May 24th, 2004

New computer update: WOOHOO, it WORKS!

Over the weekend's fiddling I got a new clue about what was wrong with the front panel card reader thingy when I discovered that if I plugged an external card reader into the USB port on the panel, and I plugged a CF card into the reader with the machine off, and turned it on, when the machine came up the mouse was dead. I unplugged the panel from the motherboard and plugged in the front panel USB ports built into the case. {The motherboard has 4 built in back-panel USB ports, but only one header for attaching others; so the ones built into the case have to fight with the panel, and the panel is more useful so it wins.) When I plugged the external reader into the case port, put in a card, and booted, it still killed the mouse. This was enough to get Mike to look through the BIOS configuration again; he turned off the "Plug&Play OS" setting and poked a couple of other things, and now it WORKS! I may keep it at the office for another day or two while I figure out if there's any more software I want to put on it before I take it to the world of tin-cans-and-string dialup Internet connections, and of course I don't know for sure that there won't be any issues getting it to play with my printers at home, but for the first time since I first powered it up, I'm not aware of any hardware problems.

And there was much rejoicing!

New computer update: Nope, guess again

I wrote the previous after having seemingly gotten the new machine working properly, and then I did work. At the end of the day, I went to do a little picture work on it. I'd moved it out of the lab because Mike was setting up some work machines and needed the bench space. I got it hooked up with a different monitor, keyboard, etc., plugged it in, and... the mouse was dead. A dozen or so reboots, greatly increased blood pressure, and an up to that point tolerable day shot to hell later, I can't find anything wrong or any rearrangement that will get it to come up working twice in a row.

At that point I was due at my mom's for dinner and a bridge game, and I just got back to a computer now. But I'm still closer to reaching for a large blunt instrument and going on a smashing rampage than I think I've ever been.