AVSIG: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier wwswsigarch.jpg (7236 bytes)

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Joe Budge (W29)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 7423
Another #@$%! Dead Soldier
      #263604 - 09/07/09 12:25 AM

It's too bad you can't flush a laptop down the toilet!

Eldest son is off to college - down at that ramblin' tech school in Atlanta. (There's a gig in here somewhere, I just know it!) He's majoring in Computer Science, Marine ROTC, and beer. Doing well so far in the later, but I digress. <g> So he has to head off with a shiny new laptop to keep up with all the fancy computin' they do down there.

Being of Scottish descent, smart old Dad appropriates the kid's old laptop for household use. I'll clean it up and turn it over to SWMBO as it's better than what she's using now. Do you have any idea just how much cr@p a high school student who's interested in computers can load onto his? Holy cow! I make a half-hearted attempt to clean it up before discovering a couple of "adware" programs with no uninstall. Heck with it.

Fortunately I have a backup disk image from before I surrendered the computer to youngster in the first place. No problem, we'll restore this puppy and and carry on. That takes a while but is indeed no problem. Except my WiFi network no longer works with the XP2 in the restored disk image because the WiFi encryption needs XP3. Did I forget to tell you my genius used the Lan cord as a tripwire and broke the RJ45 Ethernet connection on the laptop? Hmmmm. So OK, we'll set the WiFi back to the Stone Age temporarily, get all the Windows updates so the WiFi can work again, restore encryption and carry on.

Well, in the middle of all the updates I start getting error messages that the USB controller has failed. YGTBSM! Yes, subsequent tests show the hardware has really gone West. Urgh. AAAAGGHH! The whole plan is now dead in the H20. Even if I were to type in the whole gazillion-bit WiFi key in ASCII to get the frellin' thing back on the house 'net, SWMBO hates touchpads. There's no traditional serial port so the add-on mice, trackballs, etc. must all plug into the now-defunct USB port. This just isn't going to work.

There's a Labor Day Weekend I won't get back again. Any suggestion on what to do with a Wifi-only PC that can't do USB? Too bad it won't fit in either the loo or the disposal!

Your pi$$ed-off correspondent,
Joe


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Mick Ruthven
AVSIG Member


Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 1320
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263607 - 09/07/09 12:52 AM

I don't see any use for a computer without USB these days. If that's wrong, I'll gladly be enlightened.

Quote:

Any suggestion on what to do with a Wifi-only PC that can't do USB?




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Paul Millner [OAK]
Top Gun


Reged: 01/12/03
Posts: 675
Loc: Oakland CA
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263609 - 09/07/09 02:26 AM

How about a PCMCIA USB card?

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Russell Holton
AVSIG Member


Reged: 07/07/05
Posts: 14136
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263610 - 09/07/09 02:54 AM

Quote:

Any suggestion on what to do with a Wifi-only PC that can't do USB?




No bluetooth? That could get you a wireless mouse. There might be WiFi wireless, but it may not be worth it.

Something you might consider is "educational value". Dissect it and see what the inside looks like. Who knows, you might find where something got dropped inside and messing it all up. It's surprising how many high-tech toys have low-tech problems.


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Ward Miller POU-NY
Top Gun


Reged: 05/05/04
Posts: 10508
Loc: New York
Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263612 - 09/07/09 05:52 AM

Joe, I understand there is a certain therapeutic value to using a sledge
hammer on the thing, then tossing it in the trash. (Screw the
environmentalists.)

Like drawing the face of your worse enemy on a punching bag. "Take that, you
S.O.B...and THAT...and T-H-A-T!" [Then holding it daintily between thumb and
forefinger as he drops it into the garbage can, dusting his hands together.]
"Finally, you truly worthless POS!"

And now for the best night's sleep you've had in years. I envy you.


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Jim Good
AVSIG Member


Reged: 09/01/01
Posts: 1620
Loc: Orlando, FL
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263620 - 09/07/09 07:53 AM

Punkin Chunkin season will be here in a few weeks. I'd suggest taking the old laptop to a champion punkin chunker and have them launch it.

Punkin Chunkin

In the meantime, go to a local store today and check out the Labor Day sales. You ought to be able to find SWMBO a brand new laptop for less than the cost of the therapeutic counseling that you will need if you continue to try to salvage the old `puter.

--------------------
All things truly wicked start from innocence.
Ernest Hemingway


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Jim Bell
AVSIG Member


Reged: 05/05/04
Posts: 14226
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263621 - 09/07/09 08:04 AM

Joe,

LOL, sorry that it's at your expense but thanks, I needed that! I like Ward's idea with the sledge, sounds very satisfying. I'd suggest a few drams of your favorite single malt and hammer away. Alternately, if you're in a suitable environment, some skeet shooting could be entertaining also :-)

jb


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Joe Budge (W29)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 7423
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Paul Millner [OAK]]
      #263622 - 09/07/09 08:05 AM

Quote:

How about a PCMCIA USB card?




Now there's an idea!

Thanks,
Joe


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Joe Budge (W29)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 7423
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Russell Holton]
      #263624 - 09/07/09 08:13 AM

Quote:

Who knows, you might find where something got dropped inside and messing it all up. It's surprising how many high-tech toys have low-tech problems.




We had an Aerostar Van which behaved fine except at random intervals all the electrons in the dashboard would go into hiding. Nothing exciting - change the fuse and carry on. This went on for years. Finally for some unrelated reason I pulled the radio. Radios aren't supposed to rattle, are they? One of our little dear ones had gotten a dime through the cassette tape slot and into the clear space between the electronics and the face of the unit, where the dime was rolling back and forth. Every once in a while it'd bridge the right couple of contacts...

Regards,
Joe


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Joe Budge (W29)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 7423
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Mick Ruthven]
      #263625 - 09/07/09 08:14 AM

Quote:

I don't see any use for a computer without USB these days. If that's wrong, I'll gladly be enlightened.





I'm in the same camp.

Regards,
Joe


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Joe Budge (W29)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 7423
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Jim Good]
      #263627 - 09/07/09 08:20 AM

Quote:

Punkin Chunkin season will be here in a few weeks...




LOL! At our last house a neighbor and his kid were into the contest. They designed and tested their gear in the back yard, launching their pumpkins out into the creek behind us. It became a seasonal thing to watch those pumpkins float by.

It's not Punkin' Chukin' time yet but I do know somebody at Burning Man....

Quote:

You ought to be able to find SWMBO a brand new laptop for less than the cost of the therapeutic counseling that you will need if you continue to try to salvage the old `puter.




The intertubes tell me that Best Buy has a PCMCIA card for $29.95. I think I'll find out why that won't work first <g>.

Regards,
Joe


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Jim Gifford
Top Gun


Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 5779
Loc: Montgomery County MD
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263628 - 09/07/09 08:42 AM

Quote:

The intertubes tell me that Best Buy has a PCMCIA card for $29.95. I think I'll find out why that won't work first <g>.





"Warning. Warning. Your good-money-after-bad alert system is on condition red. Warning. Warning. Your good-money-after-bad system has detected a potentially dangerous situation."

Spend the $29.95 on a nice lunch and some pie in a shiny diner with SWMBO, after which you give her a $1 bow wrapped around a pretty new $300 netbook that actually works.

(I have spent weekends trying to rehabilitate older PCs, too, and I don't even have any Scots ancestry. There is ALWAYS some unanticipated hardware or software incompatibility problem that keeps the old computer from doing the desired job... and then I spend $25 or $50 or $100 on component upgrades that are hard to find because no one stocks gear that recognizes that old operating system... but it's okay, because a new computer would cost much more than that, I think... and I install the hardware band-aids and I wrestle with their software... and the thing STILL just doesn't work. There is always an unanticipated problem #2 or #3 that then crops up.)

I feel your pain.

Want a FREE Windows 98 desktop PC with a CRT and an ink-jet printer? I have some BRAND NEW bits in there, wireless network card, USB hub, etc., which would ALMOST allow it to connect to our home wireless network, if only the PC actually had Windows 98 Me instead of just Windows 98. Just send me $301 for shipping to:

Jim's wife
301 Dollar Lane
New Netbook, MD 80286

--------------------
Be well,
-Jim


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Jim Bell
AVSIG Member


Reged: 05/05/04
Posts: 14226
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Jim Gifford]
      #263629 - 09/07/09 08:47 AM

Jim,

Quote:

Warning. Warning. Your good-money-after-bad alert system is on condition red...spend the $29.95 on a nice lunch and some pie in a shiny diner with SWMBO, after which you give her a $1 bow wrapped around a pretty new $300 netbook that actually works.




Glad someone said it!

jb


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Anne Umphrey (KBED)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/28/04
Posts: 12756
Loc: KBED
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Jim Gifford]
      #263633 - 09/07/09 09:15 AM

I have my son's old laptop with who knows what on it that I'm willing to offload.

Anne

--------------------
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky.
- Amelia Earhart, 1897 - 1937


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Anne Umphrey (KBED)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/28/04
Posts: 12756
Loc: KBED
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Ward Miller POU-NY]
      #263634 - 09/07/09 09:17 AM

Remember that some things shouldn't be in the trash. I think it needs to be disposed of properly due to nasty stuff (hardware, not software) inside. Or, am I wrong about that?

Anne

--------------------
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky.
- Amelia Earhart, 1897 - 1937


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Ralph Jones
Top Gun


Reged: 08/31/01
Posts: 21214
Loc: 4CO2
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263635 - 09/07/09 09:21 AM

Quote:

Eldest son is off to college - down at that ramblin' tech school in Atlanta.




Ask him if that little tunnel under the expressway still smells the same.

EE '62

--------------------
Ralph Jones
LS-4a N49LS 6R


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Ralph Jones
Top Gun


Reged: 08/31/01
Posts: 21214
Loc: 4CO2
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Jim Gifford]
      #263636 - 09/07/09 09:23 AM

Windows Me making something work better? Now that's a scary thought...

--------------------
Ralph Jones
LS-4a N49LS 6R


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John O'Shaughnessy [FCM]
Top Gun


Reged: 09/13/01
Posts: 5059
Loc: Minnesota
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Jim Gifford]
      #263638 - 09/07/09 09:31 AM

Quote:

Quote:

The intertubes tell me that Best Buy has a PCMCIA card for $29.95. I think I'll find out why that won't work first <g>.





"Warning. Warning. Your good-money-after-bad alert system is on condition red. Warning. Warning. Your good-money-after-bad system has detected a potentially dangerous situation."




Yep -- unless you are purely doing this work for its therapeutic value, I'd stop right now, head down to Best Buy, or online to newegg.com and get a new machine for a few hundred dollars.


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Jim Bell
AVSIG Member


Reged: 05/05/04
Posts: 14226
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Anne Umphrey (KBED)]
      #263640 - 09/07/09 09:39 AM

Anne,

Plenty of toxic stuff inside computers, and yes, most states and the feds 'regulate' how it's disposed of. Which in reality lets people feel good about doing the 'right thing'. The waste still generally ends up somewhere in India and elsewhere. A google with "ewaste children india" should suffice to remove the self-satisfied feeling some I know have because they followed the 'rules'. Tossing a computer in the trash is just a more direct method of achieving the same result imo. An interesting .pdf link from .gov is here. Happy Labor Day ;-)

jb


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Jeff Hartmann CIC
Top Gun


Reged: 05/18/04
Posts: 7323
Loc: Chico,CA
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263648 - 09/07/09 10:40 AM

>>>where the dime was rolling back and forth. Every once in a while it'd bridge the right couple of contacts...<<<

that's too much, RMOAS...had a transponder, would occasionally squawk 7700....they found an errant screw that could roll into a position that caused the code.

--------------------
Jeff

nothing clever to say right now...


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Joe Budge (W29)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 7423
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Anne Umphrey (KBED)]
      #263652 - 09/07/09 11:43 AM

Our county has a free (aka: taxpayer funded) e-cycling center out at the landfill. I've a box o' junk accumulating down in the basement to haul out there. Used disk drives don't go in that box <g>.

Regards,
Joe


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Joe Budge (W29)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 7423
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Jim Gifford]
      #263653 - 09/07/09 11:50 AM

Quote:

Jim's wife
301 Dollar Lane
New Netbook, MD 80286




LOL!

Already been to Best Buy before I got your message. Resisted the temptation to get a flat screen TV bigger than Jim B's. <g> USB card seems to work for now. We'll see what happens.

Regards,
Joe


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Mase Taylor
Top Gun


Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 9446
Loc: SOCAL
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263654 - 09/07/09 12:00 PM

I have a Win98 laptop you can have for the cost of shipping <G>. Not 98SE, nope, original 98.

It has a 20mb hard drive, a Pentium2 333mhz processor, one USB 1.1 port that works, and I will even throw in two PCMCIA cards: an ethernet card and a 56k modem card...

Everything on it works except the battery is long dead. If you can find one that fits they are around $129.

<G>

EDIT: Thinking about it, my PCMCIA ethernet card might make your machine functional, although it won't solve your USB problem. It's yours if you want it.

--------------------
Fly The Airplane As Far Into The Crash As Possible. - Bob Hoover 1922-2016 R.I.P.

Edited by Mase Taylor [L.A] (09/07/09 12:03 PM)


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Jeff Hartmann CIC
Top Gun


Reged: 05/18/04
Posts: 7323
Loc: Chico,CA
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263655 - 09/07/09 12:03 PM

>>>e-cycling center <<<

I took a bucket of old batteries to our "re-cycle" center, gave them to the attendant, and he dumped them in with the regular trash.....(sheesh, I tried)

--------------------
Jeff

nothing clever to say right now...


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Jerry Kurata [KLVK]
Top Gun


Reged: 05/02/04
Posts: 6395
Loc: Northern California
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263656 - 09/07/09 12:06 PM

Throw it away and get a new one for $300. It is not worth the frustration and the repair cost.

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Anne Umphrey (KBED)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/28/04
Posts: 12756
Loc: KBED
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263660 - 09/07/09 12:24 PM

He chose a good school!

I'm down there fairly often. Maybe we will overlap and it'll be gig time!
Anne

--------------------
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky.
- Amelia Earhart, 1897 - 1937


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Anne Umphrey (KBED)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/28/04
Posts: 12756
Loc: KBED
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Joe Budge (W29)]
      #263661 - 09/07/09 12:25 PM

Yes, I'm going to wipe the thing clean and donate it to our needy student program.

Anne

--------------------
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky.
- Amelia Earhart, 1897 - 1937


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Robert Mann [HPN-NY]
AVSIG Member


Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 11777
Loc: NY
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Mase Taylor]
      #263668 - 09/07/09 12:46 PM

Mase,

<<I have a Win98 laptop . . . It has a 20mb hard drive, a Pentium2 333mhz processor, one USB 1.1 port that works, and I will even throw in two PCMCIA cards: an ethernet card and a 56k modem card...>>

I have pretty much the same thing. My son uses it sometimes when he's with me at work on a school holiday or something. He always gets some attention when we're both in the elevator and I'm holding a briefcase and he's holding the laptop case.

--------------------
Best,

Bob


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Joe Budge (W29)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 7423
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Mase Taylor]
      #263670 - 09/07/09 12:56 PM

Thanks, Mase. I already have a spare laptop in the basement - doesn't do WiFi. I don't need more.

<g>,
Joe


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Ward Miller POU-NY
Top Gun


Reged: 05/05/04
Posts: 10508
Loc: New York
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Anne Umphrey (KBED)]
      #263671 - 09/07/09 12:57 PM

No, you were correct about that, Anne. That is why I said screw the
environmentalists. We are not talking about thousands of computers. Just
one. As trash, its impact on the environment is below noise level.


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Anne Umphrey (KBED)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/28/04
Posts: 12756
Loc: KBED
Re: Another #@$%! Dead Soldier [Re: Ward Miller POU-NY]
      #263716 - 09/07/09 08:22 PM

Ward,

Just one, then just one, then just one. Pretty soon you have many.
Anne

--------------------
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky.
- Amelia Earhart, 1897 - 1937


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