Saturday, 12 March 2016

My Love/Hate Affair With Computers, Part 287

Quotation du jour: Joseph Campbell ~ Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.

A month or so ago, my desktop computer's display turned a rather nauseating shade of green. I knew for a fact that it wasn't a problem with the monitor – i tried two different ones. So i brought my old laptop home from work (the PC's display was really vomitogenic) in order to remain connected. (I only ever use the laptop at work, to listen to an Internet radio station in the mornings [] -- the machine is old and frustratingly slow and besides it runs Linux, an OS i've never really been comfortable with.)

Some quick research into my desktop's problem suggested that i probably needed a new graphics card so, in the middle of a blinding snowstorm, i set off for my favourite computer shop ( only to find that they had closed early due to the weather. Terrific.

It was a few days later before i was able to make the trek again. The young man there took one look, moved, with some difficulty, my graphics card to a different port, and everything seemed fine on the shop's monitor, so all was well. He only charged me $60 for the diagnostics (didn't charge for labour) and $20 for a DVI cable (which the new port required) and all was well!

Until i got home, and had no display at all! OK, i thought, i've done something really stupid here when i plugged it all back in. But what? I quite frankly couldn't be arsed to think too hard about it and went back to the clunky old laptop for a few days....

Then grasped the unicorn (or was it the narwhal?) by its horn again, the slowness of the laptop was driving me doolally, and plugged the desktop all back in again. Still no display. What, i said to my cat, am i doing wrong? Or is it me? Maybe the DVI cable is wonky? Just started playing with the buttons on the front of my monitor, just to see what would happen, et voilĂ ! I had a display again! Three colours, too, not just green! I wonder which button i pushed to pull off this coup...?

I took my laptop back to work and was able to listen to the radio again there, but at home that evening i discovered that problems remained. Whilst waiting for a particularly slow web page to load, i decided to pass the time with a game of Solitaire, and received the message “hardware acceleration is not enabled, ensure that your graphics card driver is up to date” or something like that. I could still play Solitaire, but it was painfully slow. (Watching the web page load was actually more entertaining.)

Back to Google did i go and eventually, after a misstep or two – installing a program that was supposed to scan my computer for out-dated drivers and install them for me, for instance, but it was useless – i went to the NVIDIA website – my graphics card is one of theirs. I should have thought of that first, really. They scanned my PC, found the driver i needed and i downloaded it. Easy-peasy.

But when i tried to install it i received the error message, “Driver could not be installed. For help installing, visit the Windows Help And Support Center.” So i tried, but apparently it's not one of my Windows components. Arrrgh! I said to myself, not for the first time. A bit of further Googling proved to be of no avail, though, so i just left it. Apart from not being able to play Solitaire easily, some (but not all) of my music videos (and porn videos) (oops, did i write that?) wouldn't play properly, but otherwise, everything was okay.

Well, maybe not. A lot of my programs started giving me “not responding” messages. Well, thanks, that could mean anything! Nobody know da trubble i seen...

The next day, when i booted up, i saw that the driver was trying to install itself. WTF? I said (not for the first time). Again i went through all of that nonsense with the Windows Help And Support Center. Bah!

The same thing happened the next day, and the next and the next and then, toot toot “driver succesfully installed”! Yay, i was able to play Solitaire again! But, but, i was still having too many “not responding” messages. I tried everything i could think of – AV and anti-malware scans, i defragged, ran a registry cleaner, cleared my cache, emptied my Recycle Bin, stroked the cat, had a beer (well, several actually), watched an episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” went to The Beer Store (because i ran out).... Nothing made any difference.

Then i ran Windows Update. (It was Patch Tuesday.) All now seems to be well, although i can't think what difference that would have made....

I have no idea what happened. I'd love to be able to say that i'm a tech whiz and solved the problem myself, but nothing i did was of any avail. It sorted itself!

Here's my playlist:

Runrig -- The Story
Big Wreck -- The Pleasure And the Greed
The Jeff Beck Group -- Rough And Ready
Pyewackett -- The Man In The Moon Drinks Claret
Jeff Beck -- Official Bootleg U.S.A.
Loggins & Messina -- On Stage
Various Artists -- Rattlesnake Guitar: The Music Of Peter Green
Sharon Shannon -- Out The Gap
Rita Coolidge -- The Best Of Rita Coolidge
Stephen Stills -- Stephen Stills 2
Paul Simon -- The Rhythm Of The Saints
Pete Townshend -- Psychoderelict
The Beatles -- Revolver
The Motors -- Airport

No comments: