Muppet Show

Well, I just started watching the Muppet Show episode that aired the day I was born., which is an odd experience. While watching through season one, I noticed they’ve done two songs from Chicago so far, which surprised me, I didn’t know the broadway show was that old, but it was brand new then.

Also, on a related and very hilarious note, while re-reading through Girl Genius today, I noticed that in one scene, sitting on Gil’s workbench is a gorilla detector (with a post-it on it saying “Needs work!”). I just about died laughing, having just seen that episode.

Finally, a company that understands.

For those of you who haven’t already noticed, the Simpson’s Complete Sixth Season DVD Box Set comes in a Homer head, instead of the normal DVD box that the last five did. Included in the box was the following piece of paper:

For all those that fear change…
For all those anal-retentive nerds who like their DVD boxes to line up perfectly on the shelf…

For all those who dislike storing their digital media inside a hollowed-out human head, have we got a deal for you:

Just call 1-800-223-2369 for a very derivative, old-style, just-like-before box with almost nothing new or creative to annoy or terrify you. Enjoy!”

Go ahead and call the number outside of business hours, it’s entertaining. It tells you to either call back during business hours, or go to, where you can print out a form and get a replacement box for $2.95 shipping and handling. One of the reasons for requesting the new box is “Anal Retentive (box must be identical).”

They know me.

Can it be? A PC?

New CPU/Case Fan. New memory. It runs hot, but it runs and it’s not blazing. (And supposedly, according the the thermal paste manufacturer’s website, it takes a while for it to fully bond blah blah blah should get a bit cooler over time.) I also managed to get a fairly decent boost in benchmark scores, so it was actually worth it. Well, maybe not totally worth it, but at least it wasn’t for naught.

I got my video and audio drivers, got windows updated and patched and crap.

Now, the ever so fun process of reinstalling FFXI.

Day two without a PC… or car

Took my car in to have its brakes checked, turns out they needed to order new rotors, so I was without car today. Not having the forethought to go to Fry’s before the mechanic, I had to wait for someone to take me to Fry’s to buy thermal paste. That someone turned out to be Albert.

I put way too much on the first time, had to remove it and try again. I succeeded in lowering the operating temperature of the CPU by 10C, it runs around 70C now, which is still hot, but not blistering.

I’ll give you one guess as to whether or not that fixed my problem.

You’re right! It didn’t! Still got BSoDs when trying to install Windows. So I decided to see if I could just take the damn thing and put it in my old case, so I double checked to see if my old motherboard could support it. I went and checked and… it couldn’t. Which put up a flag in my head. If my old processor works in both, and the new one isn’t supported by the old motherboard, they might have a different front side bus speed. Yes, I checked, the new processor is supported by my current motherboard… which leads me to my next little revelation.

I came across the FAQ for my shuttle model and it gave an example of a system they used for benchmark testing. Note, the processor they used is the exact one I’m trying to put in… so I’m now certain that’s not the problem. I then noted that the memory they were using is DDR400. I currently have DDR333. You know what this means, right?

That’s right! It means another trip to Fry’s to spend more money!

At least now, if this all works, I’ll have a second processor, duplicate memory, and an old motherboard known to support both of them. I’m just a hard drive and a video card away from a second PC. Okay, technically a third PC… but the Linux machine doesn’t count. (It can’t play FFXI.)

Hopefully the mechanic calls me tomorrow morning like he expects and I can get my car back. Ironically, I’ll be spending the same amount on new brakes as I’ll probably be spending on new memory.

I also managed to watch The Village on cable just now. I totally called the ending, although not as early as I’d have liked to feel totally intellectually superior.

Night without a PC — update.

Watched Napoleon Dynamite. I was warned by the girl at the video store that it “had no plot but was funny anyways.” Hank managed to get sucked in by the rapid fire randomness and we concluded that it was a movie that was funny, but you can’t understand why.

I think I understand now.

Monday: “It’s been a while and my graphic card’s performance is starting to get out of date.”

Tuesday: Go to Fry’s. Buy new video card. Install new video card. Video card sort of works. (Sometimes the screen goes blank and sometimes the sync isn’t working) Video card also doesn’t give any performance increase based on benchmark program. Video card is returned to Fry’s, better video card is purchased. Better video card is installed. Better video card gives a piddly 10% increase, and also has line noise on the DVI port. Better video card is removed, old video card reinstalled.

Wednesday: Second video card is returned to Fry’s. New processor is purchased instead. New processor is installed.

All hell breaks loose. Explorer.exe starts crashing whenever I try to do anything. Might be a BIOS problem. Check BIOS. Nothing there to change. Might be a windows problem. Reinstall Windows. Get the oh-so-fun BSoD during Windows install. (a.k.a. hello, this is a hardware problem, dumbass!)

I skipped a few of the snafus and brainfarts in that last part, but the net result is still the same. I have a computer that worked, put a new processor in, and no longer worked right. And now I have a fresh install of Win2k on a freshly formatted hard drive, and it BSoDed during the install…. and trying again and that’s where I am.

Have I mentioned how much I hate Microsoft?

Update 9:39pm: The install seems to have frozen while trying to “Register components.” The hard drive is making noises like it’s working, but the bar hasn’t budged in 15 minutes. Going to try restarting, reformatting, and reinstalling again.

Update 10:33pm: A likely culprit has been found. Your friend and mine, heat. (The CPU was running at 79C… while sitting on the BIOS screen.) I need to buy thermal paste, and possibly a better cpu fan at Fry’s tomorrow. So no FFXI for me tonight. And no Half Life 2, which was what I did on Monday when I couldn’t play FFXI because of scheduled mantainence. I… don’t know what to do.

I think I’ll go eat dinner.