Archive for February, 2012

I’m BACK!!!!!

I hope I stay….. *grin*

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Another Song of Longing

*laughing* According to Fedex, my laptop has been received at the local facility. And this song sprang to mind….

My laptop lies over the mountains
My laptop lies over the sea
My laptop lies over the valleys
Oh bring back my laptop to me!

Bring back, bring back
Bring back my laptop to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my laptop to me

The plane will fly over the mountains
The truck will drive south long the sea
The truck will drive over the highways
To bring back my laptop to me

Bring back, bring back
Bring back my laptop to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my laptop to me

Frustration

I may give up on computers and electronics all together.

Supposedly my Alienware is on its way back to me. Not that @DellCares told me this. Not that Dell called the correct phone number to tell me this. Dell called and left the message on my home phone DESPITE my having called the day before to explicitly ask to have all communication come to my cell phone. Just one more example in this total farce of how one hand of Dell has no clue what the other is doing.

There was a very cool presentation scheduled for SL on Friday Feb 24th. I have it on my calendar. I arranged to work from home that day so I can make it inworld. The original email was sent Jan 25, 2012 and listed 4 events for their Thursday “Train for Success” speaking series and listed the dates. I copied the dates into my calendar, focusing on the DATES not the other text. Then on Feb 22 I got a reminder email. I saw it was the same 2 events, ignored the email. Unfortunately this was in the email: this Thursday, February 23, noon ET (please note that we had the date wrong in our previous email). No highlighting, no alert in the subject, nothing to catch my eye and make me realize that I had the wrong date. Yep, I missed it.

Got home today, booted up my work machine, opened my browsers. I use Firefox with great reluctance. I keep most of my tabs open in Chrome. My coworkers think I’m nuts – they all love Firefox. I think it stinks. I think it runs terribly on my machine, I think it crashes. I’m willing to concede that all of that could be me, my machine, my settings. I used to use it exclusively until it kept crashing on me when I had music playing. But I keep 4 basic tabs open: my avatar’s email account, my RL persona twitter account, Google reader, and a work-related tab. Tonight – Twitter no longer works on Firefox for me. Yes – this is strictly Firefox related. Twitter opens just fine in Chrome and IE for me.

My Dell Inspiron, which has been trying valiantly to support my SL habit, is now freezing every 60 seconds or so. I tried to talk to Honour, but it’s very hard when the machine freezes and you can’t type or move. I logged out.

I’m tired of being warned left and right that as of March 1st, Google owns my data. I’m not tired of the WARNINGS, you understand, I’m tired of what they imply. I’m frustrated by the concept that we and our personal data are simply up for sale. That we cannot derive benefit and joy from all the cool technological advances without the fear of all the not-so-nice folks harming us via those same technological advances.

I want my gaming computer back and working. I want people to proof-read their emails, or at least send corrections that stand out. I want things to work. If I have a question, I want to be able to contact support and get an answer without getting a run-around.

I know I’m tired. I know that this is frustration writing. But it’s been 3 weeks with NO gaming computer, and weeks before that of an ailing gaming computer.

So….. I got it out of my system. I’ll finish on a positive note. Where I live, winter has basically passed us by this year. After last year – that’s okay with me. Normally I love the change of seasons. But last winter was harsh enough to count for at least two, if not three, winters. On Feb 19 my crocuses were up. My parsley stayed blooming through the winter, as did the dill. The bay leaves almost made it. 🙂 You see the photos here. I will look at my plants. I will pick up my hard-back book that I got at the library on Sunday and I will curl up in a chair, with a cat or two on my lap, and read. Like the Terminator, like MacArthur, I’ll be back.

Ahuva’s “Pie”

I gave you my little “prayer” in my last post. It’s Epic Poem time. My apologies to Don McLean. I’ve gotten this far, I’m asking for help with verses! Sure, we can stretch it a bit – it doesn’t have to be limited to just MY heartbreak….

Ahuva’s “Pie”

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how
My laptop used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my way
I could be in SL and play
And maybe I’d be happy for awhile
But the Dell tech came to help me
No such luck, he came up empty
Smoke came from my laptop
Along with a loud Snap! Pop!
I know that I began to cry
When I realized my machine had fried
And that thing made me lose my mind
The day my laptop died….

So

[chorus]
Why, why did my laptop just die?
Called the help desk for a problem but support came up dry
Them good ole boys I guess they gave it a try
But the video card – it just fried
The video card, it just fried.

Did you play virtual games
Do you think all video’s the same
If the help desk tells you so?
Now do you believe in Alienware?
Game for hours without a care?
Can you teach me how to mouse like a pro?

Well, believe I’m lost without my ‘chine
I can’t rez prims or cam the scene
You all claim that you’re sad
But as for me, I’m getting mad
I was a happy rezzing avatar
Dancing away in my favorite bar
But I knew things had gone too far
The day my laptop died
I started singin’

[chorus]

Ahuva’s Prayer

With apologies to Janis Joplin, and many, many others, including Amanda, the sweet young thing who is now working feverishly to help get this resolved. Unfortunately, it’s 12 days since the tech put in new parts and my beloved red Alienware M17x died (it had a small intermittent problem which while annoying, still allowed the machine to operate). 12 days and my dead laptop is still at my house, and there is no good estimate WHEN it will go, be healed, and return. I’m paying a HUGE sum of money for SUPPORT, Dell. THAT is why I bought from YOU, not your competitors. I WANT my red Alienware.

Oh Dell, won’t you send me a working machine?
My friends are in SL, I’m missing the scene.
They’re all using Asus, I’m starting to turn green,
Oh Dell, won’t you send me a working machine?

Oh Dell, it was your tech who broke my laptop.
He put in the new card, it went snap crackle POP!
Support gave me the runaround, I want it to STOP!
Oh Dell, it was your parts that broke my laptop.

Oh Dell, I loved my red Alienware
When it was running, I hadn’t a care
You must have solutions, I want you to SHARE
Oh Dell, I loved my red Alienware!

Together:

Oh Dell, won’t you send her a working machine?
The cool kids are in SL, she’s missing the scene.
The burnt smell still lingers, the smoke turned her green
Oh Dell, won’t you send her a working machine?

Red Hardware Blues

I’ve stated many times that I love Friday evenings in SL. I love winding down the week with good friends and good music late at night at TriBeCa, with Calli spinning an eclectic mix for us. THIS Friday was going to be even more fun. The 1st Question was going to be on FRIDAY this week. *grin* I never did ask why, but my assumption was that some sporting event or other was interfering with the usual Sunday night time slot. Pooky Asterdam always finds the wittiest, smartest, most pleasant folks to be contestants on the show. This week the guests were StupidFun Will, Widget Whiteberry and Alem Theas. Oh? You don’t recognize them? Perhaps you know them better in a different life. Will is Will Wright, creator of The Sims and new member of the Linden Lab board. Widget is the co-producer of Virtually Speaking, conversations on politics, media, economics, science and more, hosted before live audiences in SL. Alem is Grady Booch, known internationally for his ground-breaking work in software architecture and engineering, and collaborative development environments. You can see why I was eager to catch this edition!

I’ve mentioned my love for red. I’ve mentioned my love for beautiful wonderful red Alienware M17x (all the lights glow red). I may have mentioned that my beautiful red laptop has been having a few difficulties with the video card. We’re not exactly sure why, but I will say support has been wonderful. The tech was due Friday morning to replace the cards and the fans and a cable. A very pleasant young man showed up, opened up my beloved machine, took out nearly every part, cleaned them, put in new ones, closed it up. He plugs in the cord and ….. nothing. My heart stops. He unplugs the cord, replugs. Nothing. It’s 1:30 on Friday afternoon. My gaming computer is….. omg….. It’s dead, Jim. You might have thought that I’d kill the tech, since my machine WAS working before he touched it. As badly as I felt – that poor child was ashen. Besides, I had no time to lose in hysterics or anger. I HAD to get a working computer. FAST.

My Thinkpad T61p has not been able to handle virtual worlds in over 8 months. My husband needed his gaming computer (oh sure, ‘needed’ it. as if…) When we upgrade, we don’t discard. There was my old Dell Latitude somewhere in the house (the one that I used 4 years ago when I first came to SL), my husband’s old Dell Inspiron, and my sister’s laptop that I used at her house. There IS hope. I grabbed the Inspiron (please understand that poor tech was still at the table working on my Alienware, on the phone with HIS support crew). It is so out of date I have to hardwire to our network because the wireless isn’t working. I stare at the unfamiliar setup. The tech looks over and I kind of wail: where do I START??? He points out that in the lower corner of the screen is the auto-update icon. Oh. Good idea. Well, it ended up taking about 2 hours, and 78 updates, and a new video driver but whoo-eee, that Inspiron was up and running. Doing a fairly decent job. I downloaded V3.2.8, the development viewer. Then I headed inworld to try it out. I started at home, went to Fogbound to check music and motion, visited Honour and her horses. So far, so good.

That Inspiron is the little-laptop-that-could. It isn’t my Alienware. And yeah, I crashed right before The 1st Question – some media plugin failure because I was trying to take pictures. I was pushing the machine too – I’d set the graphics to High. It was a very ugly crash – the kind where you have to power down the machine to get yourself back. I got back just in time to hear my friend Jessica saying “I think Ahuva crashed”. *grin* Oh so true. I didn’t dare take any more pics, so I can’t show you the adorable skit beforehand from the Tinies. But I did make it. The show was GREAT! Another fantastic job by Pooky, her co-host Hydra Shaftoe and the incredible crew, including the unflappable Petlove Petshop. There was an over-flow crowd, and folks participating via the chat bridge from the streaming url. The audience is as much a part of the show as the hosts and panelists. As always, I am astounded at how SMART these people are and how FAST. As always I said to myself – why am I not here EVERY week???? Afterwards Pooky and I were talking and she mentioned a championship round. Oh wow. Can you imagine? Pooky and I talked about how many smart people are in SL, how many people all love the science, the tech talk. We agreed that we all have a bit of a geek side. Which led me to suggest a new slogan for SL: Second Life – Let Your Inner Geek Out. *grin*

After the show, I headed over to Fogbound to relax a bit before Tribeca-Time. Evanrude Anton was DJ’ing, and lots of friends were there dancing. Gregg Torgeson was behind the bar. He’d been there earlier on my trial run and he asked how the machine was doing. That led into a discussion of hardware, plugin failures, graphics cards, mac vs pc, asus, alienware and more. Which is when Kalanite Bluestar uttered the phrase that needs to be printed on tee-shirts for the “Fogettes”: Hardware Chicks of the Fogbound. *grin*

The little-laptop-that-could was still going strong, so it was off to TriBeCa where we enjoyed LOTS of new Leonard Cohen.

Yet again, another wonderful evening spent with friends: smart, witty, talented, musical.

Redecorating With Roses

After finding Ample Clarity‘s one-prim chairs with poses at PrimPossible, I went on a mini-shopping spree. Oura and I both had gift certificates for Cheeky Pea, one of my absolute favorite furniture stores, owned by Isla Gealach. You can see her furniture all over my homes – piles of pillows, chairs, swings (:CP: Auntie Veda’s Garden Swing), baskets, chaise lounge. I just love Isla’s style. She was having a clearance sale so that, combined with the gift certificate, was irresistable. Of course once I had everything home, it was time to unbox and rearrange. 🙂 I put my new pile of pillows (:CP: Old Pillow Pile) by my new chaise lounge (:CP: Lounge). (I did like the old one, but it had only 2 poses and it was getting a bit threadbare. I think Bamboo must have been playing on it when I wasn’t around.) I also added a campfire down (:CP: Beadnell Beach Retreat) by the water so it would be warm enough on cool nights to still visit the ducks. I tossed my old swing set and put in the Cheeky Pea one.

As I flopped on my pillows, I could see AnnMarie Oleander’s endless stream of vehicles on the road. I mused that it would be nice to have some sort of privacy screen up on the patio. Then it hit me – I’m a builder. I can MAKE my own privacy screen. *grin* Imagine that. I forget that I can do that.

So I went through my landscaping materials from my days as Head Gardener at the office. I played a bit and tried several versions. Gold screen, short rose vines, long rose vines. multiple rose vines. *grin* It was fun. I’m not 100% pleased with any of them but I AM pleased with knowing that I can build what I want and need. 🙂

Hmmmm. Maybe I should do wisteria instead?


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