Monday, February 04, 2008

So how was your weekend?

Ah such fun, on Tuesday my computer went phut; these things happen. Except I happen to know an identical model went phut just before Xmas, hmmm.

One call to the computer tech support line later and a nice chap told me that indeed early revisions of this particular motherboard lasted 3-4 years then die for no apparent reason. Obviously I'd missed the memo they hadn't bothered to send their customers. Ah well it's an old motherboard I might be able to scrounge one on eBay or something; upgrading would mean a new processor, memory..., but wait this company had the identical (but newer) motherboard in stock. Didn't have my credit card to hand so I called back later on their sales line.

"I'm after a [motherboard], talking to your tech staff they said you had some in stock"
"Yes we do"
"Great can I have one please"
"You want it delivered?"
"Um yes"

A couple of days later it turned up. As practice I had a look at the other defunct model. Located all the screw points that aren't shown in the manual; checked how the CPU and heatsink detached, then swore loudly at the designer of said motherboard.

For those unfamiliar with the process the heatsink clamps onto the top of the CPU with a bendy metal strip. The strip slots around a protrusion on the CPU base and you push the other end of the strip down to slot over an opposite protrusion. As you might guess you need to keep on end slotted over while you push the other one down and this requires fingers.

It is at this point you realise that on one side of the slot you have some upright capacitors and on the other another heatsink sticking up and thus you cannot actually fit your fingers down the sides to hold the metal strip in place. You might also note that on the other two clampless sides there is nothing on the motherboard that would have gotten in your way. Thus swearage.

Anyway onto the real thing, making a note of where the connectors joined up I pulled them out and realised that instead of twin connections they were all singles and as such I now had no idea which went where. Swearage! Luckily I still had the other to use as an exemplar and copied that, broke part of the heatsink strip, but nothing essential. Yee ha one fully booting computer.

Yet another 10 minute job that took an hour.

Sunday was much more relaxing a meal out to celebrate a birthday. It's amazing how you can tell when you're driving in Worcestershire then Shropshire, then back to Worcestershire... rumble, rumble, thud, crunk-thud, splash, rumble, clunk, ................................................., rumble, rumble, thud, lurch, crump; it's spooky!

The Bratii had got there before me and decided to play run-around inside; then, to the relief of the staff, in the cold breezy outside. Bratus Major had bought some books to occupy him during the long minutes between courses. I noted that two sisters of around the same respective ages managed not only to do without such stimuli, but also managed to suppress the desire to get up and play between longer pauses when the book's appeal had obviously palled. >sigh<.

Okay is there something I haven't been told, is there some universal rule about this, some regulation that states "Of the serving staff all members will wear trousers except one female who will wear a skirt short enough to be defined as a belt"? Don't get me wrong she was reasonably attractive, the redhead was more so, but it does seem to be a standard template everywhere I go.

Being adventurous I opted, as a starter, for a Haggis pattie and black pudding. This arrived and was delicious despite the rest of my family asking me if I knew exactly what it was I was eating, which I did, then describing such in detail. The rest of the meal was fine; not brilliant, but by no ways the worst I've ever had.

Bratus Minor had managed to find a scrap of paper and folded a crude aeroplane, this was then confiscated when their father discovered Major holding it out over the fire to burn. This may seem unfair on Minor, but Major would have just snatched it off him as soon as he got out of sight. I made a compromise that Minor could use the plane, but only aimed at this corner of the room where we were and it didn't leave my sight. Major kept insisting that he hadn't done anything

"You were holding it out over the fire"
"No I wasn't"
"I saw you"
"No you didn't you're lying"
"It's gone black one of the corners"
"That wasn't me"

I've left out the multiple sulks that occurred between both Bratii.

What a wonderful weekend I've had :-)