Not Ready To Let Go.

September 3rd, 2011

I seriously need a new laptop. Mine is almost on its last leg, literally. It is missing two of the the four rubber feet that it came with.

The keyboard is toast. About 8 months ago I spilled a beer on it. A deliciously thick, extra sticky porter. I instantly pulled the battery. I then opened it up, entirely, and cleaned everything pretty well. I rinsed the keyboard out in the kitchen sink. Then, I let it all sit around for about two weeks to dry out. It mostly worked after that. There was a 1.5″ blemish on the screen and about 3 keys didn’t function. But hell, I am not picky. It still worked…. until about two months ago. That’s when I, but lets blame the dog, spilled the glass of water on it. Now only three keys work.

The USB ports are flaky.
It’s like my computer is an old Nintendo and my USB device is a Legend of Zelda game cartridge. Sometimes I have to wiggle it, push it in and pull it out until I hear the music. Also, the ports may or may not be active when returning from hibernation which then requires a reboot since de/reactivating them doesn’t do the trick.

My hard drive is failing. I am very surprised it hasn’t, yet. It must be quality. I mean it did survive a ten foot drop off of a balcony and onto the side of a rocky hill. Quality. Darn thing didn’t even blink. I guess the other couple of falls off of the table in front of the sofa, again I totally blame the pets ;), finally did it in. For about the last five months, I have been loosing sectors randomly. Every one in a while, I get to cringe at the *ker-plink* sound my hard drive makes as it reminds me that the end is near.

In addition to all of the poor laptop’s plights, the damned thing causes us to run the generator if we have a couple of cloudy days. It’s a pig. Our inverter says that it pulls up to 160watts when it is charging.

All that and I still haven’t purchased a replacement.

I don’t really want to. My current laptop is what I wanted. Once upon a time(OK more like all my life), I used to game…A LOT A WHOLE LOT. Back then, I got excited about my next video card or processor. Things like the bus speed of the north bridge were really important to me. I researched hardware deeply and knew exactly what the best bang for the buck was going to be. I did the same thing with my current laptop. Now, that gaming isn’t really part of my life anymore, I don’t need a separate video card with decent cache and a ton of memory. I need a hmmm… I guess that’s the problem. I don’t know what I need. Well, I do know one thing. I need a laptop with a smaller screen and a huge battery that is very low voltage and wont be too much of a bugger to get UNIX running on. (OK that’s four things. Sue me) I just don’t know how to research and buy something that’s not an enterprise server or wintendo.

I am going to have to figure it out, though. This computer’s days are numbered and as much as it pains me, it isn’t worth fixing.

Anyone want to buy a used laptop?

Slab City or bust!

April 6th, 2009

Internut - Slab City Library

After we left Quartzsite, our next ‘destination’ was Slab City, just outside of Niland, CA. First though, we really had to do some shopping before I broke into the emergency can of baked beans. So, we hit Brawley, which is about twenty miles south of the Slabs. As long as we were in town, Jenn wanted to get some work done on the freecampsites website, so we endured horribly slow internet for a night, under the assumption that we’d have no internet at all once we hit Slab City.

Go figure. Slab City had the best EVDO connection we’d seen since we left Phoenix. In fact, it’s so good they have an internut connection in the lending library. Speaking of the library, I was really impressed with the selection of books available and found my share very quickly. I rather wish I’d spent more time in the library as I could have dug around for a few gems instead of grabbing the first half dozen titles that looked interesting.

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A new vidiot box

January 28th, 2009

Yep, in spite of knowing I shouldn’t be watching a lot of TV, I do miss some of the PBS type programming from time to time. In addition, we might watch an hour or so of random network television before the commercial overload kicks in and ruins the viewing experience. Our initial plan was to get a USB dongle and connect to one of the laptops whenever we felt like watching a bit of TV, but up until the end of the year, we never got around to it.

Well, I bought us a Avertv Hybrid Volar Max for Christmas. We’ve only just been using it the past few days, but I’ve got to say I’m quite happy with the functionality. I really expected HDTV to be much less reliable for us compared to analog TV as we’re often out in the middle of nowhere.

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Home Improvement

October 1st, 2008

I posted back in April about our table upgrade that has saved my sanity, but I figure it’s time to cover a few more minor modifications that have improved our enjoyment of the camper. Also, we’re about to be engaged slinging fried chicken for a couple of weeks and we’ll probably be rather quiet in the blogosphere.

I’ve really got to say I’m still very happy with our choice of camper and options. We’ve looked at quite a few both before and after we made a decision and I still haven’t seen one (yeah, I know Paul will tell me to look at his Snowriver) that I would be happier with for fulltiming.

Added shelving to main closet

We had a couple of things customized on the camper that have made life a lot easier. One was getting a wet bath instead of a dry bath. For starters, it’s very easy to clean a wet bath. The only thing you really sacrifice is having a dry place to store towels and toilet paper. It’s also a good idea to buy a squeegie to swamp out the bathroom after your shower. But what we got in return for a dry bath is a wardrobe that’s two and a half feet deep, three full length drawers and a shoe cabinet.

After we quit work, I found I didn’t need hanging clothes anymore and built a cubbyhole system inside the wardrobe. Now, I have four shelves for clothes, a liquor cabinet and a handy place to store our bows which we previously had to squeeze behind the backseat of the truck. Rene has been asking me, for months now, where we hide the booze and I finally have a good answer. With some wiggling, I can get roughly eighteen liters of booze in the liquor cabinet. Just right for a couple of unemployed, homeless folks, right?
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Factory quality repairs on the east coast?

September 26th, 2008

This place is huge and everything is for sale, from welding equipment to bolts.

We had to have a few repairs done recently, and after talking to the factory out in Oregon, we were pointed to a dealer in Amherst, Virginia. I was getting a bit scared when the lady there mentioned that their repair guy only worked for them part time. However, she told me she had recently sent some folks up to the factory in Winchester for repairs. Now, this struck me as odd since I’d just got off the phone with the factory in Oregon and they’d confirmed that the Winchester factory was now closed. It turns out that three of the senior guys are starting a repair facility and are still working out of the Northwood factory for the time being!

I can’t recommend Bruce, Jerry and Roger highly enough. Between them, they’ve got something like 102 years of experience manufacturing RV’s for Fleetwood and Northwood. Both times we’ve dealt with them, they have been very professional and extremely fast while managing high quality repairs. In fact, I’ll go so far as to give out their phone numbers for anybody on the east coast that needs some excellent work done.

Phone: 540-542-6140

Cell: 304-268-2339

The RV Pros: Bruce, Roger, and Jerry.

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