My New HTC One V for Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I got a brand new cell phone for Christmas thanks to IZEA paying me to blog and tweet.  I just love blogging and tweeting for money.  It’s not a very good living, but at least I get some cool things out of it.

It just so happened that when I got my new HTC One V from Virgin Mobile, my partner decided that he wanted to set his computer up and naturally his mouse and keyboard weren’t working, so I gave him mine which meant that I lost my computer.  So I’ve been using my new phone as a computer for a few days now.  I’m not used to using such a small screen so it takes getting used to.  I have my Chromebook, but the WiFi crashes after typing a few words.  I reset it to factory settings, but it still does it.  Resetting it helped make it faster because even clearing the cache and browsing history wasn’t speeding it up, but the WiFi problem still happens, which meant my phone is now my only means of being online.  I’m “borrowing” my keyboard and mouse for this lol.

So after a few days of using it, here are my impressions.  I read a few reviews and watched a dozen video reviews on YouTube before I committed to buying this phone just to make sure it was what I wanted.  Of course, I wanted a better one, but this was what I could afford that I could get before Christmas day.

I was under the impression that it had 4GB onboard, but when I went to install the Sims free play, it said I didn’t have enough room which told me that I only had 1GB available.  I figured I’d be okay until I could buy a MicroSD card, but apparently not.  I am using a 2GB MicroSD card from my previous phone, so that is working for now until I get my new 32GB MicroSD card.

I am very impressed with the performance compared to some of the reviews that I watched.  It’s not slow at all.  I mean, sometimes I have to wait for a page to load or a game to load, but I’m not spoiled with a faster cell phone since this is my very first smart phone so maybe I just don’t know the difference yet.  It is slow however when I am not at home on my WiFi.  We were at the movies yesterday and it took forever for Foursquare to load so I could check in.  It finally checked in by the time we got home.  So the 3G isn’t great so far, but it’s wonderful on our WiFi.  I will have to see how frustrated I am the next time we have a doctor’s appointment lol.

iphone folder screenshot The OS is pretty impressive, well to me anyway.  It has the big clock with the weather, then room for 8 icons underneath.  There are 2 screens to the left and 2 screens to the right.  I decided that I didn’t want a bunch of icons, so I downloaded the iPhone Style Folder app.  I tried another one that allows me to put the icons in folders, but it only allowed me to have one folder, which is not what I was looking for.  This is perfect for me.

Oh and by the way, I downloaded an app to take screenshots and it was nice enough to tell me that my phone already has a way of taking screenshots by simply pressing the power button and then the home button.  So that’s one less app that I have to worry about taking up room or putting a watermark on my screenshot.  The background image is of our Christmas tree btw.

Before I got the phone, I typed out a post about how to make money using your phone.  I installed those apps (as you can see from the folder in the image above) and here are my impressions so far.

1. iPinion was a pain to sign up on because it insisted that my email address was currently being used, but when I tried to get the password, it said that email address wasn’t even in their system lol.  I had to use another email address to sign up with and even then they didn’t have any surveys for me to fill out.  I’m not giving up on it just yet.

2. IconZoomer wants me to take pictures of things like what my fridge, coffee maker, my form of entertainment etc.  But they haven’t paid me in credits for any of the pictures I have taken.  They each say they have so many days left, so maybe when the question expires I might get credit.  If not, delete…

3. CheckPoints wants me to scan barcodes of products at the grocery store, but I am broke so there isn’t a reason for me to go to the grocery store.  I’ll do it when I get some money.  I don’t want to look suspicious if I go in, scan barcodes then leave LOL.

4. ShopKick wants me to go to the mall and walk into specific shops for points, that would be fine if I went to the mall all the time, but I don’t and I don’t think I would be willing to walk around just for this because of my back pain issues.  It’s fine for some people, but not everyone.

5. Cash King wants me to download apps, watch videos and fill out surveys.  I only get 1 video a day to watch so that’s not what I thought it would be.  I downloaded 1 app which is a game which I actually enjoy and it connects to Facebook and is a game people have been wanting me to play anyway.  They don’t have any surveys yet.

6. Viggle is a wonderful app.  All you do is turn on the TV and let Viggle hear what you are watching and you get points which you can use to buy stuff.  They mostly want me to watch college football games on ESPN so I turn it to ESPN and let it hear the game then I just wait for the next one.  They will give you credits for everything you watch, but specific shows they give you bonus points for.  I have almost 2,000 points after just 2 days.  It’s not going to take long to get some decide rewards if I continue to check in and watch videos everyday.

7. Staree is from IZEA and I will never question them, but… what the heck is this app for?  I have taken a few pictures and haven’t gotten any credits lol.  Maybe they will ask you to take pictures… who knows.

One of my favorite features of this phone is how it takes pictures and video.  This doesn’t do 4:3 like most cameras do, it does 16:9.  In fact, I have it set so it takes pictures that are 1280×768 which is the resolution of the wallpaper on my desktop computer.  Videos are 1280×720 which is the same resolution as my HDTV.  Also I am loving the flash lol.  I know it’s funny to hear but every digital camera I have ever had was missing one thing, the flash, so I am in heaven.  It also uses the light from the flash for video which is pretty cool.  My camcorder doesn’t have a light so now when I need to take video at night, I’ll be able to.  Not that I will have a reason, but you never know.

Here are some pictures I have taken with the camera on my new HTC One V.

So I think I will have a lot of fun with this new phone.  It is so much better than my other one and I love that I can post pictures directly to Facebook and Twitter and I can email pictures to myself instead of having to move them to the MicroSD card, then putting it in my printer to copy to the computer.  It sure takes out so many steps.  I also love the voice recognition.  I don’t mind typing, but I make tons of mistakes with the on screen keyboard.  Although, the voice recognition isn’t perfect, but it’s still better than typing.  Yep, this is going to be a beautiful friendship.

Oh and I gave my other phone to someone who really needed a cell phone so that makes me feel really good.

Windows 8 Installation Issues

Do you ever feel like your stick in a situation you can’t get yourself out of when you try to install a new operating system that doesn’t want to work properly?  Yeah, me too.

My first computer in 1989 was an Apple //e.  It didn’t have a tower with a hard drive, it did but my friend asked my brother-in-law to put a sound board in there that would make the computer talk when you typed and when he tried taking it back, it fried the motherboard.  All he was left with was the clunky keyboard, 2 floppy drives and the monitor.  He sold it to me in 1989 for $750.  It didn’t have a mouse or any icons, it was all dos.

My second computer was an IBM, but it had a tower with a motherboard and a hard drive, but it didn’t have windows on it.  I only had that for a couple of weeks in 1997 before I bought my very first Windows-based computer which had Windows 95 on it.  When 98 came out, I upgraded and when ME came out I upgraded to that too.  When XP came out, I had already built my first computer and put that on it and gave the one with ME on it to Darrin when we moved to Bakersfield.  Over the last 12 years, I have rebuilt my computer and given Darrin my old hand me downs and I am now on my 4th XP based computer.

I never upgraded to Vista when that came out because I heard nothing but horrible things about it from friends that I played EverQuest with.  When Windows 7 came out I wanted to buy the upgrade, but the upgrade adviser told me that my hardware wasn’t compatible (that was before my latest upgrades).

I tried looking for the Windows 8 upgrade adviser, but they didn’t have one.  All I could do was download the preview from the Microsoft website and try to run that to see if it gave me any clues about my hardware.  Before I did anything, I backed everything up on my backup hard drive in my computer.  I spent hours doing that because I knew something bad was going to happen if I didn’t and I was so right.

When my backups were all done, I bit the bullet and said just do it and I let Windows 8 preview install.  It took 2 hours to install before rebooting.  When I saw the new Windows logo, I got chills because I knew it had worked, but then that went away and all I had was a blank black screen.  I figured it was probably still installing, so I will give it awhile.  I gave it 2 more hours before deciding nothing was going to happen.  I rebooted it and got the Windows logo again, but this time the blank black screen was replaced with a blank blue screen.  I was overjoyed, until that blankness never got filled with words or logos, then I knew I was screwed.

I decided to run the installation again which meant going into the BIOS and making the DVD drive the first drive that runs so it runs directly from the disc, and it did.  It asked me for the code again and I thought SHIT, it’s on the desktop…  I didn’t write it down.  But, luckily it was on the website still.  WHEW!  I entered the code and thought everything would be OK  but it wasn’t.  It found my 2 hard drives and asked me which one to install it to and I chose the one that had my previous Windows installation, but it wouldn’t install.  I figured it didn’t have enough free space, so I had it format it, but it still wouldn’t install.

My only option was to put the Windows XP cd back in and install that, and I did and all was good until I installed the Router software, and then I couldn’t get my internet working.  I spent 3 hours trying to get my internet working to no avail.  I thought it was the router, but it wasn’t because I had the cable modem plugged directly into my desktop.  You don’t need a password, it’s instant on with a cable modem.  It’s like when you plug the cable into a TV, it’s instant on.  Right then I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was more screwed than a hooker who worked for free.

I didn’t know what else to do.  For some reason I thought there was something wrong with my computer, so I reformatted and reinstalled Windows XP again and it still wouldn’t connect.  I called our cable company and they transferred me over to Road Runner support and walked me through it.  He reset our connection from there, but had me unplug the power and then the coaxial cable from the box for 30 seconds and then it worked.  VICTORY!

Well, I was feeling victorious until Internet Explorer wouldn’t stay on for more than 2 seconds without crashing.  I was finally able to get it to stay on when I went into the start menu and clicked Windows Update.  Then my heart sank when Windows Update wouldn’t give me any updates.  I was able to download and install Google Chrome and the updated Linksys EasyLink Advisor to get our wi-fi back on.

I think I read somewhere that Microsoft isn’t giving any more updates to people who have Windows XP, so my only option is to find a way to get Windows 8 to install properly.  Now I am forced to upgrade which probably means a bigger hard drive.  If I am forced to upgrade, then I better get on that bigger hard drive as fast as possible, because that $40 upgrade deal expires in January 2013.

This sucks for me big time!  I hope Microsoft releases an upgrade adviser program for me to install to tell me what hardware will work by scanning my computer just like Windows 7 had.  If they had that, I wouldn’t have had to go through all this crap.  I will have to see what I can do and what I can afford to get this done.

Update: Good news, Windows Updates are downloading and installing, so I’m thankful for that.

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another…

Microsoft Support Center Scam

Today was a very good day.  I played EverQuest 2 for a couple of hours and I was having a ball.  I was video chatting with a friend of mine with Google Plus Hangouts when the phone rang.  I looked at the Caller ID and it said Unknown Name Unknown Number.  I never answer the phone when it says that, but Darrin does sometimes.

The phone first rang at 6:38pm and I guess Darrin answered it, but then he hung up on them.  They called again at 6:41pm and Darrin ran into my room and told me not to answer it, but I did anyway.  He whispered to me telling me that it’s a scam.  I was trying to hear what the guy was saying, but I had Darrin whispering to me while my friend was talking on my computer and I had to go into the hallway just to hear what this guy was saying.

Whoever was on the phone was asking me if my computer was on and at first I thought yeah yeah yeah and my refrigerator is running too, I guess I better go catch it, right?  I thought it was a crank call, so I asked “Who is this?”  He told me he was from Microsoft Service Center.  I asked him what he was calling for and he told me that I had viruses on my computer and that I can turn it on now.  I told him that he must have the wrong number because I don’t have a virus, but he insisted that he had the right number.  I couldn’t understand why he was telling me that I had a virus and that I had to turn my computer on, I mean, it was on because I was video chatting with someone.

I was getting a bit miffed with having people trying to talk to me while I was on the phone and with this guy telling me that he was from Microsoft and that my computer had a virus.  I asked him for the phone number where he was calling from, and he gave it to me.  (213) 221-3528.  I told him that I would call right back, but I was really going to Google the number so I could find out whether anyone else had gotten a call from that number before, but I didn’t find anything credible because it wasn’t on the caller ID so nobody else had complained about it.  I remembered that he said he was calling from Microsoft Service Center, so I Googled that and got a toll-free number 1 (866) 587-1775 and called them.

I spoke with an Indian man who I explained what happened to me when we got a scam phone call from “Microsoft Support Center” and he told me that Microsoft will never call me.  I agreed it sounded a bit suspicious, I figured he would tell me that there was nothing to worry about and that I should be fine, but instead he told me that they probably put a virus on my computer.  He asked me to open the Internet Explorer browser and go to a specific website, which now I can’t remember and for some odd reason it isn’t in the history.  He had me enter a code and run a program that will allow me to text chat with one of their operators named Deborah.  The program window said “My Tech Guru’s” on the top.

The man I was speaking with told me to continue the conversation online with “Deborah” and hang up with him, I assume so he can take another phone call.  She told me that she would use that program to take over my computer so she could find any viruses that I might have gotten from these people who had called me.  I really don’t know how that would be possible considering I never click a pop up ad and I never read or click links in spam emails.  The only thing I ever do is go on Facebook and Twitter, check my emails, and play video games.  The only time I ever click a link is in Twitter and Facebook when I’m reading news articles or signing petitions.  I don’t really see how I could get a virus.

I asked “Deborah” several times if this was going to cost me anything and she wouldn’t give me a direct response.  She asked my permission to control my PC and I kept asking her if it was going to cost me anything and again, she skirted the issue.  She told me that she had to find out what was going on first before she would respond.  I think I asked her 2 or 3 times before she took over the computer.

She clicked Start and Run and typed something, but I can’t recall what it was.  A window took forever to load and she ran it twice and the window she was waiting for finally came up twice.  She looked around and then closed the windows.  Then she clicked run again and typed cmd and opened the command window and typed a few things, then finally opened an events window which she scrolled through and found all these things that had errors like Bonjour and Chrome.  I’m not sure what Bonjour is, but it’s always been on my computer.  I know that the Chrome errors are probably from every time it crashes.  I’m sure Bonjour is constantly crashing, but she told me that those were viruses.  Yeah, Chrome is a virus… whatever.

She stopped poking around my computer and began talking to me about what she needs to do to fix my computer.  She told me that it needs to be fixed today, like right this minute and I began asking her again, how much is this going to cost me?  I think I asked 6 to 8 times before she finally told me that it was going to be $117 for a quick fix or $199 for a whole year.  I told her that I had around or about $50 in the bank and that there was no way I could afford that.  She tried getting me to change my mind for about 5 minutes and I explained to her that I had no money, so she gave me a better deal, $69.99.  I told her no way, I have less than $50 in the bank.  She asked me how much I could afford and I said $20, and even then I still can’t afford that, I have $50 in the bank.  She lowered it down to $39.99.  I said Deborah, we are in the middle of the month, that will leave me with $10 for groceries for the next couple of weeks.  You can’t do this to me.

UGH!  She tried getting me to pay her $40 but I kept telling her it was not easy to feed 2 people on $10 in 2 weeks and I told her maybe when I get more money, but I can’t promise anything.  She was having trouble letting me go, but I had to tell her that I had to go.  I revoked her permission and closed the window.

The phone call started at 6:38pm and then I called Microsoft Service Center at maybe 6:50pm and by the time I exited the chat with Deborah, it was probably 8:15pm.  I had wasted so much of my time on this issue for nothing.

After I got off the chat with her, I was going to Google Microsoft Service Center, but then as I was typing, the auto thing dropped down to finish my sentence with Microsoft Service Center Scam.  I clicked that and it showed me a list of things.  One from Microsoft itself…  Avoid Phone Scams is from the Microsoft website.  They also have this Microsoft Safety Scanner which is FREE!  Although, it’s probably not going to fix anything, but at least it might tell me what’s going on.  I’ve been scanning my computer with that for the last 3 1/2 hours and it has found 6 infected files.  It’s not even halfway done so I expect it’s going to run all night before I finally find out what’s going on and what my options are.

I was Googling for more information that I could use for this post and guess what I found out?  I Googled that phone number that I called and found that THEY too are a scam, and I let them take control of my computer.  866-587-1775.  Then I found them again on the Microsoft website.  Well, so much for a search engine giving me credible information.

My suggestion is that if you get a phone call from someone saying they are Microsoft and telling you that you have a virus on your computer, hang up!  Don’t call Microsoft Service Centers, just go directly to the Microsoft website and scan your computer.  I’ve been using Avast Antivirus because I can’t afford to keep paying Norton every year for their updates, but now I see I’m gonna have to get another antivirus because this isn’t showing me the 6 viruses that the Microsoft Safety Scanner has found so far.

I hope this will all be fixed by tomorrow so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.  We’ll see.

Update: I forgot to mention that “Deborah” told me to change my email and bank passwords.  I did, and I also changed my Facebook password just in case.

Update: Last night when I wrote this, I said there were 6 issues.  When I got up at the ass crack of dawn I noticed that it had finished scanning, but it wasn’t at the scanning screen anymore so I didn’t know how many issues were found.  As far as I knew there were still only 6, and those were just on the C drive.  I have 2 hard drives, my old 320GB hard drive which won’t work with my new motherboard as the main hard drive, so I use it as my backup drive.  Then I have my new hard drive which is my main hard drive and is the E drive.  The window said that there were 3 issues, 2 of them were on the C drive and they were a Scooby Doo theme which I haven’t used in more than a decade, and then the E drive showed 1 issue which I can’t even remember the name now, but it had the word fun in it so it must be evil right?  LOL.  I let the Microsoft Safety Scanner remove all affected files and then it rebooted.  As far as I know there aren’t any issues, but I will keep that scanner around and do quick scans from time to time.  I’m not really worried about it anymore.

My memory is not as good as it used to be

Memory has been a huge issue with how slow my computer is because I only have 1GB of ram.  EverQuest play OK, but it’s not great.  Lord of the Rings Online is really bad because as I’m running through a zone or area, the screen will freeze up every ten seconds for up to a second or two which can be a bad thing, especially if something is chasing you.  It can be a matter of life and death, well, for your character anyway.

I recently discovered that EverQuest 2 is free, so I installed it and went into the game and it immediately froze up on me.  In order for me to get out of that I had to hit the reset button on the front of my tower to reboot the computer.  I figured it was slow because I had just installed it, but that wasn’t the case at all because I tried to run it again and it froze up again.  That told me that I definitely need more memory for my computer.

I have been doing research over the last few days to find the most inexpensive memory because I just don’t have a lot of money to spare right now.  My go-to website used to be TigerDirect, but when I discovered how quickly I got my orders from NewEgg, that became my go-to site, but they are too expensive for 4GB.  A friend told me to try the Fry’s Electronics website so I checked it out and they are way cheaper than NewEgg.  I did go to TigerDirect and they aren’t too expensive, but I don’t want to have to wait a whole week when Fry’s is in Los Angeles and I could get it as quickly as NewEgg.

My ideal brands are Kingston and PNY, but they don’t have any available that will ship out immediately.  Fry’s Electronics also had some other less expensive brands that I would have liked, but shipping was unavailable, so I chose the Patriot Extreme Performance PC2-6400 (800MHz).

My motherboard will accept PS2 memory up to 8GB.  I can’t afford to buy 8GB so I am buying 4GB for now and then I will buy another 4GB later when I can afford it again.  What I love especially about this memory I am buying is the heat sink.  The memory I have doesn’t have that.  This is the description of this memory, and it really fits for what I use my computer for too.

“Patriot Gamer Series (PGS), part of the Extreme Performance (EP) Enhanced Latency line is engineered to expand your gaming options. These modules are designed to operate at 800MHz at 5-5-5-12 timings and is available in 4GB kit capacity. Equipped with lightweight aluminum heat-dispersing shields, these modules are designed for maximum performance and stability under extreme overclocking conditions. Engineered with quality and Performance in mind, Patriot Extreme Performance line is the ultimate solution for extreme overclockers, gamers, and PC enthusiasts.”

I think that “Extreme overclockers, gamers, and PC enthusiasts” really fits me lol.

Another issue I have with memory is Hulu, YouTube and Facebook games.  I don’t really care too much about Facebook games, but it is fun to play them every so often, you know?  I can’t play them at all because they freeze up my computer.

I will  order this memory now and then see how it works out.  I really hope that it’s as fast as it says it is, and it if is fast, I may just forego buying the other 4GB, but can you imagine how much faster it will be with 8GB?  I actually would love to see how much faster it would be so let’s hope I can afford that next month.

I will let you know how fast my computer becomes when my new memory comes.  I can’t wait!

Update: I ordered it early this morning and it has already shipped.  WOW that was fast!  I don’t have a tracking number yet, but if they ship it from Los Angeles, I should get it by tomorrow, that is if the mail comes on the 4th of July.

Update 7/13/2012: I called Fry’s a couple of days ago asking them why the tracking isn’t working and where my package is since I bought this on the 3rd, but they told me there was a tracking number, it just wasn’t listed yet because it wasn’t working on the UPS website yet.  I told the woman who I spoke with that it’s supposed to come USPS, but she said they ship it out with UPS, then they hand it over to the post office to send it to me.  Well, I was finally able to check the shipping on the UPS website, and the tracking says it should be here on 7/16/2012, but we will see if that is true on Monday, I won’t hold my breath.

My reason for buying this through Fry’s instead of NewEgg or TigerDirect was that I thought they were shipping it from their LA store, but they are really shipping it from back east, which wasn’t what I had thought.  If I knew I would have to wait for 2 weeks for my memory, I would have gone with TigerDirect which only takes 1 week.  They had the same prices, NewEgg was more expensive.  So this is the first and last thing I will ever buy from Fry’s.  I wanted to buy the other 4GB from Fry’s with my next check, but I think I’ll just live with 4GB.

Google Chromebox

I guess I am so far out of the loop with Google tech because I had no idea this even existed until tonight.

A friend of mine told me she didn’t have a computer tonight, she uses the internet right from her cell phone.  I told her that I was surprised, that I thought every household in America had a computer by now.  I was about to tell her that they are so cheap now that you can get a Google Chrome laptop for $299, but wanted to back it up with a link, so I Googled “Chromebook” and found the Chromebook page which also had a link to the Chromebox.  My mind was blown away.

Ok so here are the specs.

  • Intel® Core™ processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Built-in dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • 6 USB 2.0 ports
  • 2x DisplayPort++ Output (compatible with HDMI, DVI, VGA)
  • DVI-I single link output (compatible with VGA)
  • Bluetooth 3.0™ compatible
  • Kensington™ key lock compatible

The specs don’t say that it also has a 16GB hard drive which doesn’t seem like a lot, but this is an internet based computer only, you can’t install anything on it*.  You turn it on and you are automatically connected to the internet.  Actually, it takes 7 seconds to boot up into the internet.  I mean, it’s like you turn it on and BAM instant websites.  So the only reason you even need a hard drive is for downloading pictures of your friends and family and/or music.  I mean, that’s all I download with my Chromebook *wink*.

The best part about this baby is that if you have an HDTV, just plug it into your television with the HDMI cable.  You can have it sit right next to or on top of your cable box and/or video game consoles, and then have the keyboard and mouse on your living room table, or wherever it is that your HDTV lives.  You could also buy an external monitor and put it on your desk if that is what you wish I suppose, although I think it would be cool to have it hooked up to the TV instead.

Why get this instead of a regular computer?  Well, some people ONLY go onto websites to look at their email or Facebook or Twitter.  Why buy an expensive gaming machine just to check your email and to get into political rants with your Aunt Beverly?  You can do everything with the Chromebox that you can do with a regular desktop.  For example, you can write a book, yes you heard me, you can write a book using Google Documents.  You can, like I said earlier read your email, you can go on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, you can even play games.  Yes, the Chrome Web Store has games like Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Crash Bandicoot among many others.  You can check the news and the weather, you can even watch Netflix movies or even watch your favorite TV shows on Hulu.

Now aren’t you glad you follow my blog posts?

I love Google Chrome not just because it’s (IMO) the fastest browser available, but also because they were gracious enough to include me in their Chromebook pilot test “CR-48” which I love and have been using ever since they sent it to me in mid-December 2010.  I went several months last year without my desktop and I wouldn’t have had a computer had it not been for Google for sending it to me.  I had to do everything on the Chromebook from writing the first half of my book, to email and twitter and Facebook, I even watched the first 3 seasons of Sliders on Hulu with it.  So yeah, thanks Google for that.

Note: *When I say you can’t install anything on it, I mean like Microsoft Word or Lord of the Rings Online.  They have an app store where you can download and install apps and extensions.

No More Monitor, No More EverQuest :(

I recently decided that I wanted to make my return to EverQuest after 5 long years, but then my monitor decided it doesn’t want to turn on anymore.  My video card has an HDMI so I can plug my HDTV in so I can still use my computer, but now my issue is that EverQuest crashes before it can begin to load the game.  So much for that idea.

My monitor is a 20.1-inch Sylvania SK2000w-b Widescreen LCD.  What it is doing is when you turn the computer on, the screen doesn’t turn on and the power light turns green and starts blinking over and over.  The screen never actually turns on, it used to turn on after a few minutes, but now it isn’t turning on at all.

I googled the model number and found out that it is fixable.  I found out on the Fixya website that the problem could be that the capacitors have gone bad.  My first thought was, what the heck is a capacitor and how do I fix it?  So I looked at YouTube and they have a video that shows a guy who bought a monitor from a thrift store for only $2.98.  It’s not a Sylvania, but he is showing what a capacitor is and shows you how to identify a bad one and how to remove the old and replace it with new.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02uLSu1Jj5M)
It looks really complicated, but I’m sure that once you figure out how to remove the solder from the capacitor and are able to replace the first one, the rest are a cake walk.  Hey, if it works then I get my monitor back and I can play EverQuest again, but if it doesn’t then I still have a 20.1-inch paperweight, so really, what is the worst that could happen?  I mean sure I could buy a new monitor, but who has that kind of cash?  I could pay someone to fix it for me but they would end up charging me half of what a new monitor would end up costing me.  I can pick the parts up at Radio Shack and fix it myself.
I think that if I can build a computer, I can replace a capacitor, right?  Yeah… easier said that done, but we’ll see how it works out.
My concern about EverQuest is that I will have to cancel it before they charge me for another month, but I haven’t really had that much time to play with it anyway and I don’t want to keep paying for something I’m probably not going to be able to play very often.  I may as well cancel my account and go back to it when my monitor has been fixed.  I waited 5 years, I’m sure I could wait a little bit longer until I can fix it.  Who knows, I may be back in the game by the weekend.  I think I can afford to spend up to $10 on capacitors rather than $200 for a new monitor.

My Computer Finally Works

What a bad time I have had with my desktop lately.  I will give you a quick recap of my situation.

First my video card stopped working so I bought a new one but it wasn’t nvidia like I should have bought, it was Radeon.

It didn’t work right away and I should have returned it to get an nvidia but I was so thick headed that I said no screw that, I want Radeon.  It worked but only if I didn’t turn my computer off but then the PG&E turned it off to install a new pole.  When our power came back on I couldn’t turn the computer on at all.

I read message boards that told me that if nothing showed up on the screen then my problem is power supply and I looked in the Radeon website and found out that my new video card needed a specific power supply.  I had to wait a month to buy it when I had the money.

The power supply came and it still didn’t work so back to the boards for help I went.  I read that it was the motherboard so I had to wait to buy that.  Darrin loaned me the money this week and it came on Wednesday and my computer turned on but it wouldn’t load Windows from my hard drive.

I discovered that my hard drive is ATA-100 and the book says it will accept ATA-133 but someone told me that ATA-100 is backwards compatible so it should work but it didn’t.

So on Wednesday night I bought a new hard drive and it showed up at my house yesterday.  I installed it and ran the Windows CD and it copied the Windows setup files to the new drive and rebooted.  When it rebooted nothing happened and my heart sank.

When the Windows setup came on the screen with mouse support I was ear to ear smiles.  But I wasn’t going to celebrate just yet, not until I had the desktop up on the screen and was able to start installing drivers and programs.  That is why I haven’t blogged about it until now, I didn’t want to jinx myself lol.

So I FINALLY have my computer back after 2 months of waiting.  I am so beyond happy right now.

My Computer Still Doesn’t Work!

I am so beyond frustrated at this point.  It all started when…

*Enter the dream sequence*

In the middle of July, my video card stopped working so I had to wait until I got my August check to buy another one.  I bought the wrong one but since I had to wait a week for it to arrive from Tiger Direct, I decided I would just deal with it.  I didn’t want to have to wait another week for them to receive it so they would send me another one yet another week later.

It did work, sort of.  I couldn’t turn off my computer then the PG&E turned it off for me much to my dismay and it wouldn’t turn back on.

I read in the message boards that it won’t turn back on because I needed a new power supply so I had to wait until I got the money which was the beginning of October.  I bought that from NewEgg and still nothing.

I read in another message board that I needed a new motherboard so I waited for 2 weeks when finally I was loaned the money for a new motherboard which I also bought from NewEgg.

*Exit the dream sequence*

Fast forward to today and my new motherboard arrives and it turns on Hallelujah!

It won’t freaking read my hard drive.  NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

If I had just taken the god damn tower to the god damn computer store to begin with, I would have had it fixed by now instead of having to replace all of my god damn computer components.

I was so sick to my stomach today that I couldn’t eat.  Darrin made some chicken and I was so upset that the smell of it was making me dry heave.

Ok.  So this is what I’m going to do.  I’m going to call New Egg tomorrow and tell them what my problem is.  On one hand, I don’t want to have to return the motherboard, but on the other hand I don’t want to have to buy another hard drive either.

I will let them tell me if everything else is compatible.  If it is and it’s just the hard drive that isn’t compatible but I can still use it as an external drive then I will buy a new hard drive that is compatible in November.

I just wish I could have my computer working now, you know what I mean?  I’m so sick of waiting because I haven’t been able to use it in 2 months.  I can only take so much of having to use an internet only netbook with a tiny screen for so long.  It’s killing my eyes!

So, the sun’ll come out… tomorrow.  Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow… I’ll call NewEgg…

You know what the difference between Tiger Direct and New Egg is right?  A FREAKING WEEK!  It takes a week to get anything from Tiger Direct but when I buy something before 4pm from New Egg, I get it the next day.  That’s so much better than anticipating for a whole week because at least if I have to return something, it won’t take more than a day to get to them because they are only 2 1/2 hours away from me.

So until tomorrow…

Oh, here is my new configuration if anyone out there wants to tell me what is compatible with what BEFORE I have to call NewEgg.

My new motherboard was the only thing they had that was compatible with my CPU, memory and video card.  I didn’t even think to check to see if it was compatible with my hard drive brand or DVD burner.  Although it reads the DVD drive since it was able to attempt to reinstall windows for me.

  • Motherboard is ASRock A785GM-LE
  • CPU is AMD Sempron 3400+ Socket AM2 1.80Ghz
  • Memory is Kingston 1GB PC2-4200 CL4 240-Pin DIMM…  that’s what it says on the case, I know it’s a DDR2.
  • The video card that started this shit is Radeon HD 4650
  • Hard drive is Maxtor 320GB EIDE HD 7200/16mb/ATA-100
  • DVD Burner is LiteON… I know it’s a Sata drive
  • Windows XP Home which is installed but the hard drive won’t boot.

By the way, I read today on another message board after futzing with it for 2 hours that I needed a fresh windows installation.  It said that it won’t read the hard drive unless I install a fresh installation of windows but I wasn’t willing to wipe my hard drive.

I did try to install windows over itself and it copied all of the installation files to the hard drive but when it rebooted to begin the installation, it wouldn’t read the hard drive so it would go back to trying to install windows from the cd again to either reformat or install windows the way I had already tried.  It just will not boot from the hard drive.

Oh and I tried to go into safe mode but I guess since it won’t read the hard drive windows installation there is no way it’s gonna go into safe mode.

I hope this is enough information and I hope to GOD that someone reads this and tells me what the hell to do.

Thanks for listening.

Update: I think I might have pinned down my issue.  My hard drive is an ATA-100 and I am looking in the manual for the new motherboard and it says that ATA-133 is compatible.  So… that means I need a new hard drive to work with the motherboard.  NewEgg has a 160GB ATA-133 hard drive for $25.  So… I will just buy that and put my other hard drive in a USB case to use as an external hard drive for storage.

My New Motherboard

I have been having the worst computer luck lately.  First my video card stops working so I bought a new one from Tiger Direct which took a week to get to me.

When I installed it, it didn’t work right away.  I turned it off then back on again and it still didn’t come on.  I had my hands in my face then I looked up and it came on.  It took a couple of minutes but it did come on.

I installed the software for the new video card and it needed to reboot and it rebooted fast enough so I thought, ok, it just needed time to read the new hardware.

I experimented with it to see what would happen if I shut it down all the way and I waited about 10 minutes.  I turned it back on and it didn’t want to come on.  It did finally come on a couple of minutes later but I figured, the only way that I am able to keep my computer working is if I NEVER EVER turn it off.

Then I get a notice from the PG&E telling me they are shutting our power off to put in a new pole…  CRAP!

My computer didn’t want to turn on again and I did some research and found out it was because my power supply wasn’t good enough for my new video card.  I had to wait a month to buy a new power supply because I didn’t have the money.  When I bought it on NewEgg, it arrived the next day and it still didn’t turn my computer on.

It did come on once but it told me to reset the bios which I did and it still didn’t want to work.  SHIT!

I did more research and found out that I needed a new motherboard.  I borrowed some money last night because I just want my stupid computer to work again.  I bought it from NewEgg because I get it the next day unlike Tiger Direct which takes a week to get to me.

ASRock A785GM-LE AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

I am not familiar with this brand but it was the only one that was compatible with my memory and CPU.  It also has an onboard Radeon video card so I know it will be compatible with my Radeon video card that I bought from Tiger Direct.  I read a review that said that the onboard video is crap for playing games so you will need another video card which I just so happen to have.

This should work and get me back up and running.  I already got my shipping confirmation so it should be here tomorrow afternoon around 4pm which is when we get our UPS packages.

I think the reason that Radeon video card didn’t work with my motherboard was probably because it wasn’t compatible with the motherboard.  My other video card was nvidia so I don’t know what possessed me to buy Radeon.

I will update this as soon as I get my new motherboard installed to say whether it worked or not.  I’m pretty sure it should but I will update this whether it works or not.

My New Power Supply

In late July this year my video card stopped working in my desktop so I was forced to buy a new one. I bought it and it didn’t work right away but it did eventually work as long as I didn’t turn off my computer.

A month later I get a notice from the PG&E that they are shutting off our power to install a new pole. Well that meant that my computer would shut off and if that happens who knew if I could turn my computer back on? Well, my worst nightmare happened and it didn’t turn back on.

Now it’s the beginning of October, I haven’t had a desktop computer in over a month. I read somewhere that my problem was that my power supply isn’t good enough for my new video card. I looked at the huge list of recommended power supplies and researched every one of them and compared the list with what NewEgg sells and bought the least expensive one which was all I could afford to pay.

I bought the new power supply yesterday and it arrived today. That was shocking to me that I got free 3 day shipping with UPS and I got it within 24 hours. Awesome right?

I installed the new power supply right away. I made sure all of the plugs were plugged in properly and put the door on the tower and plugged it in and it still doesn’t work.

I don’t know what is wrong with this desktop of mine. I should have just sent the video card back to Tiger Direct right away and gotten a new one instead of going through all of this headache.

Back to the drawing board!