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I wanted to let you all know where things are at regarding my computer.  I'm once again using my cousins computer.  My own less than 6 month old Dell All in One which has been a nightmare since it came out of the box (it's had a new power cord and power box, 2 hard drives, 2 motherboards, and more hours spent on the phone with Dell than you can imagine) is going to be replaced (finally).

Dell initially said (on Monday) that they'd send a "refurbished" unit, but called again on Wednesday saying that they'd be building me a new one instead.  It will take 2-3 weeks and, with many hopes and prayers, will provide me with the reliable system that I need.  Sadly, I hoped that their solution would be faster, but I'd rather have a computer that works reliably than having one slapped together as fast as possible.

So, I hope to be back sometime around mid-December and sporadically until then.  I've been sad since there has been so much happening that I haven't been able to share or discuss with all of you (Reindfleisch and Russel plea bargains) and far too much happening for me to get from the TM (I'm getting more stupid by the day).

Until then, I've been driving to my cousins at times to use her computer and even toyed with once again setting up my over 7 year old tower of misery that was so slow and error-ridden that I couldn't open diaries with open comments and that routinely just froze up.   I'll do that and renew antivirus on it when it gets too tough to go without anymore.

I HAVE, however, found that I can read front page and recommended diaries on DK on my prepaid cell phone (I can't sign in or comment).  It's kept me sane and better informed than I was except for state and local news.  I never fully realized how horrid our local television news was until I relied on it exclusively for news.  They never bothered to cover the Reindfleisch sentencing or Russells either.  Of course anything about the John Doe Probe doesn't see much coverage since our TM is pretty much in the tank for Republicans and they just love Scott Walker.

So, this is where things are at right now.  I miss you all and hope to be back soon.

Many thanks for your support.

11:41 AM PT: I'm heading back home now.  See you sometime in the future.

Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:19 AM PT: Back again for a bit to check and rec comments.  Thanks for your valuable input and support.


Originally posted to Puddytat on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 11:32 AM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We will cherish the moment of your return. (14+ / 0-)

    Please try to be safe and happy until then.  I am so glad that your lemon will be gone!  

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

    by weck on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 11:35:25 AM PST

  •  Hang in, Puddy! Don't worry, we'll be here when (7+ / 0-)

    you get everything sorted out.

  •  Heya PTat! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, weck, 4Freedom, randallt, Creosote

    good to see you again, been oddly quiet w/o you
     all the best!

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:43:12 PM PST

  •  I may be displaying colossal ignorance here . . . (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, weck, 4Freedom, randallt, Creosote

    or maybe I'm just really really lucky where I live, but isn't Internet access standard fare in public libraries these days??

    (She says, typing on the desktop at the local branch).

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. -- Voltaire

    by Hastur on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:53:11 PM PST

    •  True, but .... (0+ / 0-)

      I normally spend hours every day reading news, blogs, watching online programming, posting and reading here, and listening to streaming progressive radio.   They won't let me live at the library, which I've never been to.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:04:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are definitely missed as one of the (6+ / 0-)

    outstanding reporters on the courageous work of Wisconsin citizens as well as your many good contributions and support for all progressive, humanitarian issues.

    I think most of us have had at least one such incident with computers over the years, or at least with Windows OS.

    The companies used to be, at least in the incidences that I've known of or directly experienced, better about remedying the problems.

    •  This new puter was supposed to (0+ / 0-)

      be the solution.  I used a desktop Dell for 7 years until it's age, slowness, and accumulation of errors made a replacement imperative.  I saved for 2 years to buy the new one and it's been a piece of garbage since I took it out of the box.

      My computer guy has had to set it up 5 times already (the cost of his services I don't even want to think about) including the first time, when the computer was "reset to day 1" (twice), and after the hard drive was replaced twice (both times).  When the new one arrives, he'll need to come again.

      This thing should have been replaced after the second hard drive and first motherboard needed to be replaced.  I'm hoping the new one will be better.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:08:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe a diary a day...... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, randallt, Creosote, Puddytat

    About Dell and it's foot dragging might make that computer arrive a little quicker. I could build a computer in 2-3 weeks and I don't know the first thing about it. According to just about anyone in the PC business, there are plenty of them in inventory. Don't know about the lemon laws in your state,but here in maryland you would of had a replacement long ago. Jus' sayin'

    •  I don't want the replacement (0+ / 0-)

      slapped together.  I'd prefer it done right even if that takes extra time.

      Yeah, lemon law is here, but our state Atty Gen is a corporate loving Republican.  I doubt much would get done, but it remains in my arsenal.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:18:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wednesday I had a senior woman call me for (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck, 4Freedom, stormicats, Creosote, Puddytat

    help with her computer.  I have a side business as a computer repair tech for home and small business users and she got my name from our church directory.  Her mouse had quit working.  I tried walking her through a few keyboard shortcuts over the phone but we decided I'd go visit her that evening.  

    When I got to her place, I discovered that her system was a Dell all-in-one, less than a year old.  We tried replacing the batteries in her wireless mouse, but we couldn't get anything other than a couple of yellow flashes when i put in the batteries and we could never get the red LED to show out the bottom.  I made a run over to a store that was still open and got a Logitech corded mouse and fresh batteries.  Even fresh batteries didn't help, so I plugged in the mouse and she was back computing.  

    The system and problems you've had are different from hers, but I'd have a hard time recommending an all-in-one from Dell at this point.

    •  Thankfully, my mouse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      hasn't been a problem.  I've replaced the batteries once.  She should have contacted Dell (her pruter has a 1 year warranty unless she bought - like I did - a 3 year extension when she called to register it) and they would have replaced it.

      My All in One is a nice space saving computer, pretty much based on laptop design according to my computer guy, so the basic technology should be sound.  

      I hope the next one is the computer I can rely on.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:11:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Puddy, sorry about the dang computer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck, 4Freedom, Puddytat

    See my comment (on your previous diary) on how to configure your machine.
    I would highly recommend that you try setting up your old one (as per your comment below) and load and run the antimalware apps that I referenced therein on it.

    As another tip: I recently experienced freeze-ups on my backup desktop, a older E4300 mini tower Gateway, it would momentarily blank the screen and the mouse, and after a while the mouse would lock up, necessitating a reboot (this could be complicated by running them through a KVM. but no concern of yours).
    Most people don't know it but you can use Windows (within limits) without a mouse (or keyboard, but not both) by using keys and key combo's.

    Since I had been wanting to get a wireless mouse anyway ( to also use with laptops, they're portable) I went and got a USB Microsoft 3500 wireless mouse ($24 at Wally). Plugged that little sucker in, it installed automatically, and freeze problems gone! Luv that little tailess mouse.

    I suspect your older computer just needs a good cleanup, but it could be something like the mouse too, FAIK. Somebody could do it remotely too, Windows has a "remote control" feature built in.

    I've been in IT since the '60's and have never had a mouse do anything like that one (it is more than 20 years old, an old Compaq PS2 mouse).

    ...once again setting up my over 7 year old tower of misery that was so slow and error-ridden that I couldn't open diaries with open comments and that routinely just froze up.   I'll do that and renew antivirus on it when it gets too tough to go without anymore.
    You don't need to PAY for top-shelf antimalware software either!
    I'll quote some of the other comment advice too:
    And then use at minimum the following anti-scumware apps (after stripping out most all add-on crapware provided by manufacturers, resellers, etc.):
    1. Microsoft Security Essentials (free)
    2. Comodo Internet Security (free/paid combo Firewall, A/V, Defense mode, etc. (turn off the MS Windows firewall)
    3. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
    4. SpywareBlaster
    5. Spybot- Search & Destroy
    6. Avira Free Antivirus
    7. AVG Antivirus
    * I checked the spelling of these, be careful obtaining them, there are malicious impostors out there!

    Don't click on doubtful crap online, avoid certain types of websites, they are poisonous. (even DKos has had bad stuff embedded once or twice)

    There are others too that I use, but that's a good minimum suite of free 'protection', all available free or in paid versions (except MS SecEssen-always free).
    The free ones are more than good enough.

    Norton and Mcaffee, etc., are crap. IMO of course, but I go back to before them and they could be nasty stuff over the years, never touch 'em again.

    For an average machine:
    #1 & 2 should always be running in background for protection, full 'on-demand' scans run once a week or so;
    #4 just needs to be updated every week or so, then it is silent in the background;
    #3 & 5 should be run 'on demand' once a week or so;
    #6 & 7 should be kept updated and run in 'scan' mode 'on-demand' every so often.

    A supercomputer type box with max RAM, disk, etc., can run #1, 2, (4), and #6 or #7 all simultaneously for max protection.

    And demand run (or schedule) a  disk defrag (standard Windows applet) for each disk no less than once a month (every few days is good).
    And of course the advice for making regular 'image' backups (standard Windows backup is good too). Runtime Software's DriveImage XML is an excellent one.

    Oh, and an excellent browser: Opera can't be beat. No way/no how.

    "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen im Vierten Reich! Sie haben keine Bedeutung mehr.

    by Bluefin on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:06:33 PM PST

    •  Thanks for the info (0+ / 0-)

      I have Microsoft Security Essentials on my grrrrrrrrrrr puter.  The Dell guys downloaded and installed it and told me not to install or use the McAfee or System Mechanic that came with the computer.  They kept blaming my computer problems on "software" and thought stripping away most of it after the first motherboard and second hard drive were replaced would be the answer.

      Yeah, that worked until the computer lost all it's power and then I was without a computer waiting for a power cord and power box that didn't work and then again waiting for the second motherboard that crashed within 10 hours leading to my current misery.

      I'm not trusting MSE since it let a trojan on this computer and I had to download onto flash drive or disk this Windows Defender thing to get rid of it.  Antivirus should prevent that stuff from getting on in the first place.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:16:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It sounds as if that particular box you have is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I guess you're getting a complete new one, follow my above advice, etc., and also avoid dodgy websites, scam emails, etc. Certain websites and emails only have to be looked at in order to download malicious software onto your machine, the bad stuff is 'invisible' on the page.
        That's why many browsers now come with some sort of website 'safety pre-check' built in.
        Another hint, before clicking on a link, hover on it and check your browsers 'link preview', at the bottom of the window on IE/most, and verify it looks OK. The bad stuff often imbeds a different link from what appears as a visible hyperlink.

        I don't understand your comment about MSE missing a "trojan", was it a actually "rootkit"? A rootkit is a whole 'nuther can of worms, and one of the hardest malwares to detect, protect from, and remove.

        MSE is actually about the best antimalware app available, in many ways. Windows Defender was the predecessor to MSE, MS simply upgraded and renamed it a couple of years ago.
        Windows also provides a monthly "certain malicious software removal" check program with the usual MS updates (patches), use it; and stay updated too. Almost all apps also must be constantly updated, the whole thing is a PITA, although many apps can do updates automatically (unless you get a bad/defective update, it happens).

        No one anti-malware program will catch all problems, the field is far too complicated.
        The best strategy to use is to use multiple similar anti-malware applications to fill in the blind spots that all the antimalware apps have, fortunately they all generally have different blindspots.
        Some of the apps I listed also check for rootkits (like Avira AV and I think MSE).
        You want some of the apps to run all the time (real time protection), some of them are designed to do that, some of the others are primarily to be used 'on demand'. It is impractical to run all of them simultaneously, so I listed the ideal sequences for an average machine.

        I didn't link each of the apps on the lists, Bing them (I don't even hardly use Google anymore), check the Wikipedia for each, then make sure you download the genuine app since some have malware impostors.

        It really is a jungle out there, far worse in internetland than most realize.

        "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen im Vierten Reich! Sie haben keine Bedeutung mehr.

        by Bluefin on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:57:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the continuing info (0+ / 0-)

          I've used McAffee with no problems for years and it was never a problem.  MSE has only been on about 2 months and that trojan caught me by surprise.  

          I'm hoping the NEW new machine that comes will be just peachy.  My 7 year old Dell performed very well, it just was too slow and buggy to keep using it.  I had increased the RAM stuff, but it was still slow loading.

          When my new Dell All in One was working (those rare times), it was a dream.  Everything loaded fast the big screen was a plus for my old eyes.

          I'm careful with my email which is why I stay with Earthlink even though it would be cheaper just to go with Time Warner Cable, which actually provides my internet.  I get to set my email to a high security level.  Only mail from contacts in my contact list get through.  Obvious spam I never see, but things addressed specifically to me from folks not on my contact list get moved into a folder and I rarely open those.

          I worry about "free" software.  Free isn't really free.  Lots of it's crapped up with malware.  Even on my limited pension, I prefer to pay and be safe.

          Thanks again.

          There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

          by Puddytat on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:55:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I've been it IT since, well, before IT (0+ / 0-)

      It was known as "tabulating".

      But I'm one of the few so-called dinosaurs who stays up with current and bleeding edge technology.

      Let's see... A 7-year old Dell that crawls, freezes, and gets the occasional Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).

      The first misconception is that computers slow down or become unreliable with age. That's nonsense that the manufacturers want you to believe. Buy a new one with all the latest and greatest bloatware and useless auto-started crap that nobody with any sense would want or use. Then turn on 3 layers of paranoia-ware that slows the beast down to slower than an 8088.

      Seriously, I have a relative who runs three different paranoia-ware packages behind two redundant firewalls. His computer is a multi-core super-fast multi-gig-memory screaming Mimi.

      It takes 45 minutes to boot the damn thing.

      My 15 yo laptop runs rings around the thing.

      He absolutely refuses to shut off even one of the anti-virus layers. The problem is that they detect that other tasks are hooked in to the anti-virus Windows interfaces, so the software is spending ALL of its time checking itself to prevent itself from getting in the way of itself. Three layers of that stupidity.

      This is the same person who shut off all of his electrical power during the y2k switch. He was literally afraid that his computer would burst into flames at midnight. No, I'm not kidding.

      I've never run into a computer that had more malware on it than his. When you blindly open email and click on everything clickable, you install malware. Firewalls and scanners can't fix the stupid. I've given up on this one.

      Anyway, my usual approach to cleaning up an "old" computer is similar to your approach. Except that I treat Windows itself as the source of nearly all so-called viruses.

      1) Start the box in setup mode. Make sure that it detects the whole amount of memory actually installed and the battery that runs the clock and the setup memory hasn't died. Sometimes after being powered off for a long time, the little button battery inside doesn't stay up.

      2) Consider that memory might be a little flaky. If the box sits near a window, a/c, furnace vent, etc., know that temperature changes, humidity (low and high), poor electrical circuits, and physical vibration and abuse are the enemies of ALL consumer grade electronic devices. Run the memory tests if you think the BSOD's might be memory-related. I always add memory to Windoze-boxes. At least 2 gig. Memory is cheap these days. It's always the biggest bang for the buck. Some of the old Dells came with 256k or 512k. That's just asking for molasses-slow performance.

      3) Start in command line mode. Run scandisk. Often, the free space or the index screws up the ability to load a few modules properly. I've been pleasantly surprised that one scandisk has brought things back to life. Newer hard drives (7 yo is newer) don't record data in strict physical sequences any more. So running a defrag doesn't buy much speed. Actual measurements show that perceived defrag benefits are imaginary - or performance is actually slightly worse. Defrag was marginally useful when hard drives were 8 gig or smaller. Defrag made things load faster from floppy disks, though. That's why defrag was written.

      4) A hard drive that's over 90-95% full is going to slow things down to intolerable. Delete the bloatware. Burn those zillion digital photos onto a CD or a DVD.

      5) If the thing still craps out randomly, then consider using the software restore CD to "repair" the Windoze stuff if possible. Then run the Windoze Update process until it no longer updates anything. A review of the updates to Dell drivers and utilities is advisable. Then delete all the reinstalled bloatware again.

      6) It's a huge waste to pay to update any anti-virus stuff when trying to resurrect an old machine. It's a better idea to just shut all that stuff off.

      Or just do what I do. All but one of my machines runs Linux as the primary OS.

      Just of few of my thoughts. YMMV.

      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:20:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our public library offeres computers for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    use by patrons. I suppose that's too much to hope for in Fitzwalkerstan. Sorry about your computer miseries, but it sounds like happier days are ahead.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 03:46:56 PM PST

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, Puddytat

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:04:02 PM PST

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