into.

I bought a new PC the other day. The old one is a "relic from the nineties" as a newspaper reporter put it when she wrote a (somewhat positive) review of Abashera revamped a year ago.
I'm not too comfortable with this new shiny black thing with its fancy blue lights and abundance of whispering fans. To reinstall all one's hardware and favourite programs is a neglected source of stress. Take my favourite drawing program for instance; Image In Color, perfect for simpler image editing when you do not feel like shooting mosquitoes with missiles; IOW, start up Photoshop. I'd lost the original Image In Colour-CD which came free with some ancient scanner eons ago and I couldn't find the slightest reference to the program on the net so I had to copy parts of the registry and manually move program folders, DLLs and such over to the new computer. It works, but for some reason it counts from zero to 10000% instead of up to 100% when it's busy doing things.
    I don't like Windows XP. There are too many hard to identify processes which run in the background, making my PC slow and wants to connect to the Internet for no apparent reasons at all from time to time. Gives me a creeping feeling of paranoia. Too many unnecessary monitoring programs and their all too many icons. Why, oh why do they all have to run at startup!
    I noticed this warning triangle down in the corner of the screen, "Oh hell, what is it now?" I thought and clicked on it. Up came a warning message from the sound card monitoring program: Warning! The sound volume might be set to low. RhaGHL!

    I edit .shtml-files with NoteTab (not Notepad). I tried to replace Notepad with NoteTab as a viewer and editor of HTML but Windows XP won't let me, because Windows XP thinks it's smarter than me and thinks I am making a great mistake to replace Notepad with NoteTab.
    When I as usual piped the .shtml files from NoteTab to IE in order to look at them as ordinary Internet pages all I saw was the code. Because of some nonsense fear of "harmful" "active content" XP didn't let me look at my own .shtml files made by me, stored on my computer. No clue was given by IE or XP, so I had to search the net for a solution, and found that I had to switch of this security blahabla in IE by clicking on Tools -> Internet Options -> Advanced, and there under the security settings allow viewing of active content on this computer. This utter bullshit came with SP 2 I heard, I hope the MS-people are smart enough to correct it in SP 3 then. They could also fix so that I do not always have to re-select "Show a detailed list" every damn time I want to open a file. They should have done that in Windows 3.1.

    All these security thingies seem to be of no use other than to make life more complex, hard to grasp and frustrating for common users. Spyware and virus makers have apparently no problem to get through; you should have been there when I removed Aurora from the Gallery Owners PC, or rather you shouldn't - you might not have survived.

    I want my Atari ST back, or even better, that god ol' SpectraVideo. What went wrong!?
Of course I tried to play some of these - for me - new and awesome games, Doom III and FarCry. What happened was that the screen went black in seconds - on both games. After several attempts I cursed the no-good useless game programmers of our days for a while, when I got tired of that I looked through this fancy plexiglass window this PC got (which probably makes it leak electro-radiation all over the place, making the phone go "schhhhhhh" ) and noticed that a small cable shoe was stuck in the fan of the Radeon X700 graphics card. I carefully removed the cable, the fan started, Doom III didn't crash, neither did FarCry. The card simply shut down when it had overheated. But the fan was damaged and made a whine which made stress related fungus grow on my skin.
I called the store which built my new PC and they told me to bring it in so that they could have a look at it. I strapped it in on the front seat of our now repaired Corrado and drove the 500 metres down town to the store. A helpful guy fiddled some with the fan and it went silent. I drove home again, turned on the PC and the fan started to sound like some kind of circle saw. I could soon pluck stress related champignons from my legs. We later on had those for dinner and thus saved a buck.
    I have a theory that this thing with "electricity allergy" actually are stress symptoms emanating from the noise modern machines make. Fans, tranformators, vibrating quartz crystals, fluorescent tubes etc. Quite many people can hear and feel sounds higher than 30 000 Hz actually. The main reason we moved out from our former apartment was the sound of the fans, on some locations in the flat the house's ventilation sounded like giant mosquitoes were having a ball above us. It was like distinct pools of sound. You could lie in bed at night and everything was silent, then if you moved just an inch in some direction you were drenched in those mosquito sounds. People didn't believe us until they experienced it themselves. It drove us crazy sometimes. It actually gave me a rash, my skin went dry and itchy. This rash disappeared instantly when we got to this for us new, but older silent flat.
I called the PC shop but the helpful guy wasn't there. I should come down to the store the next morning and he would be there to have a look at the fan. But the next morning I found that the car battery was exhausted, all this short distance driving never give the generator a chance to recharge the battery fully. So I postponed the visit to the computer store until the next day.
The next day I called the store but the helpful guy wasn't there. I then asked them to replace the broken fan - ever heard of something called warranty? - but the guy I talked to claimed that the guy that assembled my computer would never, ever build a computer that badly so that a cable would stuck in a fan. And what should they say to the suppliers of the graphic card in order to have it recalled? Blah blah. This is the point one is confronted with a choice. You either give up and pay for a new fan or you threaten to make a hate-page on the Internet about the store (They do have to mess things up a lot more before you actually waste time on making a hate-page, but you start getting your way by waving the threat of one in front of them).
I did neither, I'm currently too tired of things (yes, just "things") to argue, so I went to the Other, Nice Computer Store and bought a very good fan for a third of the cost of a similar fan at the Bad Store, went home, replaced the broken fan and then urged all my acquaintances to never shop at The Bad Store - they won't. Computer now runs fine and silent.

Computer tries to take over my life, I got must-do perl projects up to my nose, got to get out and run for a few kilometres, despite the pain and stiffness I feel in my legs due to the cold and damp Swedish autumn climate. My legs never hurt during summers.

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