Mike’s Prattle


Computer Up plus the latest

Posted by Mike on December 15, 2008

As of last Friday evening, my computer is back up and running again, which means it was out about 5 days. Things went relatively well, I got a diagnosis saying it was the button on the front panel, which meant I had to order a new front part from Dell and Dell delivered very quickly with two day mail. To have discovered this myself would have been to do what needed to be done in replacing it, basically removing the plastic cover from the entire machine. In replacing it (credit to my old man who’s very good at this kind of thing), it was discovered the metal piece that triggers the power button had broken off. With a new front and requisite cleaning the machine looks almost brand new. Really, about the only thing I missed, given computer access at work, was just quickly checking the news when I got up in the morning or before I went to bed.

But it has been part of a string of really rotten luck of late, the kind of bad luck that looks humorous with some distance (which I don’t quite have yet). I left the power cord at Best Buy after picking up my machine post diagnosis, which meant waiting in Christmas time lines twice. But overall I think it cost me about $150 and the diagnosis saved me an installation fee (and it didn’t happen while I had substantial free time). But my mouse was going out at about the same time, so that had to be replaced as well. I use a thumb trackball, so I nearly got the same Logitech again, some slight feel distances. But adding another GB of RAM will have to wait until next month.

And, although I still need to check to be sure, it looks like there are problems getting my new debit card again from Wells Fargo, which seems to happen absolutely every single time it expires. First they spelled my last name wrong, which I went to herculean feats to finally get right (I spent years using one with McLathcey). Every change means a cancelled current card and an “up to 10 days” mail out. Oh, so they tell you, you can get a temporary ATM card. Well when this happened before the bank told me they were out. So I’m hoping that I just misfiled some mail and that it’s at home somewhere, otherwise I get to go through this right in time for Christmas. If it wasn’t for the convenience of ATM tellers, I’d drop the bank like a hot potato, they’re a drag with nearly everything.

Since I don’t want to end this post with a scowl, I’ll just say I more or less finished up Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, with a module called The Lost Spires. Many kudos to the creator for making what I’d consider the unofficial second expansion (after The Shivering Isles) as one follows an Archaeology Guild to various locations. It’s perfect for the high level player with baddies that take some serious firepower to knock down and the caves/dungeons/ruins are much larger than they are in the regular game, making them quite challenging. (Spoilers) The “boss” segments were near on brilliant. One Ayleid Ruin locks you in with a gigantic Minotaur who comes out with a horror movie like shock, just a brilliant twist that scared the hell out of me. And there are several “warlock planes” that look like acid trips, swirly skies and some really difficult to beat warlocks. Great fun, and although I was almost done before the machine went out, I completed it over the weekend and put Oblivion to rest for now. But players should check it out, it has substantial voice acting (not pro level of course but the change in voices was welcome at this point, I’d had enough of Lynda Carter etc).

What I did do was bring out Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind so I could finish the last expansion I missed years ago, Bloodmoon. I have to say, while Oblivion is certain more impressive with graphics and combat skills, it’s honestly not that big of a jump and in fact Morrowind is much more complex and involved as a game, so involved that it was a bit difficult to adjust back to. Unlike with Oblivion there were probably dozens of guilds and quests I never attempted, in fact I seem to remember limitations upon them, which means it won’t be long before I can go back to the game, even playing the expansion didn’t really remind me much of what I’d been through. Bethesda is titanically amazing for both of these two games, as close to virtual (un)reality as anything out there. I’m super geeked out on both.

Back to Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Unrendtide. Unlike the expansions for the Elder Scrolls series, this actually starts you back at novice levels (assuming you don’t want your 16th level wizard mowing through kobolds), which is really why I put it down a few months ago. But after playing chaotic, morally ambiguous characters in all of these games, I’m going with the lawful good paladin, one Bud Shank. I imagine him with a southern accent and disapproving, glowering stare.

Anyway that’s the word from geekland. Do stop over at Olfactory Rescue Service and check out our group top 20. If anything has gone right lately it’s working with Nancy and Ross; such a fantastic contrast to the shenanigans I encountered in the music field, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a project go so smoothly and without rustling any feathers.

Oh, and the word from the Kings is that they just fired coach Reggie Theus. This is such an incredibly stupid move that for the first time in a long time, I feel alienated as a fan. This tendency to blame a team’s misfortune on the coach when the team clearly doesn’t have the firepower is utterly ridiculous and shows that we’ve got some owners who just can’t stop meddling with professionals. I’d hate to be the new guy coming in, because even Phil Jackson or Pat Riley couldn’t turn this group of young guys into a winner, it’s just not possible. Shame on you! I feel for Geoff Petrie…


2 Responses to “Computer Up plus the latest”

  1. D'log said

    If you plan to dive back into Morrowind for any length of time, you might like to visit my 12-step guide to re-installing the game + packs for 2009: http://morrowind2009.wordpress.com/ It steps you through the Vista issues, getting widescreen, a nice draw-depth, expanded FOV, plus hi-res texture packs, better meshes and skins, and everything needed for an Oblivion-rivalling experience.

  2. Mike said

    Thanks, I’ll check that out when I’m ready to do so. I’ll definitely be going back to Morrowind at some point.

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