use the right words…

Wow. Windows Explorer just disappeared again. All I had open was Windows Media Player, Volume Control, IE 7, and Firefox. I also had just closed FileZilla and Paint Shop Pro (6, if anyone’s counting; yes I do like my ancient programs).

It probably didn’t help that I had a … My Documents folder Window open (… I have no idea what they’re called, sadly) with a folder of almost 400 images in the Thumbnails view setting (woo, look at that CPU speed shoot through the roof!) that I was attempting to close.

(It was my Amy Lee 2 folder. Yes I have enough images in one folder to warrant the creation of a second folder. Why am I talking about this? I have no idea. One would think that I’d find it horribly embarrassing to post on the internet that I have almost 1500 images of Amy Lee on my computer. — And I’m just saving pictures to analyze her style, sheesh!)

I think I really do need help … for my laptop, I mean.

This did remind me of another complaint I have though: it takes forever to go from My Computer to either the Windows folder or Program Files folder. Also the My Music folder (moved it to C:\ when my laptop was running at a fraction of a snail’s speed after installing SP 2), but not as slowly, so it’s not that bad. Sometimes it also takes a few seconds to load the C:\ drive itself, and the little flashlight beams around searching for it. (Helloooo, Windows, where aaare you? Olly olly oxen freee!)

held on high

I managed to crash Windows Explorer tonight. :O

A little bit of info: I own a Dell Inspiron 2650 laptop, bought in the summer of 2002. Currently runs on 384 MB RAM (somehow the video card takes up 128 MB of the installed 512? I don’t understand it, but meh), was at 256 ’til about a year or so ago. (No I am not kidding.) My hard drive is 27.9 gigs (my mp3 player is bigger! at roughly 28,000 MB).

Normally when I’m working on my sites I like to have the following programs open: Windows Media Player (or Winamp, depends on which playlist I’m listening to); Volume Control (crazy songs all having different volume levels); Mozilla Firefox; FileZilla; Notepad; Windows Explorer (er, you know, the “My Documents” et cetera folder windows…); Adobe Photoshop 7 (hah, I realized this year that it’s outdated by three whole versions now); Linotype FontExplorer X (when are they gonna release a non-beta Windows version? :( ); Calculator (to figure out em sizes); and sometimes, Spider Solitaire, to entertain myself while my computer’s trying to process something.

It never really bothered my laptop before, running all those programs. (Well okay, maybe FontExplorer is a drain, but I don’t have it open that often.) But it seems like the past couple of months, I’ve complained more about my laptop’s speed.

And two things I noticed this weekend: (one) when I click on a program in the Start menu, the menu doesn’t disappear after a second anymore, it just sticks around until the program opens up … a few seconds later (this includes Spider Solitaire and Calculator); (two) Firefox’s Bookmarks responds way slower than they used to. Sometimes I can’t even get the Bookmarks menu to open when I click it. D:

So yeah, Windows Explorer crashed tonight. All I tried to do was highlight another file, to see the dimensions of the image and then everything … stopped … responding.

I’ve been planning for a number of months to reinstall XP on this laptop this summer, to try and improve performance. A lot of computer help sites (er, members of support forums, rather) suggest doing a fresh install regularly once a year. *boggles* So I thought, hey, once in 6 years, my performance should definitely improve, right?

Well at the moment I’m feeling it won’t have much of an effect. :( I think all the programs I have on here and use regularly, they’ve just got too many add-ons, updates, doohickeys, and whatnot compared to six or even two years ago.

Plus, my laptop has picked up this annoying whine that appears every so often. It might be tied to the fan running. Or it might be the the hard drive whirring. Whatever it’s doing, it bugs the heck out of me. I don’t like extraneous noise, or repetitive noise, of which the sound is both.

Then I was reading the Wikipedia articles on Linux, Debian, and Ubuntu (unrelated to my computer woes; [wow, the whine started up not more than half a minute after it stopped O_o *cough* back to my previous thought] XKCD had a comic about a Debian flaw and I was trying to figure out what the heck it was talking about *snrk*), and found out that for Ubuntu, the minimum required RAM is 384 MB. For Windows XP 128 MB is recommended, which I have thrice over. So I guess Ubuntu is out on this laptop. (Although when I get a new laptop, I’ll probably still install it on this laptop just as a trial run.)

I don’t know what to do! I don’t have money for a new laptop! Besides, it seems like all laptops suck nowadays. N’s Dell laptop keeps not reading the BiOS (it’s so funny! every time he starts up his computer, it says there’s no BiOS! HAHAH— okay I’m being sarcastic). C’s Dell laptop battery lasts only a couple minutes. (I guess that’s not really the laptop itself … but my battery still lasts almost two hours, despite being two years old, or however old it is.)

There’s a MacBook, but that thing costs mucho bucks! Money that I do not have, and am not willing to borrow from any relative! (Cough, Bank of N.)

And … well, I guess there are smaller, less popular brands out there that are good, but I don’t really feel like researching. I want my six-year-old laptop to work! :( It’s so nicely designed and simple and all one color and not ugly.

In other news, [inangeling-dot-net] has a new layout! After how many years? It would have been two years this July. Wow! That’s the longest I’ve ever had a layout up. I don’t know if I’m happy with the layout. The guinea pigs just don’t look right to me (this means I need to own a guinea pig in order to draw them right! woot! going to the shelter tomorrow! *snrk*)

I (sorta, somewhat) used wolftlou’s Musician’s Element colo[u]r palette (adding my own pink to the pig, and muting the blue for the background).

I think a major problem I have is with the alignment of the Sites list and Et Cetera list. Soou much empty space around them, ugh!

I might end up going back to the prevous layout, rearranging the text so it’s a vertical layout and not a horizontal one, or at least making the divs larger so it’s not hard to read. But in the meantime, new layout, yay go check it out, see how I morph guinea pigs into weird positions for my own amusement.

stupid .Trashes

I had a horrible fight with a Mac today. Gasp and shock! Yes, I found one instance of complete idiocy in the Mac OS.

At the end of my magazine design lab today, I tried to copy the files I’d worked on to my USB drive but got the message that there wasn’t enough space on the disk. Okay, I thought, just delete the older files I don’t need. Simple enough. But no matter how much stuff I deleted (sent to the Trash), paring my files all the way down to just fonts and one photo I definitely didn’t want to leave in the Trash on a public computer, the drive kept reading as “72.1 megs free” (or however the phrase goes on a Mac).

I started freaking out then. Maybe the one photo I’d left on there was royally screwed up (coming from a PC; I’d believe it) and was really larger than the 71 megs it said. Maybe my drive was royally screwed up and I’d have to run out and buy a new one. Maybe there really was 840 megs of stuff somewhere on my drive and it just had to sit there so I’d have to run out and buy a new drive anyway, possibly a 2 gig or larger one to hold all my files.

I come home, plug my USB drive in my trusty (note the sarcasm) Dell PC, and what do I see? A faint folder (I have hidden files and folders showing, because I’m a control freak like that) called “.Trashes”! Of course! Only Macs have extraneous system files that start with a period! I check the folder and yup, all the files I’d “sent to the Trash” were there!

According to this page, Some Basics for Using USB Drives, I would have to go an extra step and empty the Trash on the Mac hard drive to clear my external drive!

How silly of me! Of course I should have thought of that! Who in their right mind wouldn’t know that “deleted” files don’t really get deleted on a Mac until the Trash is emptied! Too bad this is a public computer for the GrC department and the settings are such that any time the computer restarts, any and all files on the Desktop go into the Trash. I’d hate to inadvertently delete some student’s last copy of a file, so I never empty the Trash. (Unless I really don’t want some snoopy person to see the file that I’d just sent to the Trash. *grin*)

Pardon me for saying this, but I really like Microsoft’s option of holding Shift while deleting (or “Recycling” which turns into “Delete” on the right-click menu) and thus bypassing that step of deleting from the Recycle Bin when I really know I don’t want the file anymore. Does Mac have this option somewhere? Cmd+Option+Shift+3+Return+Enter?

I feel like I should carry around an extra, empty USB drive with me now, just in case the one I normally use doesn’t have enough space for what I want to copy. But the only USB drives I have are two 512 meg Dell freebies (yeah, take a Dell drive to a Mac-dominated department *snerk*), a 12 meg Xerox freebie (what the heck is this good for? Transferring Microsoft Office documents?), and my Iomega external hard drive. The Iomega has 60 gigs, but it’s sort of too big for my bookbag, and besides, I have allll my files backed up on there. I don’t want to accidentally mess up the drive by knocking the USB cable out or something.

Maybe I should go out and buy a newfangled 4 gig USB drive …

(Oh yes. I don’t have the files I worked on in lab. I just have the InDesign Exchange file. Yaaay, re-editing many high res photos, what fun I have to look forward to!)

thanks, All

I’d just like to thank All for thinking of the environment. In relation their product, at least. (3x more concentrated! Requires less plastic for smaller bottles! And less cardboard for shipping! And fewer trucks for transportation!)

They did not think of the environment, however, when they built their website., thank you for bringing my browser (Firefox) to its knees and making it unresponsive or really very slow with your pointless use of humongous Flash animation. A few extra minutes required to power my computer to load your website, to get the information (very slowly) in the intro, which I could not skip because of aforementioned speed, more power required to transfer that whole big Flash animation to my computer from your servers, more energy required to run the servers your site is hosted on.

Thank you so very much.

no virus is gonna take me alive

Agh! I keep feeling like I’m in my bedroom at home; in my mind there’s a wall directly to my right. My brain does a serious reconfiguring when it realizes there’s no wall, but a lot of space. *mind boggles*

Umm, what else can I talk about … I uninstalled Norton Antivirus 2007 from my laptop because it would seriously slow performance down during scans and during/after my computer shut down it would pop up errors of memories not being written. I’d already contacted Symantec once about that problem, and the advice I got fixed the one error, but then others popped up afterwards, and I didn’t think it was worth the hassle to get it corrected.

Instead I installed ZoneAlarm. It got second on Consumer Reports’ latest anti-virus programs reviews. It was $10 cheaper for the program and for subscription renewal than the number one program, and it also had better virus detection. It was second because it had lower ease of use and speed, and a third category that didn’t really catch my attention. So yeah. I thought the second one was better for me.

After one week of having the program, my opinion is: yeah, the scanning speed is dang slow. It took three plus hours last night. Although I’m not sure if that’s because I put the laptop to sleep (ZoneAlarm didn’t alert me to the fact it was scanning! o_o). But it’s still a bit faster than Norton, so I am quite the happy customer. I had Windows Media Player, FileZilla, Firefox, and Photoshop open, and didn’t really catch on until maybe after half an hour that my laptop was lagging a bit, and oh maybe it’s because ZoneAlarm is scanning!

But right now a complaint has popped up. I have the same programs open (and more, but those are the bigger memory hogs), and my laptop is still a bit slow to respond. That makes me a sad puppy. I am hoping that ZoneAlarm is still getting used to my computer and program usage, and that after a while this slowness will disappear. Otherwise I’m satsified with the program. :) I’ll probably give my NAV 2007 to Mickey.

(I still have NAV 2006 on my desktop. Only my laptop’s dinosaur age and speed made me choose another program. Just in case anyone thought I despised NAV. I don’t. Exactly.)

On another note, I saw a sign that the holiday season is near: there was a display of Ferrero Rocher chocolates at the end of an aisle in Staples. Of all places! Hm. Oh well.

At dinner tonight I finished reading Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin. I really liked it. The plot wasn’t anything mindblowing, just following the lives of two couples. It was those two couples that made the story different from anything I’ve read. Okay, I haven’t read much, considering how many authors are out there (nevermind how many books), but these characters were still new to me. I’ve never even met anyone in real life like any of the characters. (Again, I haven’t met many people, but still…) Well, Guido is probably the most normal, and I probably have met someone similar to him. I can’t keep going on about how the characters are so interesting, so I will just say that they truly are different, without being out of what you would think of as ordinary.

And to think this book was randomly reshelved in the bookstore and what caught my attention at first was the author’s last name being out of order. haha!