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Technology – Good, Bad and Ugly – grumpy indeed

It’s been a mixed week of good and bad, with regard to “technology” in my life.   Yes – I was able to install Windows Vista – and Office-2007, but that’s about where the “good” ended.

Last last week, I had a 300GB portable hard drive (almost full) that vanished in a puff of smoke.  A burnt-out capacitor has meant the drive is now a paper-weight.  On reflection, I didn’t lose much, other than a number of development servers (VMs) – and my set of install’ers – including Visual Studio, K2.NET, MOSS, SQL Server and many, many others.   Technology – strike (1).

I had a swag of music MP3’s that had been toasted once before, and when re-buiilding, I’ve been backing up to DVD – up to 11 of ’em now – so that’s OK.

Oh well – I have another 300 GB portable drive, and will re-build (phoenix from the ashes).

Then – the start of this week – my (dodgy) MP3 player started to misfire when playing in the car, via a headphone jack.  It’s been a clunky & quirky unit – sometimes re-booting during songs – and would only be able to play 1/4 of the 4GB of files loaded (the rest just wouldn’t appear).

So – have been without my MP3 player all week – planning on buying a new Toshiba Gigabeat, and will have 30GB of storage.

Anyway – that was strike (2).

And just last night, Donna and I sat down to watch the latest episode of Heroes – and my XBMC setup wouldn’t start.  And then it WOULD start, but froze.  It wouldn’t start again.  Then it WOULD start – and we commenced the episode – and it froze again after 5 mins.

Admittedly, my XBox has seen some serious usage in the past 3-4 years of it’s life – not so much for games, but mainly for the “media centre” capabilities.

*sigh*     strike(3).

Might have to find a second-hand XBox somewhere, and see if I can get XBMC setup on it.   But – will lose all my game scores / saves – probably the Project Gotham 2 that I would miss the most – about 300+ hours of driving time !

Vista has been less than fun also – with the hassles of installing & configuring my graphics card, there’s problems with the lack of drivers for my Canon CanoScan N650U (scanner) – and HP PhotoSmart 7150 (printer).

Answer from Canon – pretty fucken useless – thanks for nothing.    strike (4)

Thank you for writing to us concerning your CanoScan N650U.  We value you as a Canon customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you.At this time, Windows Vista drivers are not available for your product. 

We apologize for the inconvenience this causes you.  Future updates on the availability of Vista drivers will be posted to the FAQs and Knowledge Base sections of the product support pages on the Canon USA website.

And THIS answer from HP – even LESS useful -and a shitty website.   strike (5)

At this time there is not a downloadable full-feature Windows Vista driver solution available for your product.

The short-term driver solution is included in your Windows Vista Operating system and is already on your computer.

HP is currently working to make the HP downloadable driver solution available as soon as possible.

NOTE: HP wants to make sure that you have the most up-to-date information on the drivers and software for your HP products. To register for HP Subscriber’s Choice and be notified when Windows Vista drivers become available, click Get e-mail notifications – drivers updates on the left navigation bar of this page.

The page then suggests I install an “alternate driver” in the short-term, and lists a number of printers to choose from.   BUT – my printer isn’t listed – AND – there is no “Get e-mail notifications” link on this page !    *aaarrgghhhh*

Also within Vista – my sound output (audio) is intermittent.   – strike (6)   ?!?

For some reason, the sound just stops working, even though the device driver is OK (SOUNDMAX).    I’ve had to re-boot / log-off before – but have found an alternative :

Just need to STOP and START the service for AudioSrv (Windows Audio) – and would all work OK (!)

  • Open Task Manager
  • Switch to “Services” tab
  • Locate the “AudioSrv” service – and right-click.
  • Select Stop Service – and then right-click again – select Start Service.

win-audio.JPG

Maybe Donna is right – and I do need a new computer – and printer – and scanner – and XBox – and MP3 player – and portable hard drive.

Foo-ken-hell !

Oh well, just as well I don’t have to work with “technology” every day for 8+ hours…

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4 Responses

  1. At least you get to work with Alex and Myself for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

    Strike (7)!

  2. […] Curse of the Wookie 13 03 2007 Chris was recounting the hardware curse that seems to plaguing him, well it seems during his visit to my house for Abbie’s first […]

  3. […] Curse of the Wookie – Technology – Good, Bad and Ugly – grumpy indeed […]

  4. I know this post is super old, but I have been having the same intermittent problem with SoundMAX as well. I run Vista Ultimate 64-bit and the sound would work upon bootup for a few minutes, then it would stop. Usually a reboot cleared it up, but then it might happen again a bit later. Well, I think I figured it out.

    Go to Start –> Control Panel –> Sound –> Click on the Interface you’re using (Coax, Optical, Speakers, etc.) –> Properties –> Advanced Tab –> Uncheck “Allow apps to take exclusive…” –> OK –> OK again –> Reboot.

    Now you should be ok with no stoppage of sound.

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