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.

:Cue Cat

Do you remember the :Cue Cat?  It was made in the late 90’s by a company called Digital Convergence and was given away for free at Radio Shack in the early 2000’s.  When they first came out with them I got one and installed the software that came with it and had a jolly good time scanning boxes of cereal and cans of Chef Boyardee and my soda.  But that became boring after 5 minutes and it sat there plugged in for months until I decided it wasn’t doing me any good at all.  I unplugged it, removed the software and put it in a drawer never to be seen again.

Today I was sitting here and I saw it sitting on a shelf and I thought, I wonder what good that thing is anymore, should I just toss it or what?  Then I got to thinking, I kept it all these years because it scans bar codes, I wonder if it still does that but for other things like placing things on eBay or adding books to my Anobii account.

I did a little Google search and I actually found more information than I thought I would about it.  Apparently people were upset that the Cue Cat was sending information to Digital Convergence every time you used it and someone hacked it and made it impossible for them to get any information.  They found out and tried to sue that person but ended up going out of business instead which is why the software doesn’t work anymore.  You can’t use the software on the cd because it doesn’t have a website to connect to anymore.

But it still works, if you have a Cue Cat plug it in and try scanning something into Notepad.  You will get some long numbers because it’s made to send encrypted code to the Digital Convergence software to bring up a website.  You can’t use the software but the scanner works and there is a website at LibraryThing.com that can read that encrypted code to add your book to their website.  Although I tried it and only 5 out of 32 books would scan properly.  So my search continued.

I found the CED Magic website which gave me a bit more help with a program called CatNip which will remove that encryption from the bar code information so you can get the proper numbers to scan.  I tried it and it works.  I went to Anobii and scanned a book and it automatically added it to my bookshelf.  I removed it of course because that book was already there.

What I want to use it for is so that I can add things to eBay without going through the hassle of having to type everything in.  Even the bar code itself, I’d rather just swipe the bar code, since I already own a Cue Cat, then just go from there.  Darrin owns hundreds of LP’s and wants to sell them on eBay but figured it’s such a hassle typing in all that information.  Now it’s easier.

I don’t buy physical books anymore since I own a Nook so I really don’t have a need to scan book bar codes for Anobii but you never know what might happen in the future.  I might get a bug up my ass and want to scan all of my books, dvd’s, cd’s, and pc software bar codes for a catalog program lol.  Crazier things have happened.

Well at least if you have an old Cue Cat that you got for free 10 or 11 years ago, you can take it out of moth balls and hook it up again and scan to your hearts content lol.