Skip Doctor CD Repair Kit

skip doctor

Have you ever used one of these devices that is meant to buff out the scratches on your cd’s, dvd’s, blu-rays and game discs? I bought one many years ago, I want to say 2002 maybe, but it might have been 2004, I cannot recall. I didn’t buy the hand crank one because the electric one wasn’t that much more expensive, and I figured if I’m going to spend the money, I might as well buy the electric one. Well, that purchase was a big mistake.

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Here are 2 dvd-r’s that hold important files for my computer. Can you tell which one has been buffed out? I’ll give you a second. Oh, you can spot it immediately you say? As if I can read your mind before I’ve even published the blog post. Yes, the one on the left has been buffed out. You can tell because the spectrum of the DVD is so pronounced.

This is why the skip doctor is a problem. It’s meant to buff out scratches on the plastic of the disc, but what people don’t realize is that, and you probably can’t see this but the scratches are still there, but that’s not what the problem is. I think the buffing makes the disc unreadable, or harder to read.

I had to buy a new computer last month and I have several backup discs with program files that need to be installed on a new computer. I could, and most of the time I do go to the website because those backup installation files are from 2008, and most of those programs have had several updates, but that’s not the point. My new computer with a new DVD drive/burner couldn’t even read one of the discs, and it did read the other disc 20% of the time, and only allowed me to copy files from that disc to my computer 10% of the time. I spent the entire day yesterday ejecting the disc and pushing it back in so it would continue copying files. Not all of the files were program installation files, some of the files were things I created in those programs, or files I had downloaded to use in those programs. Each program folder also had a text file with the serial number for the program copied and pasted from the email from the program’s website.

Luckily I was able to copy all of the files onto my computer, I skipped over the programs that I bought, but never really used or they are no longer useful because they only worked on Windows XP. Like for example Dudebox which is a program I bought for my Dell DJ so I could copy music with the USB cable. It was an awesome program, but eventually there was an update that didn’t allow me to use that program anymore, and I was forced to start using Sony MediaGo, which is fine by me. I don’t care what program I have to use, as long as there’s a program I CAN use.

A program installation disc is one thing, but what if it was a music CD, a DVD or Blu-Ray movie, or a video game disc? If it can cause such a hassle to be able to copy files on my computer, I can only imagine what problems I would have trying to listen to music, or watch a movie, or play a game. It’s not a good scenario, and I am so fortunate that I keep all my other discs in either their cases or a cd book. The only discs that ever get scratched are the discs I use often and then leave on the desk. If any disc deserves to be respected, it’s the discs I use the most.

That disc doctor is in the closet and hasn’t been used in a very long time, and if I ever find it, I think I will toss it in the trash.

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Gamer for Life

Video Games over the years

When I was going through the garage in December to bring the Christmas boxes in the house, I came across our old Atari 2600, so I brought it in and sat it on our dining room table. I brought it in because I wanted to see if it actually worked, and naturally, I couldn’t find the power plug, so that’s a no. So I dusted it off so I could take a picture so I could tell you this story.

I was born in 1970, and the Atari 2600 came out in the late 70’s. My step father bought one, but kept it attached to the living room TV and wouldn’t let anyone play with it, so it sat there doing nothing. We would go to our cousins who had an Atari 5200, which in my opinion was way superior. Eventually in 1983 my step father put it in my bedroom, which was a walk in closet. Being “in the closet” took on a whole new literal meaning.

That was a decision I bet my parents would regret because I became unhealthily addicted to Pac-Man. Every level was the same exact level, the grid never changed. Here is how the game looked and sounded.

Moving right along…

We moved away from our apartment in 1984 to my aunts house in Simi Valley, and my beloved Atari was put in storage and I never saw it again. My cousins would eventually get a Nintendo Entertainment System, and they were 3 kids who all fought over it, and I wasn’t about to get into that fight because it was THEIR system, not mine. I decided that I didn’t really want to have anything more to do with video games until we were stable, so I didn’t want to play. They invited me to play Popeye, and I tried it once, but I didn’t care to invest my energy because I never knew if/when we would move away and I would have it taken away from me.

We did move away and into trailer parks where I played video games at their consoles in game rooms with quarters. I also had a little digital game that could fit into my pocket called Epoch Man that I enjoyed. I also had a Pac-Man watch with a joystick, so as far as I was concerned, I was set.

When I was 22 years old I got a Sega Game Gear with my 2nd boyfriend. We both bought them and we each had our own games. When he eventually broke up with me and I had to leave my apartment because I lost my job and didn’t even have money for food, I sold it at a pawn shop for a measly $20 for the entire package, including a case, several games and a TV tuner. That’s why I don’t have a picture.

When I was 24 years old I got a Nintendo Game Boy, which I still have with 1 game. We were always too broke for food and cigarettes for me, so every time we needed money, one game had to make a sacrifice, which is probably why I hoard games now lol. The Game Boy in its case along with a external battery that clips on to your belt as well as a cleaner disk is pictured above.

Some time in the early 2000’s, I had a website from a hosting company that gave me the option of selling web hosting to people. People would pay me the full price, and I would make a small profit every month. One of the hosting customers asked me if he could pay me for his hosting by selling me his Nintendo 64, and I said yes because I had always wanted one of those. I had a couple of games, but I did eventually sell it several years ago on eBay because I needed the money. It was fun playing it though.

I had played computer video games on my Apple //e in 1990-1992 when I had to sell that system. The one game I really had was King’s Quest 4 The Perils of Rosella. When I bought my computer in 1997, I found several Sierra game collections and bought them. I also played The Sims in 2000 and then in 2002 I started playing EverQuest and I played that for 6 years until 2008, which brings me to the PlayStation years.

In 2007 I bought a PlayStation Portable, aka PSP. I bought and still have 32 physical game UMD’s, and I don’t even know how many game downloads. I played that game so much that the power button barely turns it on anymore, and when it does turn on, the stick doesn’t work because when I try to go right, my character says “F you! I’m going left.”

In 2015 my partner bought me a PlayStation 4 for Christmas. I had asked for a PlayStation 3 because I thought it would be less expensive, but he insisted that if he was going to buy me a game system, he was going to buy brand new, not used, and it might as well be the most current system. Hey, I’m OK with pre-owned at Game Stop. Then I broke my leg in December 2016 and couldn’t play with my PS4  because I couldn’t sit straight up, so he took me to Game Stop in my wheelchair to buy me a PS Vita, which they had to order for me to be delivered to our house via UPS. I haven’t played with the PS Vita as much as I played with my PSP, but I do still play with it when I am not in my bedroom, which is where I play with my PS4 daily.

So that’s about it. That is my video game history. I have always been a gamer since I was a kid, and I will always be a gamer until the day I die.

By the way, the Atari 2600 you see in the picture above is NOT the same one from my childhood. My partner had that when we met.

Also note that I have also played video games on my smart phones over the years as well as my Nook HD+.

Warming up to Windows 10

Windows 10 logoI wasn’t happy with Windows 10 when I installed it because it took hours to install, then everything took forever to load. I couldn’t get the Start window to come up, and when it finally did come up, it would go away because I was clicking the Start button too many times in frustration. I also hated the new Start window because when I would try to move things around, the icons would disappear, and then there would be huge gaps with no icons, so I took out ALL icons and just added them again in the order I wanted to see them, like this…

win10startThe first couple of days using Windows 10 was a learning experience, and things have gotten a lot faster since I started. The Start window comes up immediately now and when I click All apps, the list of apps comes up right away, although, there are times when it takes a few seconds longer, but I’m patient.

Now the only thing that still concerns me is Microsoft Money. Someone tweeted me a link to a blog that tells me that all I have to do is go into my Registry and change something, which isn’t always the best idea, especially coming from a stranger. Oh sure stranger, I’ll screw things up even more, thank you. And the sad thing is I went into my registry and looked for that string, but it wasn’t there. I’m actually glad I didn’t find it because it would’ve been a disaster if I screwed things up and had to start over again. I hope Microsoft comes up with an update to fix this issue so I can use MS Money again.

This is the error message I am getting when I load MS Money.

money needs ie6When I started using Windows 8.1, I wasn’t using the browser to use Facebook, Facebook Pages Manager or Twitter, I was using the Windows apps instead. Gradually those apps stopped loading quickly until they just stopped loading at all. Eventually I had to go back to using the browser.

When I installed Windows 10, those apps load quickly, and in a small window. In fact, all of the apps, including Windows Edge, their new browser, all open in a small square window. I have a widescreen monitor, not a square one, not that Windows really cares. But still, when I use Edge, I have to stretch it on both sides to see everything on the website. When I close the website and Edge reloads when I click a link, it opens in that square box again. Not that that is a real issue for me, I don’t really care about that. I’m not bitching about anything, I’m just saying this is what’s happening when I open Edge.

I had mixed feelings before installing, and I was outraged after I installed, but I’m warming up to the new version of Windows and believe it or not, I’m happy I installed it.

For anyone who just installed Windows 10 without burning it on a DVD, you should probably think about downloading the ISO file for both 32bit and 64bit and burning them to a DVD or putting it on a USB drive. They give you both options. You’ll regret not doing so if/when the day comes when you have to reformat or even if you buy a new hard drive and you have to reinstall Windows 8.1 and then upgrade back to Windows 10. After a year, you won’t have the option to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. It’s just a suggestion, and trust me, you will thank me later.

Windows 10

Windows 10 logoI love change. Whenever there is something new, I’m usually one of the first on the bandwagon to try it, that is if I can afford it. It took me 14 years to finally upgrade from Windows XP, only because I couldn’t afford Vista, then Windows 7. I only upgraded to Windows 8.1 because I was forced to by Microsoft threatening “If you don’t upgrade, you will get a virus.”

A few people have told me how much they absolutely hate Windows 8.1 and that I would hate it too based on the fact that I still had Windows XP. Well, they didn’t really know why I was still on XP, read the paragraph above if you forgot. I actually loved Windows 8.1.

When Microsoft announced they were giving away their new upgrade Windows 10, I jumped on the bandwagon. I knew it would be different and that they took away the Start window and replaced it with a more compact one, which I actually don’t mind that much, although I did prefer the bigger start menu that took up the entire screen.

Okay, so here are my complaints. First of all, I couldn’t even install it because I had too much crap on my computer, so I uninstalled a bunch of things and believe it or not, that didn’t even put a dent in it. The programs with several gigabytes were gone, but the gigabytes were still used somehow. I backed up all of my pictures and documents onto 4 DVD’s, and it’s a good thing I did because OneDrive is gone. It’s nowhere to be seen. I am so glad I backed all that stuff up. Where did OneDrive go? After I backed everything up, I went to do all the Windows Updates I could because it’s been giving me crap for months. Every night it tells me to either shut down and update or restart and update. I never just get shut down or restart. When it does do the updates, it starts up saying it couldn’t complete the updates, undoing changes. So I let it do all the updates even though they said it couldn’t complete them.

I finally started the upgrade at 9pm and it finished at 1:30am. I never thought it would take that long to upgrade. I thought at the most I’d be finished by 11pm and then I’d have a few minutes to check it out before going to bed, but that wasn’t how it worked out. I did stay up until 2am checking it out, and discovered how much I actually hate it because of how slow it was.

Today I woke up and turned the computer on and for some reason decided that I needed to add a bunch of receipts in my pocket to Microsoft Money, but I got this message.

money needs ie6Ugh! Windows 10 doesn’t have Internet Explorer anymore, they’ve switched their browser to Microsoft Edge. So that screws things up for me. I use Microsoft Money every day instead of a check register because at least this program calculates my balance every time I enter a purchase. Now what do I do? And I have a feeling I’m going to have trouble with a lot of programs that may require Internet Explorer to be installed.

When I click the Start button, sometimes it takes a few minutes to bring the start menu up, and when I click an icon, it darkens and nothing happens. The app or program may take a few minutes to load and then the icon goes back to normal, or the icon may go back to normal and the app or program still never loads.

I know I’m complaining, a lot, but I mean come on, if you’re going to put out an operating system, make sure everything works lol. Then again, perhaps it did work on their brand new computers. And perhaps some people who installed the upgrade may not be having the same issues I’m complaining about, but then again there may be some people who are having a worse experience than I am having. Everyone has a different experience based on their system, because like fingerprints, we all have something different. A different video card brand or model, a different motherboard brand or model, a different ram size, brand or model, a different hard drive size, brand or model.

It would be awesome if everything worked the way it should, but if it doesn’t, well, you just have to either deal with it, or go back to the way things were when everything worked right. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

@Kodak Hero 6.1 Ordered

I have some good news for my printer problems. Thankfully I was able to borrow the money to buy a refurbished Kodak Hero 6.1 All-In-One printer. I went back into a chat text with Kodak and gave them the reference number for my previous conversation and of course they told me that to get this, I had to call the number, so I did.

They are sending me a refurbished Kodak HERO 6.1 Wireless Color Printer with Scanner, Copier & Fax. It was $89.99 plus $7.31 tax and $7.50 shipping, so it was $104.80. Not bad considering this printer is on Amazon for $449.99 (price keeps changing so it may be more or less when you click the link.)

The dimensions are around the same, or near the same as what I have now, so I don’t think I will have to worry about that. The woman I spoke with told me that it doesn’t have a power adapter, but they will ship me one. I asked how much that was going to be and she said nothing. Thank goodness because the email I got said the discount on that was $66.50. YIKES! For an adapter and power cord?

Another email I got from them said that this printer will not come with a print head or any printer ink, which kind of sucks, but I think they didn’t include it because I told them that I bought a printer head and more ink on Amazon. So thank goodness those aren’t going to go to waste, but it sucks because I was hoping to have it as a back up. But, ink has already gone through it from when I tried using it on my other printer, so it’s a good thing I am going to be using that because the ink would have dried out making it useless by the time I would actually need it.

I am very happy that this has a fax machine on it because I can count a dozen times when we had to go to a FedEx Kinko’s to fax something. I’ve been asked at least a dozen times if I could receive a fax and I could never say yes, so now I can.

The email I got said

“You will be receiving a replacement printer in 3 to 8 business days. If the printer replacement order is created after 3:30 P.M. Eastern Time (EST), the order will be placed the following business day.”

The woman I spoke with from Kodak told me that she was placing the order now (or when I was on the phone with her anyway) but didn’t mention that because it was after 3pm on Friday that it wouldn’t be placed until Monday, but that’s okay, I’m sure it won’t take that long to get to me. I am sure I will get a shipping confirmation as soon as they ship it out with a tracking number that I can obsess over and check it 20 times a day to see that it hasn’t been updated in hours. I have OCD lol.

So I look forward to receiving a new refurbished printer. It isn’t the newest model which is the 9.1, but I’m flexible. I am happy with what I have. I am sure we will have many years of fun printing, scanning, copying and faxing. It’ll be fun.

Kodak EasyShare 5300 Issues

Chip bought me this printer many years ago for Christmas. I believe it was in 2006 and I was coming home from visiting my aunts in Texas and he surprised me with it when I came home from the airport. But I could be wrong about the year and when he surprised me with it. I do remember that I was coming home from visiting someone and this was my Christmas present, but I digress.

I believe in Kodak. I believe they make a quality product and they don’t sell crap that you only own for a few years and have to buy a new one. I’ve had this printer for a lot longer than I had my HP, Dell and… Oh I can’t seem to remember the name of my very first printer. Every printer I’ve ever owned before this one has let me down. This printer has worked every single time no matter what.

The issue I am having has happened a couple times before and the solution was the same both times. My printer shoots blank sheets out and I do the deep clean and all that does is drain my ink cartridges and then I have to buy more just to have those drain the same way. Both times Kodak sent me a new printer head along with brand new ink cartridges to replace the ones I lost from the deep cleaning.

I’ve often wondered what happens to all the ink or where it goes and this answered my question.

image

This is bad, and for some of reason the sponge material that is under the cartridge touches the paper as you can see here.

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I wasn’t exactly sure how I could handle this issue. I got ink on my fingers when I removed the paper and was able to wash it off with just water and a wash cloth, so I figured that if it came off my finger so easily, it might come out of that spongey material. I wet some paper towels and let the ink soak into the paper towel, which it did. I had to use another one and then a dry one and it seems to have worked to clean the ink that was drained from my brand new black ink cartridge that by the way I just bought this week at Target. My color cartridge was also full and now they are both empty.

Since a new printer head was the solution before, I figured since I’ve had it for so many years that I would just buy it from Amazon and not ask for a free one it from Kodak. Then again I don’t know if they would give me a free one, they might sell it to me for $50 for all I know. The one I bought on Amazon was only $16 with free shipping if my order was $35 or more. I bought some Kodak compatible ink to replace the ones that I drained from the deep cleaning. They were only $22 and I’m getting 2 XL color and 3 XL black cartridges. My total was $40.

When I was at target buying ink this week, I also bought a new bicycle pump and 2 new tubes. I wanted to buy rechargeable bike lights for $30, but I figured I wouldn’t have enough money for the rest of the month, and now I’m glad I didn’t buy them. The most important thing to me right now is to be able to print receipts and shipping labels for my Etsy shop which is in vacation mode until my printer works again.

It seems that everything is happening to me this month. I’m just waiting for a giant safe or grand piano to fall on my head lol. Let’s just hope the rest of the month doesn’t continue on this path, but just in case it does, I’m laying low.

Oh boy, my hard drive crashed

hard drive crashed

Well this is unexpected, then again when is a crashed hard drive expected?

I have, or well I had a 320GB hard drive that once upon a time was my actual computers hard drive.  When I upgraded my computer a few years ago, my hard drive would not boot into Windows so I had to buy a new hard drive. My 320GB hard drive was installed as a slave drive on the same IDE ribbon and I was able to use it to hold all of my data. I only had 1 IDE ribbon. I could have bought a second one, but I never did. Oh well.

When I recently upgraded my operating system to Windows 8, it wouldn’t install because of that hard drive. After finally figuring out that that was what was causing my installation problems, I unplugged the drive, but once I had Windows 8 installed, I plugged it back in and Windows loaded fine. It loaded slow, but at least it loaded. I managed to copy all of my most important files, and some not so important, but there were still some very important files that I did not copy. Copying was tedious and was taking hours, so I just figured I would give myself and that hard drive a break by not copying the rest. I never imagined the drive would fail.

I have 2 external drive cases, but I didn’t think either of them worked. Since I had to remove the drive, I figured I would give the external cases a try. First I used the bigger external case, which I knew had problems loading hard drives. I forgot that I had a smaller external case. I found it and plugged the hard drive into it and it still did not load. The computer recognizes that something was plugged into the USB drive because it makes a sound when I turn the drive on and off, but it doesn’t show me anything. I plugged it into my Chromebook and it recognizes that something is plugged in, but nothing happens. Just out of curiosity, I put another hard drive into the external case and it immediately showed me all of the files on the Chromebook. That is actually what confirmed that my hard drive crashed and it wasn’t just the external case that was malfunctioning.

I’m not too broken up over this crashed hard drive, but I am thankful that I managed to copy 75% of it to my new hard drive before it crashed. I did lose a lot of files, but luckily I backed about 80% of those pictures onto social media websites like Facebook and Google+.

So now my task is to download all of those pictures, and upload them to the Microsoft Sky Drive. I can add pictures to Facebook and Twitter from the Sky Drive, so that’s what I will do.

What sucks is that there were a lot of files that I did not back up onto the internet, but what good are they anyway? Who cares, right? It’s just a picture, it’s just data. What good is data anyway? I mean, it’s not like it is a part of me, it’s stuff. Stuff can be replaced by more stuff, but what good is stuff in the grand scheme of things? It doesn’t matter because I have lived my entire life without it, so why should it matter if I still have it? There are pictures of me as a child that I will never see because they are being held hostage by people who are mad at me, but I manage to live my life without seeing them. I am perfectly okay with this loss because it doesn’t matter to me. Life is too short to hang on to things that don’t matter, so life goes on and I will be just fine. It is time to start making new memories, so off to the future I go.