A Boring Post about Computer Problems

So my keyboard is acting up on the new computer, and I am 100 percent positive that it is not my fault. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It started a few weeks ago maybe (perhaps the same mystery trigger started my rash) and I noticed that when I typed in some online text boxes (while wasting time) a weird sequence of keys would move the cursor and add some letters. It got suddenly worse a few days ago. Now some really interesting things happen. Wanna see?ric

The qp;l

\fk brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.ou

It’s enough to drive a girl mad. Fortunately, I have an external keyboard that spares me the need to drop all letters I and K from my repertoire. When I type I, I get some combination of the sequence “pori,” usually spread across a few lines. On my second letter I, text full on disappears. When I type K it gets even more interesting: I get either ;l or f/;l and a carriage return (or whatever the technical name for the computer equivalent is). I also can’t control the number lock key from the laptop (it is controlled entirely by the external keyboard). I have looked all around online for first a solution and then  companionship. No one is having this problem, although a few people complain that they get some weird backwards text. It has been suggested that I perform some kind of exorcism on the computer, but I contacted Gateway customer service instead. We did buy the warranty.

Dell is better. :(

A few timely and convenient go-arounds with the Gateway email customer help form resulted in them telling me to ship my computer to Texas so they can look at it. I have a bad feeling about this. I’ll be pissed if they tell me the computer is unfixable and just send me a refund. I am so not in the mood to set up another computer. I am sick of computer problems. Despite the many, many hours I spend procrastinating on my work for money, I do have deadlines and commitments and expenses, and I don’t really want to be without this machine. Now, it’s not a total crisis, because my trusty old Mac is still online and can produce the Word documents that are the bulk of my work, but it can’t print. I could print a bunch of stuff before shipping it off, and I will have the fax/copy functions of my printer to play with, but it won’t be convenient. The Mac is slow. It’s a ten-year-old machine almost and it is not Hulu capable. I know all the shows are going off the air for a while, but what if the computer isn’t back in time for the start of Lost? Or Battlestar Galactica? Most of my shows I don’t need to be up to date on, but some get talked about in my online forums and I hate being left out of those conversations. All I do all day is sit around and think about stuff, and there is so much I want to say about every program that I see (except, oddly enough, The Office these days). I haven’t actually watched our television at a scheduled time for a year, I bet, and we don’t have a DVR and this isn’t a reason to get one.

Dell sent me many keyboards on demand when they were damaged by baby fingers. Why can’t Gateway do the same thing? I am mad. I asked them to just send me one so I could replace it, but they came up with excuses like “software issue” and “motherboard” and “system problem” and want to see the machine. I suppose it’s a reasonable request. I could ignore it. I am getting used to the external keyboard action and I had forgotten how wonderful it is to use a mouse with a scroll wheel. My biggest complaint about this Gateway (M-7301U laptop, I think) has been the track pad. My long, slender, graceful, delicate fingers do not fall ergonomically on the buttons. The Dell Inspiron fit my hand better, and it didn’t even occur to me at the time of purchase for the Gateway to check how my hand fit the track pad. the way the buttons are angled requires you to press the button at the bottom, and the tops of the keys actually slant downward toward the trackpad. I used my long, slender, graceful, delicate middle finger to navigate the cursor, and my long, disfigured, pre-arthritic thumb (old baseball injury–long story) is hitting the track pad. I have to move my hand to press the button and it really slows me down. If this computer gets fixed I’m still keeping the mouse. It’s funny how it’s always the small details that thwart your evil plan. I now know exactly how H. G. Wells’s Martians felt.

I have ninety days to send in my computer on the service request number they’ve already assigned to me. I have an idea about what work I should accomplish before then, and what I can do while the good machine is gone. (No iPod updates! That’s a downer that just occurred to me.) it technically shouldn’t set me back. I still even have the box with all the packaging. I think I could get it there safely. I have a large external drive I can back up all my stuff on, and the drive even works on the library’s computers, if I have to get something in a hurry. I should be a lot more zen about this. I’m just in a mood, I guess. I was unnecessarily testy on another website already once tonight.

We have technical friends who used to always rent computers from those furniture and household rental places. I wonder how much a laptop would be in the interim. Probably what we would do is go ahead and buy the computer we’ve thought about getting for husband, and we’d share that while mine is getting fixed. But we don’t really need the second computer and there are other things I’d like to use the money for first. I dunno. Mountains and molehills.

Although I am terribly interested in those tiny little portable laptops with the 10-inch screens. Do those have wireless internet capability? That might be our answer… hmm… food for thought.

The other weird thing that happened today is that I got this strange email from Acer computers. it was very long and it was thanking me for registering my products, and it included a bunch of coupons for Corel products. My mother denies buying me an Acer computer. Husband denies it. I can’t think of any software I’ve registered lately; I did update the VLC player and sign up for their forum to ask a question (the suggestion worked), but those are French people and Acer is not. (It can’t be. The French come up with much better names.) This close to Christmas I wonder what’s going on, but this computer I am using is about a month old.  Who can say? I’m not deleting the email, but it’s puzzling.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of those little computers as our second computer. I’ll let this gel overnight. Speaking of which, Husband got a batch of homemade champagne jelly from a coworker today. We didn’t know what it was for a few minutes until he found the card. It reeks of booze. It tastes of booze. I can’t imagine how you would serve it. On crackers? With meat, like mint jelly is put on lamb? It’s very strange to look at. I investigated some recipes for it, and there are all kinds of preparations, including this one where you pour it around a slice of melon and let the whole thing set. I have to say that the jams I got from my SGU Secret Santa (now there’s a duhrama event that doesn’t involve me, but I’m staying out of it) look far more appetizing.

I am jonesing for some ramen right now.

The adulterated egg nog made me thirsty.

I ordered Fella and Filly hot dogs at Costco today, and they come automatically with soda, and I only wanted one soda, so I asked the lady if she was in line just to buy a soda (it was not a meal time of day, and she was already done shopping), and I gave her my extra cup.

I forgot to go to the post office today, but I think it’s still not too late to ship a priority mail flat rate packed box to Cleveland.

I’m not sure what to make of the Sarah Connor Chronicles, but I am surpised to realize that I don’t really care that Pushing Daisies is ending, even though I’ve never missed an episode.

I have to go to bed now.

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