Monday, October 15, 2007

Annoyance Reigns Supreme

Well, the old blood pressure, never my strongest point at the best of times, is being given a right going over this week.

I still have two telephone poles, one cracked and dangerous yet still tasked with holding up the wires to my house and one young, strong and tall that serves to hold flyers printed on inkjet printers announcing various yard sales in the neighbourhood.

I still have a pool full of sludge after the filter pump shut down last week and I stupidly didn't check the fbleeping thing every morning and night.

And most infuriatingly, I still have Bil the Elder's dead mac G4 in my basement.

I discovered that Bil the Elder's report of "not being able to get onto the internet" actually meant his computer1 didn't work at all about two months ago as detailed here. I offered to save him a bit of cash by dismantling the thing and testing the power supply, which was dead. All he needed to do at this point was to buy a new one and I would fit it for him.

The first "problem" with this theory came when it transpired that although you can buy a PC-style power supply at any computer parts retailer for less than 80 bux, the power supply for this thing costs 250 bux new and has to be specially ordered. An alternative would be to get one for about 90 bucks on eBay. I know which way I'd jump here.

Bil the Elder, faced with the idea he can buy a complete Wintel system for about 500 bux found himself paralysed with indecision. If he buys on eBay, the seller will certainly cheat him3. If he buys new, he will be spending more than half of what a brand new system would cost6 and what if there is something else wrong with the computer7?

When I offered to help I expected to be fitting the replacement part within about two weeks. Instead the bloody artsy-fartsy doorstop has been cluttering what little space remains in my basement for over two months.

Mrs Stevie asked him to come and get it this weekend. I expected him to phone on Saturday so I could refit all the loose bits and he could call in and pick it up later that day. He waited until the mid-afternoon of Sunday, by which time I was very busy putting up our hallowe'en tableau with the Stevieling. I refused point blank to break off operations and accommodate him.

Tonight I came home and reached a decision of my own. I logged onto eBay, did some browsing to match up the plugs on the motherboard with those on the units people were offloading, and bought one on spec. If the computer boots, it's fixed. If it doesn't, it can be broken for parts and flogged on eBay. Nothing to decide here. If that works, I'll put the damn thing on my internet connection and find out what the fbleep is wrong in that department. If that works I'll download the OS9 patches, something this thing has been crying out for for years. Since I've determined that it is actually a G4 and not, as I had been originally informed, a G3, I may even spring for a copy of OSX.

Assuming it all works, this is Bil the Elder's Christmas Present.

Bil the Elder is one of those unlucky enough to have his birthday on Christmas Day, and normally we allow for that in the size of his gift from us.

This year his birthday gift will involve my not killing him.

  1. His superior technology Mac computer2
  2. That has spent more time broken than actually proving its clear superiority over my old Compaq
  3. Bil the Elder is convinced everyone is out to cheat him. We went to Canada one year and he decided to buy a sweat shirt. In Edmonton airport the sweatshirts were 25 bux. In the town stores, the sweatshirts were 25 bux. In a giant tepee tourist attraction in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere4 the sweatshirts were 25 bux. A reasonable person might weigh this evidence and come to the conclusion that the prevailing price of printed sweatshirts was 25 bux5. Not Bil the Elder. He came to the conclusion that everyone in the province of Alberta was trying to cheat him, and refused to buy until we were back in Edmonton airport on the way home, where he became enraged that no-one sold shirts with the name of the town we had been staying in.
  4. A lie: radio messages took several minutes to traverse the distance between nowhere and this place
  5. Not only that, 25 bux Canadian: at the time this was a huge advantage for an American in Canada
  6. albeit a crummy Wintel system: His requirement for cutting edge tech having abated in the last three years
  7. this, at least, is not an unreasonable fear since the bloody thing has been a catalogue of broken parts since he bought it

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