I’m all sad now. Ironic, considering the last post.

Going from my desktop to my laptop I noticed that my laptop screen is darker. Maybe it’s just because the desktop’s settings are higher (hope hope!), but my laptop is going on its fifth year now…

I looked up LCD screen lifespans, and it’s on average five years. Same goes for laptops, roughly. You know, other than the cheaply made laptops or the laptops that are so old they just keep going because they’re made with good parts.

:( Do I have to plan to move over to my desktop completely next summer? Or use my (imaginary) Mac funds for a new laptop?

One would think I could kill two birds with one stone: buy a MacBook! But no, I don’t want a MacBook. I want a G5 (omigosh so spoiled!) and the big pretty monitor. I also want a laptop. I’ve found that I definitely like coding on laptops. The touchpad is right below the keyboard, so when I move my hand there to move the cursor then move my hand back, I can find home row very easily. As opposed to a mouse & keyboard desktop setup, I find it hard to move my whole right arm from the keyboard to the mouse and back again. I’m left-handed (but right-handed when using a mouse), and my right elbow tends to hurt after too much computer use, which I have to look out for (and not overstrain my right arm).

Regardless, I like my laptop. It’s a Dell Inspiron 2650. Other than the video card having a spazzy period (needing updating), and the wireless drive (or whatever the internal thing is called that connects me to networks) needing to be updated after I got a new wireless adapter thing, and needing a new battery (but that’s expected of lithium batteries; they stop recharging after a while), my laptop’s been really good to me. ^^; I even dropped it once and the battery bounced out of it!

I don’t suppose it would go any time soon. How do you know when a computer’s going to die? O_o I sure hope I get some hints. I have stuff backed up on my desktop, but I haven’t moved over any updated files yet. Then again, it hasn’t even been a month since I did the backup.

The only hints of anything not being as good as the first day I used it is, as mentioned before, the darker screen (I really don’t know if it’s darker relative to what it was before though; I never thought to come up with a gauge for this moment O_o) and this one pixel on my screen where the green light is always on. It’s kind of annoying. But I can live with it. Once it goes to maybe 3 or 4 dying pixels, I’m tossing in the towel. *grin*

*hugs lappy* Don’t leave meeee!!!


I am back! :o I think I’m getting back into blogging too much.

I downloaded Firefox 2.0 the other day. I got an alert through the browser that was available. Since the updater used to take a loooong time to update, I always got the new version through the website myself.

Well this time I could only find the download links for 2.0. I was kind of confused. Didn’t they say I should update to Why didn’t I see it? I thought 2.0 was still in beta, and I don’t download betas (exceptions: middle_man and Firefox 0.8, because AIM and IE were just that annoying). But since that’s all there was I just downloaded it.

Yesterday, I think it was, I was “forced” by Windows Update to upgrade to Internet Explorer 7. I’d seen links on Yahoo before (“Yahoo! recommends you upgrade to IE7” Well I recommend that Yahoo! mind its own business.) but I didn’t bother to get it, since I’d fixed my settings to practically not let IE 6 do anything but show me text and images. XD; But since Windows Update was doing it for me, why not? I was too lazy to custom install and disallow IE7. Besides, Windows Update claims I can switch back if I prefer.

(This is on my desktop by the way, I think Norton Antivirus disabled Windows Security Center on my laptop and I’m not sure if it’s getting the Windows Updates itself. Maybe I should force it turned on anyway.) (… Dude! I can’t view! What the heck?! Now how do I check if Antivirus is keeping me up to date? edit: I found and apparently the only update I need is IE7. Despite my last update being from October 14. How ironic is it that for the Microsoft Update page I had to practically allow all ActiveX options in order to use the site? I have things set to prompt, but apparently the site didn’t like just that, it wanted more…)

I’m probably biased, but I definitely prefer the Firefox update to the IE update. The only thing I really dislike about FF 2.0 (other than the default theme; I downloaded the old 1.5 theme XD;;) is that the Xs to close each tab is now on each tab. I suppose I have to just get used to it, but for every other program I know of (except graphics programs) the X to close documents(/tabs/whatever) is always in one specific spot. I suppose maybe this is more helpful for not-so-savvy computer users, more clear which tab you’d be closing. But I’m always afraid I’m going to hit the X instead of just switch to the tab. ._. Again, I guess I just have to get used to it.

The second thing I have to get used to in FF 2.0 is links opening in new tabs instead of new windows. I know there’s an option to switch it (I have it set back to new windows on my desktop), I’m just not used to it. When links open in new windows, there’s this very visual hint that it’s a new window (it’s kind of as if the whole browser has done a refresh, and reloads and redisplays the bars at the top) and that I won’t be able to use the back button and I’ll have to close the window eventually. But if it’s a new tab, I don’t notice that there’s a new tab on top until I go to hit the back button and notice it’s greyed out.

Also, sometimes I prefer more than one browser window open, because each window is a different task. For example, I could have e-mails open in one window, my websites open in another, and … I usually don’t have more than two windows open unless links open new ones.

Then on my Livejournal friends page, I have links open in new windows (because I have so many comics images on the page; I suppose images would reload from my cache, but just in case, I don’t want to keep using up people’s bandwidth [and my precious hundredths of seconds having to reload the page *snerk*]; also I assume that people don’t look at my friends page), and I’m just not used to having so many tabs open in one window (maybe half a dozen), or using Ctrl+Tab so often. Alt+Tab is just more comfortable. (Thumb & middle finger vs. pinky & middle finger.) But I shouldn’t really complain I guess.

All those complaints, and I like FF 2.0 over IE7? Yeah. *grin*

First complaint: I see no option to not display tabs if only one is open. I find the tab function very handy, but I also think it’s not attractive. Especially on IE with this over the top gradient design. X_x Another complaint about the way the tabs bar looks is that little box. I know it opens a new tab (I always wished Firefox had something like that. Maybe something on the bookmarks toolbar? If I don’t display the single tab I have then there’s no way to right-click on the bar and click “New Tab” and if I’m feeling lazy and not using the keyboard, I don’t like going all the way up to the File menu to get a new tab.). I guess it just goes with the I think the tabs bar is ugly thing. It’s something else on that ugly thing adding more ugly.

Hm, since this is the first time I’ve had more than one tab open in IE, I just noticed that you can close tabs only if it’s the active tab. I guess that would fix my problem in Firefox of accidentally closing a tab, but I think it just hampers me in IE. How hard am I to please?! *laughs*

Second complaint: Where’s the Menu Bar?! *hyperventilates* Oh, I can choose to display it through the Tools menu (menu? what do I call that thing?) What?! It shows up below the navigation bar (? is that what it’s called?). How totally against my expectations of any basic program do you want to go? Plus it’s in the way! I have to move the cursor that much farther up to use the nav bar! And it goes against my expectations of programs and is ugly and is in the way!

Third complaint: How do I customize all the bars?! I don’t want to use my browser this way! Give me flexibility, dangit! I want to move the buttons around differently from the way you want me to see them! I want the Links folder to display on the bottom right of the toolbars again! I don’t want those buttons in the bottom right! I’d rather use the Menu Bar like I do with practically any other program! I might not want to display the search bar because I don’t use IE so why would I ever search through it!

(Haha! That Quicktabs thing is such a ripoff of that option in Macs to display all windows that are open! [Sorry, I don’t remember the command to call that option.] But much less cool.)

Fourth complaint: I notice that the Refresh and Stop buttons are moved to the right of the url box, whatever it’s called. Um, way to go against people’s expectactions of a browser? Or even if people didn’t have that expectation of back/forward/refresh/stop buttons being all together to the left of the url box, at least let me switch to what I prefer!

Fifth complaint: This ClearType thing just makes the text blurry, in my opinion (in my eyes? XD; ). I’m using an LCD monitor, but it just looks blurry to me, and gives me a bit of a headache. (I’m somewhat sensitive to monitors even in the best of circumstances; they have to be a certain distance from my eyes, be a certain size, on and on, otherwise I get sick.) That’s one thing I don’t like about Safari on Macs. It’s not as noticeable for me on the Safari though, for some reason. Maybe because of the high definition, high resolution, large dimension monitors that Macs have (and which I drool over XD), as opposed to the regular monitors that PCs have.

(Sidetracking, I was thinking of buying a bigger Dell monitor for my desktop so I can see when I work in Illustrator or InDesign [I’ve mostly used those programs lately on Macs with their beautiful, big monitors, so I’m spoiled] but the lady I asked at the Dell kiosk said they don’t sell high def monitors. boo. So I don’t really see the point of spending $600+ for something subpar, and I’ll just save up for a Mac. :D)

Despite all my complaints about this ClearType, I’m sure that lots of people would like it so I don’t consider the ClearType itself to be a bad thing. No, what I’m complaining about is the fact that I can’t find anywhere in the Options to turn it off! What the heck? I knew I wasn’t blind when I looked over the whole advanced options menu three or four times. … Now what am I supposed to do? Not use IE. XD I just use it for a separate set of cookies anyway. (Yahoo I have old accounts that I check, and Livejournal I have two extra accounts, and don’t feel like signing out of my main account on Firefox.) Also to check out how layouts look in IE. But then again I use my laptop to code my websites, so I guess I really don’t have a problem there. (I haven’t been “forced” to install IE7 here yet, and I don’t want to bother to install it myself.)

Last complaint: There’s only one um, arrow for the back/forward buttons. Does that thing have a name? O_o This isn’t much of a complaint, I just think it’s kind of weird. I’d have to adjust myself to looking for the bolded/checked/highlighted page to orient myself as to where I am. Then again, I am just using it on the desktop, not the laptop, so with the laptop (i.e. the touchpad) I might be more annoyed than with the desktop (i.e. the mouse). *snicker*

Overall, I think that IE (or, you know, Microsoft, whoever makes IE) is just trying to be completely new and innovative and junk to make up for letting the last version get so outdated. Try to bring back their lost-to-other-browsers userbase. But they just end up overstepping the boundaries of what a browser should be like and should do. Whereas Firefox just updated the browser and added things that their users have asked for! omigosh, imagine that! :o

One new thing I like about Firefox 2.0. When you close a tab, you go back to the last tab you had active, not just the tab previous to the one you’ve closed. That’s new, right? I always thought the old way was a bit aggravating. :D

Ah! XD I just went to Customize Toolbars in Firefox and I found a button for new tabs. Omigosh, imagine all the stuff you get when you actually look for it! har har.

And that ends my somewhat ranty post. haha, such a long entry. *shifty eyes* Took me an hour and forty minutes to type.

layout and comp tweaks

Is it really only 10:30? I feel so tired, like it’s almost 12. *blink*

Didn’t really do much since the last update. Drove home. Took four hours. Woo.

Today I went shopping with Mum and Hidek. Went to Target to get stuff. I got a nice soft red scarf. I’m happy. Went to Westside Pavilion so Hidek could buy a shirt at Pacsun and so I could buy Clinique stuff and get their free gift. Also bought Tadash’s present.

Um. Tonight I just spent tweaking my archives layout code. Not the one with all the entries listed, but the single post page. Tried to make it more accessible to everyone, but I don’t know how well I did. Had to add blank divs to make it look the same in IE as in Mozilla. mrrr.

Oh yeah, I found out how to add more RAM to my laptop (Dell Inspiron 2650) today! The second slot is underneath the keyboard. So I’ve got 512 MB installed, but only 384 of it is recognized by the computer. I can’t quite find a complete answer (through Yahoo) but I think it’s because of the video card which is allotted 128 MB of the RAM.

I’m fine with it though, since I just wanted more RAM for Norton AntiVirus. Tonight I ran a system scan and I didn’t notice any slowness in my computer speed! XD Well, I didn’t have anything open other than Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Filezilla. But my 2002 version would slow down everything even if I just had Firefox open with one tab. *shrug* [Nov 10 ETA: I upped the ram because earlier I’d had Firefox and Photoshop open, and tried to open MS Word but it froze.]

Umm … I don’t know what else to say, so I’ll just bow out now.

car, buying, site and comp stuff

Well I took my car in to the dealership (not the one I bought from) and it was just a faulty seal in the fuel line, something like that, that could have been leaking gasoline. Eep. Cost my parents $300. Mum’s going to try talking to CarMax to make them pay for it because they had to drop the fuel tank over the summer to fix the fuel gauge, and they probably didn’t fix it all up completely which caused this recent problem. Don’t know if they’ll pay though. Hope they do. Got an oil change too, so I also hope there’s no sludge buildup in the engine.

Saturday my brother and I went to Best Buy. He bought Shaun of the Dead, and I bought Pink’s I’m Not Dead album and Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire special edition DVD. I was going to buy Absolute Sandman (Borders and Best Buy are right next to each other) but I remembered I had a 25% off coupon in my e-mail. I bought it the next day, when we went grocery shopping.

Insert rant about Border’s membership suckiness on actually saving me any money. I liked Waldenbooks’ Preferred Reader system, even though it probably would have put them out of business. I don’t know if I spent enough to reach the minimum required to get my holiday savings. *twitch twitch* I wish it were a minimum of $5 savings instead of $10.

Umm … I realized while writing the entry that I bought a $100 book when I bought Absolute Sandman volume one, and that if I doubled that amount I could buy this limited edition of American Gods. (But I think I’ll just buy the Melinda story. Or ask for it for Christmas. *grin*)

Ehm … I haven’t really touched Absolute Sandman yet. I kind of feel like Martin, Bart, and Milhouse when they bought the first issue of Radioactive Man. Don’t touch it! The oils on your fingers will ruin the pages! I already feel that way about (non-mass market paperback) books and try to only touch the outside of pages, how much worse will I be with a $100 book?

Last night I finished the whole process of backing up files onto my desktop so I could install Norton AntiVirus 2007 on my laptop. I don’t want to type up everything again but basically: the install was really slow, I stayed up til almost 12 finishing, and after it installed I didn’t restart I just shut down, so when I started today everything loaded really really slowly. I’m thinking the slowness is because I only have 256 RAM. I wish Daddy could figure out how to add to my RAM. boo.

I guess I didn’t need to backup everything, but I’m glad I did ’cause I was meaning to ever since summer. The reason I was reluctant is that I don’t want to abandon my laptop, I love (in a totally non-materialistic manner) my laptop and don’t want to stop using it just because I got a newer shinier toy. But I think I’ll keep maintaining my site files on my laptop. Even though I prefer to design on my desktop. XD; Also most all my music is on my laptop. I think I’ve turned it into my non-portable, ancient “paper weight” mp3 player. haha. Mickey loaned me his not-so-good but-still-great-nonetheless speakers, so those are connected to my laptop and the cheap Dell speakers are left on my desktop for Starcraft. I’m happy.

NAV upgrade

Last Saturday I bought a copy of Norton AntiVirus 2007, since my update subscription on my 2002 is running out, and apparently it isn’t going to be updated anymore. *shakes fist* I’ve been reading online about people who’ve had problems upgrading their NAVs. So I’m planning to backup all my laptop files onto my desktop (imagine that, and up til now I’ve been fighting moving over to my desktop completely ^^;) before I uninstall 2002 and install 2007.

There’s another bug I’ve read about where people’s update subscription expires after only half the paid time, or 6 months. I hope that doesn’t happen to me. >.> I’ve got two copies of Norton AntiVirus; 2006 on my desktop and 2007 for my laptop. My brother also has 2006 for his laptop. (I just didn’t like McAfee’s reliance on IE’s ActiveX controls, otherwise I’d use that.)