My computer troubles aren’t over, but at least I have a cause and solution. Last week, the “Pin-striped Screen of Death” became progressively worse, and was finally replaced with the system completely freezing roughly 4.3 seconds after Windows started (if it started at all). Quoth the WinBook service rep, “I’ll tell you right now what the trouble is. You’ve got yourself a hardware problem.” So, I’m very carefully salvaging what I can and will send them back the computer. When I return from next week’s vacation (Hi, Marjorie!), I’ll either have a fixed laptop or, more likely, a brand new one. WinBook’s several models beyond what I currently have, and they have a reputation for replacing broken ones with brand-new, much better ones. So, in the meantime, I’m using a spare computer to get me through the week. At home, I patched together a computer that’s set broken for about a year, ran the video signal through my TV, and changed my email from POP to computer-independant IMAP while watching the Simpsons through picture-in-picture. Pretty darn nerdy, I know, but I felt rather clever and resourceful. Also this weekend, I went to a Christmas party (see… I can be social) at the home of my playwright/professor friend that was having his computer censor him. Turns out the problem was Cyber Patrol, pre-installed by Gateway and set to monitor the keyboard for objectionable keypresses, such as “push it,” which got replaced with “puXX XX.” Maybe this is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, but I really hate it when someone invasively tries to protect me from myself. By the way, if you find yourself on a Gateway computer and really, really want to proclaim what CAP calls the “most foul of foul” words, just type “firetruck” and then delete out letters 2 through 6. That’ll show the man!
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