My CR-48 Brick

In the middle of December of 2010, Google surprised me by sending me an email asking me if I wanted to test a laptop with the new Google Chrome operating system if I sent in bug reports.  Happily I accepted the task and received my free laptop 2 days later.  I was shocked that I actually got it and I did the happy dance.  It’s sometimes mistaken for the pee pee dance, but it was a happy one.  I have had a wonderful year testing out this wonderful toy, but sometimes good things have to come to an end because it’s a brick now.

Ok to clarify, the laptop isn’t broken, it just won’t stay online.  I have it connected through my WiFi network, but as soon as I try to type something, it loses the signal.  The only way to get it back is to reboot.  Rebooting used to help, but now it just won’t stay connected anymore.  It will stay connected for hours, but as soon as I try to type something, it goes offline.  I can watch videos on YouTube, I can browse people’s Facebook page, I can look at any website in the world, I just can’t type anything.

At first when this would happen I would switch over to Verizon 3G, but I only get 100MB free data every month and I have already used 50MB over the last few days every time I want to type something.  At this point it’s just a waste of electricity having it on because if I want to type something, I have to do it on the desktop.

I tried doing research to get it fixed.  I went to the help section and looked at boards and found out that this is happening to a lot of people.  Someone said that Google was in touch with him and sent him an email with a link to a website that has instructions on how to take the laptop apart to re-seat the wifi connection, but I’m afraid I might just make it worse.  I really don’t know if that is the problem because it never gets moved, so there is no reason for anything to be loose in there.  It stays on my desk in the same spot all the time.  I rarely if ever bring it to another room of the house, and when I do pick it up, it’s to dust.  And, it only goes offline when I try to type something, why would it stay online for hours at a time, but then shut off as soon as I try to type something if the problem is that the wifi connection is loose?  I don’t think they are related.

A few of the people say that it’s not a software glitch, that the hardware needs to be re-seated, but that does not seem to make sense in my case.  I think it’s a software glitch and the only thing I can do is wait for Google to put out a new update.  How long will that take?

I have cleared my browsing data, browsing history and emptied the cache.  Before that whenever I would move the mouse it would go offline, so now at least it stays online until I type something.  It has gotten a little better, but not by much.  I deleted the cookies, cleared saved passwords and autofill form data and I deleted all of my files because they were redundant anyway.  I most likely downloaded images for blog posts or to transfer to the micro SD card for my phone.  The remaining files that aren’t on my computer were transferred to a USB flash drive.

I will continue to do research on the matter because I really want my CR-48 back.  I have lived my whole life without it, but I don’t know if I can live without it now.  I know that’s sad, but it is such a cool thing.  For anyone who doesn’t have one, they don’t know how awesome it is so they don’t know what I mean, but trust me, if you had one you’d understand.

I posted on the Google help boards, so hopefully I will hear from someone who can help.  Will update on the matter.

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If It Isn’t One Thing, It’s Another

So I bought a new video card this month and even though it started out bad, I found a solution to keep it turned on and working right.  As long as I didn’t turn the computer off completely but instead put it to sleep when I’m not using it then all would be ok.

We got a notice on the door from PG&E on Wednesday that our electricity would be shut off Friday for an unspecified amount of time.  Well, I knew that this would cause my computer to turn off all the way.  When I got my computer to work before it didn’t take more than a few minutes for it to turn on so I never thought in a million years that it would be a huge issue for my computer to be without power even for a few hours.

Our power got shut off as I was expecting but when it finally came back on, my computer didn’t want to turn back on.  It eventually did come on but it said something about the CMOS.  I was given 2 choices.  F1 to enter the setup or F2 to choose optimal settings.  I chose F1 and in there I chose optimal settings and it turned on and went into Windows just fine.  It all got frozen so I rebooted.  I didn’t have any rebooting issues before so I didn’t think anything of it.

When it turned back on I got another blank screen.  Nothing was happening and I was back at square 1.  Dammit!  Why did I have to reboot?  Well, I’m glad I did because it told me that I wasn’t finished, also, I shouldn’t live in fear of turning my computer off.  That’s certainly no way to live.  So I opened the side panel and clear the CMOS (pulling the jumper from 1-2, putting it on 2-3 waiting 5 seconds then putting it back on 1-2).

Turned the computer back on and nothing.  Eventually it did show me the same issue and I chose F2 and for some reason it did start to load but then it rebooted.  I got the screen you see when you first turn the computer on but then the monitor went dead again and it never turned on again.

I’ve opened the case, reseated everything.  Pulled all the power supply plugs then put them all back in their place and turned it on and still nothing.  The only light that turns on is the green light.  At one point the red light would flash 3 times in a row then pause then 3 times over and over.  Then another point it would flash 2 then pause then 1 then pause then 2 then 1 etc.  Then no lights flashing at all.  I don’t understand.

I opened it up again and with my bicycle light I inspected everything and I did find this little issue which would explain why I wasn’t hearing any beeping sounds.

The red wire on my speaker wasn’t connected.  I tried soldering it back on but it still doesn’t beep.  Although, I’m not exactly sure I did it right.  They are inexpensive and I tried to buy another one at the computer store and they looked at me like I was an alien from outer space when I asked for it.  I went to Radio Shack next door and the guy I asked said they didn’t sell those.

I was looking at the video card box and it shows the system requirements on the side of the box.  One of those requirements is power supply and it shows a link to the list of power supplies that are compatible and my new power supply isn’t anywhere on that list.  Probably because it was the cheapest power supply they sold.

The reason I bought a cheap power supply is because I didn’t even think that it would affect any of the hardware.  I always thought that as long as it gave power to the computer that it didn’t matter how cheap it was.  How wrong was I!  So, now I have to buy a new power supply and it could cost me as much as $100-$250.  I am too poor to spend $250 just for a power supply so I have to go through the list on the Best Buy website to get prices so I know I’m getting a good power supply but in the $100 range.

I looked at websites like NewEgg.com and TigerDirect.com and they did have a couple that were on the list but what if I did order one and I had to wait a week for it to come and it still didn’t work?  I’d have to send it back, buy another one, wait another week.  Forget it!

I was looking at the Best Buy website last night and I narrowed down my search to the $50-$99 price range then looked at all of the power supplies they sell and compared them to the list and the least expensive one on the list is the Cooler Master GX 650 for $99.  It’s a bit expensive but considering I wouldn’t have to wait for it to come to me in the mail I’m willing to pay for the convenience of getting my computer working immediately.

It took a week for my video card to arrive and even though it wasn’t too late to send it back, once I got it working and cut the proof of purchase off the box to send the rebate in, it was too late to send it back.  I would much rather buy something in a store so I can return it for a new one of it doesn’t work right.  I should have done that with my video card, then again I still have a crappy power supply so now I know why my video card doesn’t work.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to do this until next week when I get my next check because I am so broke right now.  But I really don’t need to have my computer right away so it can wait.  As long as I have my Chromebook I’m fine.  I can spend my week reading books like I did before I got my new video card.  It’s not a huge crisis but still, I want my computer to work.

PVC Teardrop Bicycle Trailer

Awhile ago I posted a link from Dvice.com where this guy built a trailer for his bicycle to go to Burning man:

Tiny bicycle-towed house is self-sufficient

Ok so when I looked at the article in the Dvice website it had a link for Ecofriend so I clicked that then scrolled to the next link for TinyHouseDesign.  I scrolled down that article about the same trailer until I found that this person created a PVC teardrop bicycle trailer design.

pvctrailerIsn’t that just the most awesome thing you ever seen?  And someone is building it right now.  Roy the PVC guy is building it in his garage.  He just has all the PVC put together but scroll down to the comments section on that page to see my comments.  I offered a couple suggestions that I think will make it more interesting.

I’ve been thinking about this WAY too much.  If I didn’t read the Dvice.com website I would’ve never found this.  I don’t know if that’s good or bad because now I’m obsessed.  I don’t know if it’s a good obsession though lol.

I can see some practical applications with this.  If you are traveling the country like Crazy James from Big Brother 9 then this can come in handy because you can just pull over wherever you are and go to bed.  You don’t have to set up a tent or get a motel room, just pull over, climb in and go to sleep.

The guy who went to Burning man, his trailer had solar panels so during the day it collects electricity I’m guessing into a battery and that powers the fan and it could charge your cell phone, mp3 player, keep your laptop powered up etc.  He also had a built in urinal but you have to stand outside to use it.  You pee into a funnel that goes into a 1 gallon water bottle.  I can see a problem with that, indecency maybe?  I mean especially if a cop was driving by and you were peeing into a trailer on the outside lol.  All you would need is one of those urinal things that they give you in the hospital, you just sit inside the trailer, close the door, open your shorts and pee lol.  But he doesn’t have anything for #2 but I’m sure you could find a way.

Actually if you go to campmor.com they sell camp gear and they have a toilet that you can sit on but it’s afoldable chair with a hole in it with a tent and you can poop into a plastic bag then tie the bag up when you are finished and throw it in the trash.  You could also dig a hole, crap in the hole then bury it lol.  Also they sell these shower enclosures so you can take a private shower with a 5 gallon water bottle that you fill with the lake water then let it sit in the sun all day so you can take a warm shower.

Well I don’t have a real reason for having one of these trailers but it really does look neat.  I think that it would be great for a homeless person to have one of these, that is if they can’t get their hands on an EDAR.  I can see building one of these just in case you know?  Just in case I fall under hard times and all of a sudden I’m out on the street with nowhere to go.  I’d at least have a little trailer to live in.  I could take it over to the bike trail where there are all those trees at Manor St.  I see a homeless guy sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag.  I hope it never comes to that but you never know what might happen.

Home Gym

weiderI’ve said before that I’m going to do it but then I wuss out because of my shoulder pain but I really need to do it for my shoulder pain.  I need to bring my Weider Total Body Works 5000 home gym into the patio from the back yard and start using it.

I think that if I work that muscle, the shoulder muscle that hurts and my back muscles, that I might be able to strengthen it up.

I’ve had this shoulder pain for almost a month now and it seems like it’s moving from my shoulder to my neck and also down my left arm as well as being in my shoulder.  So I think that the only way I’m going to fix this is by exercising those muscles.

When I was going to the Chiropractors office in 2005 they would give me a massage, I would lay on a hot water bed with jets shooting at my back, they would put these electric things on my back that would shoot electricity into the muscle then the doctor would adjust my back and then they would send me over to their gym room where I would use the weight machine and do the exercises that they told me to do.  I still have the paper with all the exercises too.

They had me pull on the weight cable then hold for about 5 or 10 seconds or whatever, I forgot.  Then I would do it again, so about maybe 10 times for 5-10 seconds.  So I believe that this worked so I think I should do the same.

I’m giving myself shiatsu massages, vibrating massages, putting cold then heat on my shoulder.  I can’t adjust myself but I do try to crack my back when I can.  I don’t have a little twin sized water bed with heat and jets and I don’t have one of those things that you put on your muscle then push the button to electronically stimulate the muscles by zapping it (as seen on Jackass the movie where they put it on their balls lol) but I do have a home gym and it’s about time I use it.

I really want this pain to go away.  It’s been almost a month and I haven’t been on my bike in that amount of time.  I’m told to just go to the Chiropractors office but how am I going to get there?  Bus then have to walk the rest of the way?  Every step I take causes pain in my shoulder.  In 2005 I was going 3 days a week, that’s $3 a week in bus fair that I just can’t spare.  I would ride my bicycle but then I’d be paranoid that it’s going to get stolen the whole time cause you are in there for 2-3 hours at least.

So my best alternative is to just suffer and use the options I have available to me I guess.  Maybe if I had a person to drive me then it would be easier but I don’t.  We have a perfectly good SUV in the driveway that I could get there with but… don’t know how to drive and even if I did, it’s gonna cost me a lot more than $3 a week in gas.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a product that does exactly what it says it does on the commercials.  Wow, I just never knew that it would work that well.  Darrin doesn’t like buying things that he sees on the commercials because 9 times out of 10 they don’t do what they say they are supposed to do because you can usually buy the generic brand and it does the same exact thing.

Our tenant next door left the house just filthy when he moved out.  It took me 2 hours yesterday to clean out the refrigerator.  The freezer was completely covered in mold because his electricity got shut off.  There was this one spot on the fridge door that was just so beyond gross.  It was a build up of something, I don’t know what.  All I know is that it was so gross and it would not come up.

I gotta go back there today after I eat my lunch and clean the stove top and the oven so I bought some oven cleaner and I bought a package of magic erasers because I know if anything will clean that stove it will be the magic erasers.

I just did a test with 1 of the 2 that were in the package on our stove.  There are these certain spots that I just cannot get clean.  Although, when I try it’s usually with just a wash cloth and soapy water from the dish soap so in all fairness I’m not really trying that hard.  But the magic eraser got it all up real fast and the stove was sparkling clean.  Wow, I just couldn’t believe it.  With very little effort too.  Just amazing.

I’m going to have these on hand from now on because this is an amazing product that does exactly what they say it will do.  In a world of false advertising, it’s nice to see a company who is actually telling you the truth.

There’s A Fly In My… Coffee?

YUCK I made a pot of coffee and I had a cup of coffee then I went back for a 2nd cup and decided to pour it into the carafe. I like to put it in the carafe because it doesn’t use any electricity and it keeps the coffee hot.

After I had filled the carafe I went to pour the rest in my cup and I noticed a fly floating in the coffee pot. OMG I had to dump out the entire pot out and then go throw up lol. Actually I didn’t throw up because I had just eaten and taken my pills and I didn’t want to waste them. But I wanted to lol.