Saturday, August 10, 2013

In which we discuss rain and computers...

We had a lot of rain yesterday. 5.17" according to the weather report. I dunno - that seems kind of low.

This was when it was coming down rather lightly - for yesterday, that is.

It slacked up for a little while around noon-ish, so Maddy suggested a run to the book store. It seemed like a good idea, but it wasn't. First, we had to turn around about three miles from the house and backtrack thanks to an Escalade that had tried to plow through a small pond on the road and stalled out. We should have taken that as a sign, but we didn't. Several miles later it started pouring again. Freaking pouring. As in "can't see past the windshield" pouring. By the time we could see past the windshield, we had a bigger problem. The road going by the airport was under what looked to be three or four feet of water. Some larger vehicles were braving it, but Maddy decided she'd seen enough and pulled into an office park to turn around and go back home. While we were waiting to turn back out, an impatient BMW cut around the other, hesitant cars, plowed into the water - and stalled out. The water was almost up to the hood.

"I guess he just figured out that the "B" in "BMW" doesn't stand for "boat." Maddy said, shaking her head. "I shouldn't talk, though. I came very close to floating that little Saturn one time. The "puddle" I thought I was driving through turned out to be the sixth Great Lake. I could feel the tires starting to lift and I was like "oh man, I don't have anything to row this thing with!" I got through it, though. I was surprised it was that deep. It's that spot down near CVS where there's always a puddle after it rains."

We (and the Rogue) made it home just fine. Not sure about that Beemer, though. Some people just can't have nice things....


Today, fortunately, has been dry and quite pleasant, although we still have a couple of small roads nearby closed due to high water.

"So, what's up?"

"Not much," Maddy said. "Reposting that picture that Yahoo apparently ate. You know, for all the money they spent redesigning their logo, that could have invested a little in making the Groups better. I must have done things a lot differently when that Queen fanfic group was so active. I don't remember what it was, though." She looked at me. "Remind me the next time I have that desktop in the other room booted up to pull my bookmarks off of Firefox. I have a lot of sites on that one that aren't on the laptop. I bet most of them don't work any more, but I should at least see."

"You don't use that one to go online?" John-John said. He and Shel were looking over John Ashton Smith's shoulder at something he was doing on his laptop.

"I don't dare to. It's so old I can't update the antivirus software anymore. It isn't compatible. It's still running Windows 2000, believe it or not. I don't have enough hard drive space to upgrade, plus I'll lose my big flatbed scanner if I do. It's not compatible with anything newer than XP."

"We've got one at Miskatonic still running Windows 98SE," John (my fella) said. "We keep telling Dr. Ernsford that his computer's older than Cthulhu, but he still won't upgrade."

"Worst operating system. Ever," Maddy said. "My father, however, loved it. He even "upgraded" my computer to it as a "surprise' one day. Boy was I surprised, all right. Half of my stuff no longer worked. Then, to top it all off, he'd plugged my SCSI scanner into the parallel port and turned it on to "test it out." Totally destroyed my two-month-old scanner. Did I mention that he made a living designing computers? He could make 'em, but he sure as heck couldn't use 'em."

"Neither can Dr. Ernsford," John said. "I don't miss him yelling "John! How do I put one of those picture things on the computer?!" about three dozen times a day. If he didn't have a shortcut to it, he couldn't find it."

"Neither could my father," Maddy said. "He also didn't believe in antivirus software - said it was all a crock and a ripoff - even after his computer ended up disabled thanks to about a hundred different viruses and Trojans and who knows what all. Then there was the time with the battery."

"Battery? As in motherboard battery?" John said.

She nodded. "I had actually bought a book - one of those Dummies books - on computer repair. It was pretty informative. One bit of info I'd picked up was that there were several different kinds of batteries, including one that was hidden in a chip that had a little clockface on it - a "Dallas Realtime Chip." Well, he was complaining that his computer kept losing the time and date settings - a sure sign that the motherboard battery was about to die - but when I said that, he quite nastily informed me that his motherboard didn't have a battery. Meanwhile, he has the computer open and there I am, looking down at this little clockfaced chip. I told him that was it and he told me to get the hell out if I wasn't going to help, because I didn't know what I was talking about. Well, long story short, the battery dies, the computer can't find the hard drive to boot up, he goes ballistic and I end up having to drive him and the computer over to a friend's place to have him look at it. Well, he opens it up, points to the little clockface chip and says. "That's the problem. Your battery's dead." My father told him that he was as stupid as I was, because that wasn't a battery. He replaces it and guess what? The computer works again."

"I hope he apologized," Shel said.

"He did - to his friend. Not to me, though." She shook her head with a wry laugh. "He always used to say that kids should know more than their parents, but he totally didn't like to see it put into action."

It's like Maddy says - always check the battery first...

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