Category Archives: Computer

so this is Christmas

I’ve heard that this time of season is the most depressing for a lot of people, and while I believed it, I’ve never had a bad time during December. That is, until now. Can I list all the things that were wrong?

I was partly sick from Thanksgiving to maybe a week ago. Mostly it was a middling coughy and phlegmy sickness, not the normal sickness of runny nose/sore throat/inflamed inner ears that I have every year. But still very annoying and I couldn’t do much all those days I wasn’t feeling well. (Barely managed to play with my cousin’s dogs while she was on vacation.)

My brother’s cat kept biting me. (I’ve been trimming her claws lately so she can’t scratch, but she’s decided to use her teeth instead. Argh.) That resulted in a swollen right finger (almost an infection?) for which I had to care for a day and almost made me miss a trip to Disneyland! On my left hand she gouged my palm and left an inch-long cut which is just barely vanishing now. It’s really annoying trying to dress oneself when one’s hands are injured and bandaged, I’ll have you know.

Someone did something unexpected, not exactly pleasant. That’s all I’ll say.

Again felt lost and unsure of what to do with my life. Still no drive to get a job. ._.

My computer was running a bit sluggishly while using Adobe design programs. I’m used to that, never was able to run InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator all at once. But the fact that I couldn’t paint in Photoshop with both Firefox and Seamonkey open on Flash-heavy sites was such a pain. (I tried to ask for money for Christmas to buy more RAM for my computer, not sure how successful I would have been if two people hadn’t surprised me with lotso cash. :3 I think, though, that part of my problem was that I had left old SQL files on my desktop totalling over 5 MB. I realized that today when my aunt was explaining virtual memory to my mom, haha! Hopefully moving them off my desktop will speed things up. Then maybe I won’t have to spend so much on RAM!)

I lost my hairclip. This shouldn’t be so bad, but I really don’t know where I lost it and it bugs me. How can I be sure I won’t commit the same mistake again if I don’t know what I did wrong? Also it was a really good hairclip, it lasted me a good few years whereas before I went through hairclips every year. And it was pretty. Then another hairclip that I owned broke. $16 for a really pretty hairclip and the metal busted on one side so it’s kaput. Who said having a lot of hair is envious? I think it’s a bother.

For a few months now my laptop would have times where the Backspace key wouldn’t work. After a while the H key would go out too. Recently the G key joined the random moratorium. Even more recently, shutting down and starting fresh would not get the keys working again. I spent a couple days depressed thinking of my little baby that got me through college just being a useless lump of ancient computer parts. After a trip to Fry’s I had the brilliant idea to just buy an external keyboard. I don’t use my laptop much anyway. Just to listen to music and to use WordPress. But today! Today I started up my laptop and the keys worked!! I’m not holding my breath for this being permanent, but it gave me hope.

On said trip to Fry’s I was wondering why my month sucked so much, and I was beginning to blame it on aforementioned Someone, but I gave myself a hard shake and realized it was mostly my state of mind. Both bad and good things happened this month, I was just in a poor mood, likely because of cold temperatures and ill health, and I was focusing on the bad things. I managed to buck up and wrap Christmas presents and have a great Christmas with my wonderful family.

I wrapped my dad’s present, a JAG hat, in a huge box (“Did you remember to put anything in here?”) with tons of bows and ribbons on it. I noticed there was a serious Cinco de Mayo color scheme because I couldn’t choose among the red, green, and white on the wrapping paper, but no one else commented on it. :P

One brother’s present I wrapped in lots of newspaper ads, trying to make it look less like a DVD, the other’s I put in an empty Scotch tape refill box.

One cousin’s present I had to make a box for, so I used a Robitussin box (my sickness came in handy?) and the other I sandwiched money between two old Dragonball Z VHS cassettes.

Everyone had comments about how I wrapped their presents, so all in all I think it was a successful venture. XD

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fudgetastic (Adobe CS4 woes)

Final update on the Adobe CS4 drama.

I checked Dell’s support site (what a novel idea) for the Stop 7E error and someone mentioned running a Diagnostic test to find out if any parts of the computer were faulty.

Ran the test, got “Error code 0F00:2871 Optical drive BIST—FLASH ROM test failed.” Checked Dell’s support forums again, means I have to replace my CD/DVD drive (I don’t even know what it is…).

The odd thing is, the error only shows up for my DVD burner drive (drive F:), not for the primary CD/DVD drive (drive E:). Does the primary drive use the burner drive for something? Because I managed to reinstall Adobe CS2 just fine on my computer tonight.

Then again, I also noticed that CS2 is on (four) CD install discs, and CS4 is on (two) DVD install discs. Does that account for some odd discrepancy that I have no knowledge of?

CS2 also took only about 30 minutes to install and update, whereas CS4 took 45 minutes to crash and not even complete the install. mreh.

Worry … do I have to replace my primary disc drive, or the burner, or both? Don’t want to spend more money than I have to…

frustrating as fudgetaffy

Me: *walks into a dark and smoky room*
??: *chair swivels around and in it…*
Me: So we meet again, Adobe.
Adobe: *laughs mercilessly*

I bought Adobe CS4 Design Standard today. Almost 500 buckaroonies (got a student version). I was hesitant about spending that much money, but … Adobe shininess! And after I leave school, the price will soar higher than … mylar balloons, I don’t know, choose your own analogy.

So, yeah. I bought it, but left it sitting in my bookbag all day because I had to read three chapters of my book for a midterm tomorrow. Finally gave up on that around 6… took pictures of CS4, then left it sitting on my desk while I ate dinner and got over the apprehension of opening the box, thus losing any chance of getting almost $500 back.

Afterwards, here’s how it went (all times are approximate):
8:00 pm started installing
8:45 inserted second disk
8:46 computer shut down and got a STOP 0x0000007E, 0xC0000005, 0x806E694F, 0xF79ADC30, 0xF79AD92C error
8:47 restarted computer
8:48 PS CS4 was fine, ooh shiny, Illustrator CS4 had only 8 folders in program folder, InDesign CS4 folder was nonexistant
8:49 tried running Illustrator, got same crashing and error skit, haha Adobe
8:50 tried running second installation disk again, was asked which program to open disk with
8:51 tried running first disk, was told I completed installation
8:52 uninstalled most of CS4
9:30 started second install (sans Photoshop, Acrobat, some other things I thought installed all right)
9:57 inserted second disk again
9:58 computer shut down, etc.
9:59 restarted computer
10:00 uninstalled all of CS4
10:50 started writing this entry

So here I am wondering what to do. I suppose tomorrow (after my midterm, which I wanted to get to bed early for, d’oh!) I’ll uninstall CS2 and try CS4 again, maybe they share something that they can’t share? I don’t understand computers.

If that fails, I don’t know… call Adobe support like I did with my last problem installing Creative Suite? But will they be able to help me?

Me: Adobe, I love you so much, why can’t we sort out all the problems between us? Is it because I’m using a Dell? I swear, we’re breaking it off soon, real soon, but could you deal with us in the meantime?
Adobe: *turns away in chair, laughing even more*

Update@4pm: Uninstalled all Adobe software, CS4 still failed to install.

Concluding update to the whole CS4 debacle.

blurred vision

I’ve figured out why it’s hard for me to look at my desktop monitor.

It’s a 20″ widescreen monitor, native 1680×1050, but the text is way too freakin’ small for me at that size. So I’ve got it down to 1440×900, a setting lower.

However, while text is at a good size for me, it is also slightly blurry. Not as bad as when I had it at 1280×768 though. (Because yes, I really am blind and do like my text big…)

The text isn’t as blurry as if I were using Microsoft’s Cleartype though, which I am very grateful for.

The only program this is bugging me in is Firefox/all other cool browsers that don’t have the initials I and E. All my Adobe design programs already antialias or blur the edges of my text, but then they aren’t rendered pixel by pixel, more along the lines of vectors…hahaha, horrible pun.

I could possibly make the screen smaller and pull the monitor closer to my face, but it’s at a comfortable distance at the moment. Maybe a couple inches too far, but not too bad. If I were to get too close, I’d get sick. I don’t know why. Whenever I sit too close to a monitor I get dizzy. Weak, yes!

Yet in computer labs in school I was always leaning as far back as I could possibly go, always sticking out in aisles and hyperextending my arm to reach the mouse and keyboard… Also had to take occasional breaks to rest my weary eyes and head.

I was considering keeping it at native resolution and just zooming in text for browsers, but I realized that the Windows interface text is all tiny and squishy and I probably can’t do anything about that other than using some LARGE PRINT theme that my Grandpa would have.

I guess I’ll just have to learn to live with slightly blurred text and slightly tired eyes at the end of the day.

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byebye, FontExplorer X

I installed FontExplorer X (herein referred to as “FEX” ’cause I don’t wanna type it out) almost two years ago.

I did like the program while I was using it. FEX just doesn’t fit into my current computer environment right now.

Pros: I guess programs opened up a microsecond faster than usual. I don’t have many fonts, just a few hundred, nowhere near the thousands that professional designers have.

It sure made looking for fonts in my system much easier. Even though it would slow down when I wanted to view font sizes in 300 pt (don’t ask). I could see the whole alphabet (upper case or lower case) in one go while scrolling through all of them. (Even though my typography teacher would be horrified to hear that sometimes that’s how I choose my typefaces.)

Cons: First and foremost, at the moment I hate having to open up an additional program to get access to typefaces. If I were working in a design environment, which I was last year, I absolutely would not mind. But now I open Adobe design programs only once in a while, and when I do I don’t like having to remember to open another program to use, say, PetitaMedium (something I use in my resume).

Secondly, I’m working on a Windows-based computer. There is currently no version of FEX outside of beta for Windows. That’s not too terrible, but for some reason something in FEX makes Windows snitty about opening system programs like Volume Control or Spider Solitaire or Calculator. In other words, very important programs! *snicker*

Last year I was okay with it and would just do all of that on my laptop, calculations, listen to music, or take a Spider Solitaire break. But right now I’m not settling in for long stretches to design things. I’m just opening a file here or there to edit while I’m on the computer. So I don’t turn my laptop on since I’m planning to not be here long or I plan to watch Youtube vidoes.

(Yes, my laptop, my retarded baby, is gradually becoming only a mobile entertainment center. Sad times, let me tell you. But wow, going from 384 MB RAM to 2 gigs … it’s a miracle!!)

A third reason that FEX is not so helpful is the fact that there are no tags in the program. I think I’ve become spoiled by Windows Media Player and online journals. I’m used to finding things through tags.

I know there are groups or sets or whatever in FEX, but I have to manually add fonts to each one. Every time I install a new font, I have to remember to categorize it, or else I’ll probably never remember to use it again. Since I haven’t gotten around to doing that yet (I did it on my laptop but I uninstalled FEX to make it run faster), I am forever scrolling through 400+ fonts trying to find all the serif typefaces and trying to figure out which one I’d like to use.

If I were working on a Mac, I would definitely pay for and install the newest version of FEX. (Mostly because I hate the Mac’s way of scrolling so slowly through the list of typefaces on Adobe programs.)

But since I am running Windows, I’ve decided that FEX has run its course on my computer and really must go. I’m saving the install file though just in case.

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